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MANILA - An abused child who was seen on video being beaten up by her own mother with a piece of wood is asking authorities to keep her mom in jail.
Lourdes Lantican, barangay chairwoman in Sampaloc, Manila, said she is keeping the child "Jenny" in her care for now after the 8-year-old girl refused to stay at the local social welfare office.
"Dinadala namin siya sa [Department of Social Welfare and Development]. Umiiyak yung bata. Nagwawala. 'Dun na lang muna ako kay chairman,'" she recounted the girl as saying.
Lantican said she told the DSWD that she will take care of Jenny for at least a week so that she can heal.
A CCTV video of the incident earlier showed the pregnant mother beating her child repeatedly using a piece of wood. Barangay officials then took custody of the child and placed the mother under detention at Sampaloc Police Station 4.
Lantican said the mother even threatened that she would kill her child. "Ang ginamit po niyang kahoy yung pinaglalagyan ng prutas na saging o kamatis," the barangay official said.
"Jenny" revealed that she and her two other siblings were always being abused by their mother. The barangay chairwoman said Jenny has asked officials to keep their mom in jail.
"Tinanong po ng DSWD kung gusto niyang ipakulong yung nanay niya. Sumagot naman po yung bata, opo," Lantican said.
The children's father said he will leave it to authorities if they will file charges against the mother.
Social workers in the city of Manila said they are discussing whether the two siblings of Jenny should also be rescued from their family. The siblings are with their grandmother in Antipolo.
The Manila Social Work Department said their counterparts in Antipolo will determine whether or not the two children should also be rescued by authorities.
In a separate interview, Lantican said Jenny is in high spirits and is excited for her birthday this Sunday.
The girl will stay with her for a week before she is brought to the girl's section of Boystown.
For her part, psychiatrist Bernadette Arcena said Jenny is clearly showing signs of abuse.
"Nakausap ko yung bata at nakita ko yung takot nandun. Alam mo kasi di niya naintindihan kung bakit siya pinapalo kaya psychologically dapat ma-proseso din siya," she said.
She said that for more than the physical scars, Jenny will need to heal the emotional and psychological scars of the beating.
Arcena said people who undergo abuse could have problems with self-esteem.
The psychiatrist said corporal punishment is a no-no and that children should be given proper care and discipline by their parents.
Lantican said she wants to pursue a case against the mother of Jenny. "She hasn't apologized for the abuse,' she said.