MANILA, Philippines – Police and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Occidental Mindoro are investigating the case of a newborn baby who is suspected of being the same baby that was snatched from a hospital in Quezon City.
The case came to the attention of authorities after they received a report that a woman, “Sabel” (not her real name), has been introducing the baby boy as her own despite not giving birth.
Police suspect that the baby may have been either kidnapped or sold to Sabel.
Sabel, however, denies this.
“Hindi po, saan naman ako kukuha ng pambili,” she said.
Sabel said the baby’s real mother left the baby with her, and she has a handwritten letter from the mother as proof.
“Ang pagkakasabi [sa akin ng nanay], may pamilya daw siya at ayaw niya iuwi ang anak dahil either ang anak ang patayin o kaya siya,” said Sabel.
But the DSWD said a letter from the alleged mother is not enough to give custody to Sabel.
“Akala ko po kasi ‘yung sulat ng nanay ay OK na po ‘yun kasi binigay ng nanay. Pero mali pala,” Sabel said.
Upon hearing reports of the case of Sabel’s baby, Cecilia delos Santos immediately flew to Mindoro to see the baby.
Delos Santos’s baby was snatched from a Quezon City hospital on September 4.
Delos Santos suspects that Sabel’s baby is her missing child, based on the baby’s features.
She also finds it suspicious that Sabel’s baby was allegedly born on August 25, only 7 days prior to her delivery.
However, the DSWD said facial features and photographic evidence are also not enough to determine if delos Santos is the real mother of Sabel’s baby.
“Hindi pwedeng maging basehan ang mga features at pictures,” said Joi Solonio-Angway, social welfare officer of Sablayan DSWD.
Delos Santos has requested authorities to conduct DNA tests to determine if the baby is hers.
She said she felt a strong connection with the baby boy the moment she saw him.
“Nanginginig kami noong kino-compare namin ‘yung mga pictures. Gusto na po talaga naming dalhin, pero syempre may due process,” she said.
Authorities said they will continue to investigate the case.
“Mayroon naman tayong technical capability. Immediately, nag-organize tayo ng teams,” said Sr. Supt. Allen Bartolo, deputy director for operations of PNP-Intelligence Group.
The social welfare department, meanwhile, has decided not to give custody to delos Santos nor to Sabel while investigations are ongoing. -- Reports from Niko Baua and Alex Santos, ABS-CBN News