Gagging a baby -- and truth

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Sunday, May 25, 2014


HAD Cebu Puericulture Center and Maternity House apologized for the taping of a week-old baby’s lips, that would have ended the story.

Denials by Maternity House and its staff have converted a simple breach of child-care rules, which didn’t hurt fatally, into a whodunit.

No one admits he or she gagged the baby. Who did it then?

Clinic officials have accepted their people’s claim and the nursing association has circled wagons for its members.

An “investigation” saw no evidence against the staffers but suspected, impliedly, the parents.

In-house probers obviously didn’t apply the “holy trinity” of detection: means, opportunity and motive.

Take motive first. Why would Jasmine gag her baby?

Maternal instinct and love would make that unlikely. To whom would silencing one child give some relief? Probably, some distressed caregiver who had more than 20 babies to watch over.

Did mom or dad do it? No evidence that the couple wanted to make money, had a grudge against a clinic supervisor or worker, were publicity-starved--or plain nuts.

Look at opportunity. The parents and the nurse had a 10-minute window. The staffers had more. And it was Jasmine who asked the nurse about the tape and later asked other nurses to remove the gag as she was afraid to do it herself.

In his hair

And who would’ve the means: access to a tape and pacifier in the building? They’re not the usual content in mom’s bag or pa’s backpack, are they? They weren’t tucked in his dreadlocks, were they?

As to checking out CCTV footage and giving lie tests, they should’ve done it before they cleared anyone.

[paseares@gmail.com]

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 26, 2014.

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