Cebu News

VSMMC, CIDG, father to file charges: Woman faces kidnap raps

Kristine B. Quintas and Bryner L. Diaz - The Freeman

MANILA, Philippines – Charges will be filed against the call center agent who posed as a nurse and kidnapped a newborn at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) in Cebu City last Monday.

Yesterday, chief of hospital Dr. Gerardo Aquino said VSMMC will file a kidnapping case that will supplement the case the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) will file against Melissa Londres.

The child’s father, Jonathan Celadiña, also said they will press charges.

“Desidido ko bisag unsaon pa nila, bisag magpakiluoy pa, dili gyud mi moatras og kaso niya aron di na mausab pa,” he told reporters yesterday.

Londres, 21, was arrested at her house in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City Tuesday night. The baby, three-day-old Prince Niño Celadiña, was recovered safely.

Senior Supt. Marlon Tayaba, chief of the team arrested Londres, said the suspect’s former lover, Philip Almeria, will be subjected to questioning to determine if he truly had nothing to do with Londres’ actions.

He was taken into custody the other night as he was present when Londres was arrested.

Londres said she took the baby away to win Almeria’s love back.


Yesterday, at least seven security guards detailed at VSMMC were advised to take a leave from work as the hospital investigates the incident.

Aquino said the investigation will also cover other personnel.

“In that particular case, they (guards) were implementing what was the protocol nakuha or napangutana na unta,” he said.

He explained that the baby should not be brought to the laboratory and if the baby is brought for vaccination, as a protocol, the mother should accompany the nurse.

“The investigation will also on looking out the shortcomings and improve on those shortcomings,” he added.

He said investigation results will determine whether or not the hospital needs to replace its security agency. The agency has provided guards for VSMMC for the past three years. At present, the hospital has 71 guards manning on three shifts.

“At this point in time, it is still premature but it is one of the options whatever will be the outcome of the investigation,” he said.

Aquino assured that security regulations are in place like disallowing personnel without proper identification cards and uniform from entering and checking the gate pass and IDs of visitors and patients.

The child’s father has questioned the security procedures.

“Ang ilang security guard sobra ka istrikto nga makapasulod, niya katong kawatan nganong nakasulod og nakagawas ug nganong nalutsan sila nga wala may gipakita nga clearance ang bata nga makagawas gyud?” he asked.

The father also claimed that Londres was conniving with an unidentified woman who was seen in the CCTV footage talking to the guard at the billing station, purportedly to distract him, when Londres passed by the area.


Yesterday, the baby was brought back to VSMMC so DNA samples can be taken from him.

Tayaba said they have recommended that the child and his mother, Jayvee, be made to undergo  DNA  ana-lysis to make sure that the baby recovered from Londres is indeed Prince Niño.

Chief Insp. David Alexander Patriana, DNA analysis expert of the Regional Crime Laboratory 7, also said it is important to assure the certainty of parentage so problems will be avoided as regards custody.

“Kinahanglan mahibaw-an kung kinsa ang inahan sa bata bisan pa nga niingon ang amahan nga iyaha to’ng anak basin dili diay to mao, basin lain diay to,” Patriana said.

He said saliva specimens will be taken from the mother and child and results of the test will be available after a week. The samples will be analyzed at the PNP headquarters in Manila.


At the CIDG headquarters after her arrest, Londres begged for forgiveness from the Celadiña couple and said she took the baby because she wanted to win Almeria’s love back.

“Wa man sad nako pasipad-i ang bata. Ako mang gigalam og maayo, pasayloa intawn ko ninyo,” Londres said in tears.

She said Almeria broke up with her in April on the day of their first year anniversary. She was reportedly carrying his child at that time and was supposed to give birth last month but suffered from a miscarriage in May.

Christmastime, she started thinking of getting someone else’s child and introduce the same to Almeria as theirs. She finally carried out her plan last Monday.

After she took the child from VSMMC, she brought him to Almeria’s rented room where the two of them reportedly took care of him.

Tayaba said earlier that Londres and Almeria appeared to be high on drugs at the time of their arrest because they could not speak coherently.

Mental illness?

Dr. Rene Obra, chief of VSMMC’s center for behavioral sciences, said Londres must be subjected to thorough evaluation because she might be suffering from mental illnesses, such as severe psych-pathology or delusion, depression, postpartum psychosis, and mood problem resulting to the crime.

“Sometimes people are delusional after experiencing depression or wishful thinking,” he said.

He said some women suffer from depression usually after delivering babies, massive bleeding during delivery particularly if they gave birth outside the hospital from which they acquired infection and complications, or if they had an abortion especially in the Third Trimester of pregnancy or from week 28 to birth.

Obra explained these mental illnesses are caused by a drastic change in the level of hormone in the woman’s body due several reasons, such as anxiety of becoming a mother and not being financially and psychologically prepared, among others.

He clarified that these mental illnesses are not acquired and are not experienced immediately.

“Dili automatic but the percentage is higher compared to the general population,” he said.


Department of Health-7 Assistant Regional Director Dr. Sophia Mancao said the incident should be a lesson for other hospitals not to be complacent even when their security measures are well-implemented and tested.

While the incident at VSMMC may be an “isolate case and does not happen every day,” all medical facilities must be vigilant always, she said

“Wake up call for other hospitals. Bisan istrikto dunay insidente nga mahitabo gihapon. So ato gyod pahingusgan ang seguridad,” she said.

DOH-7 Regional Director Jaime Bernadas agreed.

“This is a call for heightening our security measures in any institutions be it private or public. Vigilance is also a correlating effort,” he said. — /JMO (FREEMAN)


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