MANILA, Philippines, July 6 (UPI) -- The former Philippines ambassador to the United Nations Sunday denied claims in a lawsuit filed by a former maid accusing him of engaging in forced labor.
Lauro Baja Jr. said he had no idea why Marichu Suarez Baoanan filed the civil complaint against him, his wife Norma, daughter Elizabeth Baja Facundo and the Baja-owned Labaire International Travel Inc., before the New York Southern District court.
Baoanan, 39, accuses the Bajas of engaging in trafficking, forced labor, peonage and racketeering, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported Sunday.
"I don't know her from Eve," Baja said of Baoanan, noting the maid left his household after barely three months of service.
He said Baoanan was recruited in "accordance with the rules" for hiring domestic staffing, the newspaper reported.
"So there was no human trafficking," he said.
Baja was head of the Philippine Mission to the United Nations in New York from 2003-2006.