Editorial: Case settled

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Monday, June 30, 2014


THERE'S a twist in last May’s taping incident involving the Cebu Puericulture Center and Maternity House. Just when the committee looking into the incident was about to disclose its findings yesterday, in came the report that an amicable settlement has been reached by the baby’s mother, Jasmine Badocdoc, and the hospital.

The amicable settlement, signed by Badocdoc and hospital representatives Florencia Streegan and Iris Jakosalem last Friday, threw a monkey wrench into possible moves against the hospital and its personnel based on the recommendation by the inter-agency fact-finding committee headed by the Department of Health (DOH).

The committee has recommended that the “appropriate criminal, civil and/or administrative case” be filed against the hospital, chief nurse, two nurses and the midwife on duty during the May 9 incident. The amicable settlement freed the hospital and its personnel of any liability.

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The amicable settlement involved only Badocdoc and didn’t include the baby’s father Ryan Noval. Jasmine and Ryan are not married. Meaning that a rift seems to exist between the two on how the case would be pursued.

In his Facebook account, “Ryan Kido,” Noval described the recent development as a ploy by the hospital and its lawyer to delay the release of the resolution of the inter-agency fact-finding committee on the matter. “You cannot afford to pay us for our integrity, self-respect and principles,” he posted.

Indeed, while the amicable settlement made sure to state that money “was not the motive,” it admitted that Jasmine received “financial assistance” and that talks on monetary consideration were initiated by Jasmine and whoever it was that was advising her.

It would be wrong, however, for people to condemn Badocdoc without knowing why she settled the case. Noval’s reaction shows that there is more than meets the eye on this twist in the mouth-taping incident. Personal reasons may have played a major part in Badocdoc’s decision.

That does not mean that concerned government agencies can no longer do anything against the hospital and its personnel because of the signing of the amicable settlement. DOH officials can still find ways to penalize the hospital and its personnel or at the very least ensure that taping of the mouths of babies in its care won’t be repeated.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 01, 2014.

Opinion

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