A father's wish for daughter lost to medical malpractice

By Ira Pedrasa, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Dec 30 2014 08:38 AM | Updated as of Dec 30 2014 04:38 PM

MANILA - A grieving father is asking the Department of Justice (DOJ) why the case of his daughter is taking a long time, unlike the cases of TV host-actor Vhong Navarro and US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton.

In an interview, businessman Bernard Tan said he started to seek the help of authorities for his daughter Kate around the same time that Navarro’s gained attention of authorities.

“It’s very slow-moving… but there are other cases which were filed much later than mine, but they already got resolutions,” said Tan.

Kate underwent stem cell and alternative medicine procedures in a Tagaytay clinic for her Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Tan said they were led to believe that his daughter was in good hands since Antonia Carandang Park, who claimed to be an oncologist, had treated former President Gloria Arroyo.

Park prescribed a juice diet and stem cell treatment for Kate.

Kate’s health further deteriorated and she died on July 4, 2013.

JUSTICE DELAYED

It was only in May this year that a criminal complaint was filed at the DOJ but remains unresolved, Tan said.

Tan said he was at a loss then as to how to approach the legal process, thinking he would be up against a supposedly influential Park.

“I have been hearing that she has been bragging she knows a lot of people in the system,” he said.

He said he can think of a lot of reasons why Navarro’s case and other high-profile cases were given more attention.

The serious illegal detention case filed by Navarro back in April against businessman Cedric Lee is already pending before a court of law. Lee and the others were detained and eventually released on bail.

Meanwhile, Pemberton, accused in the killing of transgender Jennifer Laude, is set to face, at most, a year of trial due to the provisions in the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). The crime happened back in October and gained national attention because of the case’s impact on US and Philippine relations.

“Mine involved the former president. Yet, she is also quiet about it,” Tan lamented.

A complaint of murder, syndicated estafa, and medical malpractice have been filed before the DOJ and should already be “ripe” for a resolution, he said.

He said he wants to correct the impression of some that they carelessly sought the unproven stem cell procedure. “Napeke kami. That’s the reason [for the case]. Dapat ultimo stem cell group, nagreklamo.”

DYING WISH

Tan has been doing much of the leg work in looking for witnesses and testimonies. He said the case of his daughter has been taking a lot of his time and resources.

“Kate had been ill for five years. Bugbugan sa pinansya, up to the point na nawala siya. But I will not hesitate, because I want justice. Because she’s not here anymore to complain,” said the grieving father.

During the last days of Kate’s life, the Tans’ rallying cry was for her to get well and run after the person who supposedly conned her.

But if there is one dying wish that came true, the Tan family was able to put up a foundation in Kate’s name to help in the Hodgkin’s Lymphoma awareness. The patriarch said they are also looking for scholars to continue the dream of Kate, who was an outstanding student at the Ateneo de Manila.

BECOMING CLOSER

Amid the elusive justice, Tan said he believes Kate continues to look over them.

Tan, his wife, and their four kids have grown closer to keep the memories of Kate alive.

He said he and his wife Angie just celebrated their 25 years together, but added: “How can you celebrate when your heart is still grieving?”

And yet, they became closer to God, he said. “We go to Church, yes. The involvement was okay. But we got closer to the Lord when Kate died.”

This is why the couple joined the Marriage Encounter Group. He feels it was Kate who led them there.

On January 18, the couple will be seated only six rows away from the stage where Pope Francis will hold a Eucharistic Mass at the Quirino Grandstand.

“I feel it was a gift from Kate,” the hopeful father said.