MANILA - The overseas Filipino worker who abandoned her baby to a stranger at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 five days ago is planning to return to Manila to get her son back.
In a phone interview with ABS-CBN, 36-year old Vilma Pacibas Lastima relayed her plans to return to Manila after learning that the Manila International Airport Authorities (MIAA) has found her son. MIAA eventually turned over the baby to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Lastima denied abandoning her 3-month old son and claimed that she intentionally left her baby to a stranger at the airport on the afternoon of November 25 to attend to a personal errand. She, however, did not elaborate.
"May pinuntahan lang po ako. Pag balik ko sa airport hindi ko na po makita si (Mercy Bonaobra) yung babae na pinagiwanan ko ng aking anak at passport,” Lastima said.
Bonaobra, also an OFW, was at the arrival area of NAIA T1 on Friday morning when Lastima approached her and asked her to temporarily take care of her son while she attends to some personal errands.
Bonaobra decided to report the matter to airport authorities Lastima failed to return for more than four hours.
"Natatakot po ako baka kung ano ang mangyari sa bata kaya po ako nag-report sa airport police dahil hindi na po binalikan ng nanay yung anak niya," Bonaobra said.
Lastima said she desperately searched the airport for Bonaobra but failed to locate her.
"Bumalik po ako sa airport at hinanap yung anak ko pero hindi ko na po nakita at hindi na rin po sinasagot ni Bonaobra ang kanyang telepono," Lastima said.
She decided to travel back to her hometown in Maco, Davao, even without her son.
The OFW said she still has the original travel documents of her son and airline tickets to prove that she is the mother of the 3-month old baby.
Lastima stressed that she has no intention of abandoning her son.
Joy Detros, Lastima’s sister-in-law, said they were surprised at the news that Lastima left the baby, and that they are not even aware that she was pregnant or that she would be coming home from Jordan.
"Hindi po namin alam na uuwi na siya ng Pilipinas at may dalang bata, dahil meron pa siyang anak dito sa Pilipinas pero hiwalay sa asawa," Detros said.
Detros added that her sister-in-law did not even mention to them the incident at the airport when she arrived in Maco town.
"Hindi po siya nag-kwento sa amin at after two days mahinahon po namin siya kinausap pero itinatanggi po niya na anak niya ang bata, halata po namin na may inililihim na problema si Vilma," Detros said.
Airport General Manager Ed Monreal, in a phone interview, said they will be glad to assist Lastima when she returns to Manila and endorse to the DSWD once proper identification is conducted.
"The airport authority is very willing to assist Vilma Lastima if ever she returns to Manila and retrieves her son," Monreal said.