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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

IT'S not only a knockdown but a technical knockout. This is how I describe the effect on the Cebu Puericulture Center and Maternity House of recent developments on the alleged taping of a baby’s mouth in its nursery. A young mother, who delivered her child at the hospital, claimed her child also went through the same experience as that of baby Yohanness, son of Ryan Noval and Jasmine Badocdoc.

Chesiel Lyka Arsua, 22, decided to post screen captures from a video showing her baby whose mouth was also taped two days after she was born last Feb. 24. Arsua said she decided to come out after the nurses involved issued denials before the inter-agency task force that looked into the complaint of Noval and Badocdoc.

Arsua said she has no intention of joining the fray but only wants the public to know that her baby also suffered. Her baby was also left under the care of the maternity hospital after she delivered her.


She said that she first noticed the pacifier and the tape when she went to the nursery to breastfeed her baby. When she asked the nurse, she was told that it was to stop her child from crying and prevent her from disturbing the other babies.

Isn’t this the same explanation given by Arianne Mae Pacula, the nurse on duty, to Jasmine when she also confronted her upon noticing that her son's mouth was taped? That time, a pacifier was found in the crib.

The maternity house management, through its legal counsel Cornelio Mercado, admitted that Arsua gave birth inside the facility last February. He explained that the baby could not take milk so the pacifier was needed. The baby’s respiratory rate was also fast, so the pediatrician ordered the use of oxygen.

But wait. In their earlier explanation to the media, hospital officials said that using a pacifier is not in their policy. This claim was supported by some pediatricians. So why is the lawyer now saying that a pacifier was needed by Arsua's baby?

Come on. You are like a Sinulog dancer. Nag-atras-abante na man mo sa inyong rason.

The management, like in Noval’s case, questioned Arsua's act of posting the photos on Facebook. But I would tell the hospital’s management: Do not divert the issue by using technicalities.

It is the prerogative of the concerned parents to express their disappointment, and social media is an alternative venue for expressing concerns and thoughts. Besides, the personalities involved didn’t hide their identities. They came out openly.

The management can also freely use social media and even the mainstream media to counter the allegations. But where were the officials of maternity house when this issue broke out? They hid.

You cannot prevent people from using the social media. It's a global trend now with the advent of the new technology. I am sure that most of the hospital’s officials and even Mercado have accounts in social networking sites too.

Also, if you feel that your rights and privacy were violated in social media, then file a libel case against those who besmirched your reputation using the law on cybercrime.

Note that the government of Egypt under then dictator Hosni Mubarak was toppled because of massive campaign in social media. As a result, many Egyptians joined the revolution against Mubarak's regime.

It is not too late to redeem the image of the nurses and the maternity house management. If they are bothered by their conscience, then they should tell the truth and issue an apology to the aggrieved parties. But if they don't have any conscience, then they should stick to their claims. As the saying goes, “The truth shall set you free.” Amen.


Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 28, 2014.


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