Child’s family seeks NBI’s help

Mylen P. Manto (The Freeman) - July 10, 2013 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The family of the three-year-old boy who died last Sunday in the district hospital of Tuburan went to the Office of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)-7 to seek help.

Titing Aguilar, the uncle of the victim, told The Freeman that they sought the bureau’s assistance in filing charges against Tuburan District Hospital Chief, Dr. Esteban Ligaray, Dr. Jatuporn Vatanagul and nurse aide, Chito Chaluag.

Aguilar was accompanied by the child’s parents and grandmother.

Last Sunday at 4:00 p.m. Chris John Ledris died due to cardiopulmonary arrest secondary to aspiration due to near drowning.

But the family believes that the child’s death was due to the failure of Dr. Jatuporn Vatanagul to attend to the victim.

Mini Ledris, the grandmother, said that after her grandchild nearly drowned while swimming with his aunt Marianie in the sea, they immediately brought him to the hospital at around 12 noon.

While in the emergency room, she said the victim was “alert and talkative.”

Vatanagul checked the victim’s condition and said he was fine. The doctor allegedly left saying he needed to rest, leaving Chaluag to attend to the victim.

When Arlene Aguilar, the aunt of the victim, arrived, she noticed that the victim was pale. So she asked Chaluag to call Vatanagul but the latter allegedly refused, citing that the doctor was resting and would wake up at 3:30 p.m.

Mini said she waited 30 minutes before the doctor came out and checked the victim. This time, she said, her grandchild was already dying. The doctor tried to revive the victim but failed.

The child died at around 4:00 p.m.

Ligaray said that contrary to the claim of the family, Vatanagul attended to the victim and in fact advised the family to admit the patient and take him to a Cebu City hospital but they allegedly refused.

Meanwhile, Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III ordered acting Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Cynthia Genesolango, to look into the complaint against Vatanagul.

Reportedly, the family of the victim met Davide at the Capitol and discussed the issue.

When asked if their investigation would be a parallel investigation, NBI Regional Director Antonio Pagatpat said it depends on the evidence gathered.

“Our investigation is upon request of the parents of the deceased child and therefore, for the determination of both criminal and administrative liabilities. We will see if evidence would warrant,” he said in a text message sent to The Freeman.

Yesterday morning, Tuburan Mayor Democrito Diamante called Pagatpat over the phone asking for an investigation on the matter. Pagatpat, however, advised Diamante to inform the family to file a complaint before their office so that they can act on it.

Aguilar said they arrived at the Office of the NBI at around 1:00 p.m. onboard a vehicle lent to them by Mayor Diamante.

On the issue of autopsy issue, he said they were told by NBI medico-legal officer Dr. Rene Cam that if he will conduct an autopsy, the findings would be the same. Because of that, he said the family decided that there will be no autopsy./JPM (FREEMAN)

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