AUTHORITIES have arrested an American woman who tried to smuggle a six-day-old baby out of the Philippines.
The woman, who was bound for the United States, placed the newborn inside her carry-on bag as she went through the departure process at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Thursday morning, September 4, 2019.
Bureau of Immigration Port Operation division head Grifton Medina said the suspect, whom he declined to identify, will be charged with qualified child trafficking.
Medina said the woman could not present the baby's birth certificate and passport.
She, however, presented an unsigned affidavit supposedly from the parents of the child. Immigration authorities refused to accept the document.
“Meron siyang prinesent na affidavit pero unsigned allegedly she said may medical condition ang bata ipapagamot sa ibang bansa pero healthy naman ‘yung bata so bakit sa ibang bansa pa tapos may sinasabi pa siya na meron daw religious rights na gagawin at imi-meet na great grandmother na dying,” said Medina.
(She said the baby has a medical condition, but the baby looked healthy. Then she said the baby was going to meet a dying great grandmother.)
“’Yun pa lang kaduda-duda na. Then tinago niya yun. Ang unang red flag indicator bakit kailangan niyang itago sa opisyales o sa airlines kung wala siyang ginagawang masama?” he added.
(Then she concealed the baby. That was the first red flag. Why did she have to conceal the baby if she was not doing anything wrong?)
Medina said that based on the suspect’s travel records, she arrived in the country on August 28 and went straight to Davao, where the child was allegedly from.
He said the suspect was turned over to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for further investigation.
Authorities are still trying to identify and trace the parents of the infant. (SunStar Philippines)