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Taping incident; Baby’s parents: No settlement

CEBU, Philippines - The parents of the baby whose mouth was allegedly taped at the Cebu Puericulture and Maternity House, Inc. yesterday belied reports that they entered into a settlement with hospital management.

Ryan Noval, father of baby Yohannes, turned to social media as he posted in his Facebook account “Rye Kido” his thoughts on the reported “agreement” signed by his partner Jasmine Janice Badocdoc, the baby’s mother.

He said something was signed but did not reveal what it was since he has yet to talk to his lawyer.

Noval thanked the media who sought their reaction on the document released by CPMHI lawyer Cornelio Mercado alleging Badocdoc signed a “settlement of dispute” Friday, June 27.

“Thanks for calling and trying to reach us for reactions and comments, the news that came out today is pretty disturbing and spectacular. THIS is a ploy by the HOSPITAL and their lawyer as delay tactics since the resolution is being released today,” Noval’s post read.

He further referred to the hospital camp as “derail(ing) the truth” saying “you cannot afford to pay us for our integrity, self respect, and principles (you know exactly who you are).”

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“Stay calm and brace for the storm. We will see you all again soon,” his post concluded.

Badocdoc initially refused an interview as she went to the Commission on Human Rights-7 office yesterday noon but later turned to Facebook to air her side of the story.

“I haven’t posted anything again related to the taping incident of my baby after I posted his pictures and we never mentioned the name of the nurse/nurses involved untill (sic) that investigation with the sub-committee because I gave her/them the benefit of the doubt and we respect their privacy. Since Day 1, all I wanted was to hear the truth from them, who did it, what exactly happened that night and if found at fault, an Apology. When we spoke with the Board of Trustees, they assured us that they will seriously look into this matter And we took their word for it. The next time we tried to speak with them, they wanted us to talk to their lawyer instead. And with the testimonies they (the nurses) gave during the investigation, the twisting of facts, trying to discredit us with thier transfer-the-blame strategy and this news coming out, we can’t just keep our silence anymore. They’re obviously desperately trying to discredit us again. It’s not a surprise. They already did that before and they without a doubt, can do that again. Actually,they just did. To the nurses, too bad. I sincerely feel sorry for you and with how things turned out with your lawyer coming out with this, I’m sorry but what pity I have for you, He (your lawyer) just took it.I actually felt sorry for Him as well when I learned that He was hospitalized for a week right after that last day of investigation at the DOH (Department of Health).But He should have come up with another ploy. So we will continue with our quest to find justice for our child and you will take the hospital down with you. As quoted by one of the sub-committee lawyer, No amount of settlement or NO SETTLEMENT CAN PREVENT ANY TYPE OF CASE. So with this, we will stick to what we started, WE WILL STAND OUR GROUND and we will let the law take its course,” her Facebook post read in full.

Mercado yesterday sent a letter to Department of Health-7 Regional Director Jaime Bernadas informing the health agency of the “settlement of dispute” allegedly signed by Badocdoc, which she denied.

“The material stipulations, in gist, state that the parties ascribe no fault or blame no one on the incident as recorded by Jasmine and posted at Facebook; declared Ms. Pacula (nurse on duty) not responsible; and that parties have no more right or cause  against each other of any kind or nature (administrative, civil, or criminal, or special law),” read Mercado’s letter to Bernadas, which was accompanied by a reproduced copy of the “settlement of dispute” supposedly signed by Badocdoc and CPMHI representative Florencia Streegan.

Noval called the supposed signed document “spectacular.”

“They could’ve done better by adding me in this document...wow, it’s amazing. “Peace” of mind, body and spirit is not for sale,” he further said.

Mercado said he was shocked by the denial.

“Quite surprising. She claimed daw fabricated even. Up to her what to do next,” the hospital’s legal counsel said. He added that they did not see the need to document the signing which reportedly happened Friday.

“Wa man. Di man ta suspecting. And contracts are signed without photo ops. At any rate, what happened to the money?” Mercado said, adding they will not reveal the amount of financial assistance, which they said was given to Badocdoc at the signing of the settlement.

In a press conference, DOH-7 lawyer Madyll Ro-binta said the settlement is immaterial to their independent investigation, the results of which were already submitted last week to the office of Health Secretary Enrique Ona. Robinta did not divulge the contents of the recommendation and investigation results.

Report

Amid reports of settlement and subsequent denial between the hospital and the parents of the taped baby, the inter-agency fact-finding committee of the Regional Sub-Committee for the Welfare of Children is set to release today the results of its investigation as soon as all member agencies sign the report.

The unsigned 15-page report, enumerated the findings of the investigation, which lawyer Dante Jadman from CHR-7 said found that the hospital and the medical professional attending to the baby were at fault thereby recommending “filing of appropriate criminal, civil, and/or administrative case against respondents.”

Jadman said the report will be signed today by the concerned RSCWC member agencies.

Among the facts established by the fact-finding committee were the occurrence of taping of the mouth of the baby; the presence of a blue pacifier located near the head of the baby when the mother visited the nursery supposedly to breastfeed her son; that the Special Intensive Care Unit of Cebu Puericulture and Maternity House, Inc. was understaffed with a ratio of two nurses and one midwife is to 28 babies; deliberate concealment of facts as to the taping of the baby by hospital staff; and the inability of the hospital management to properly address and attend to the multiple complaints filed by couple Ryan Noval and Jasmine Badocdoc.

Among the violations on the part of the chief nurse, two nurses, and the midwife on duty identified were the failure to follow the proper protocol particularly on the act of taping the mouth of the baby, and the absence of an incident report on the taping incident despite the parents’ personally bringing the matter to the customer relations desk of the hospital immediately after the incident.

Likewise, the hospital was found to have violated a number of required practices such as the standard newborn care ratio of one nurse for every six babies; ten steps on successful breastfeeding policy; no pacifier advocacy of mother and child friendly hospitals; command responsibility of the medical director; necessary security at the SICU; and proper investigation procedure without just relying on verbal reports from its chief nurse.

Signatories of the report include Jadman, Bernadas, Grace Yana from Department of Social Welfare and Development-7, Alan Felix Macaraya Jr. of the National Telecommunications-7, Regional State Prosecutor Fernando Gubalane from Department of Justice-7, Inspector Arieda Otida from the Cebu City Police Office, Ester Concha from Cebu City Department of Social Welfare Services, Dr. Mariane Naomi Poca from the Women and Children’s Protection Unit or the Pink Room of the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, and Rey Villordon from the National Bureau of Investigation.

Jadman also pointed out that the DOH-7 results did not recognize the establishment of having a pacifier when the taping occurred, contrary to what the RSCWC fact-finding committee has found.

He stressed that the decision to press charges rests on the parents and the results of their investigation is just recommendatory in power, although he added that they will be there to assist the parents should they need further legal assistance. —/BRP (FREEMAN)

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