MANILA, Philippines – After a heartbreaking and painful separation from the couple, Johnerel and Cherry Pañero, their baby who had been kidnapped from the Taguig-Pateros District Hospital on February 13 is finally back in his mother’s arms.
Roseman Mañalac, 24, who disguised herself as a DSWD social worker and was caught on CCTV leaving with the one-day old baby was finally apprehended after being tipped off by a concerned citizen.
In a GMA news report, the OIC of Taguig City Police, P/Supt. Celso Rodriguez, said the nurses of the District Hospital identified Mañalac following her arrest.
However, Rodriguez said it took sometime for the suspect to admit, saying, “She insisted the baby was hers until such time that the nurses and doctor came, she could no longer deny the crime.”
Rodriguez also related about an anonymous call he received saying Mañalac is going to sell the baby and is supposed to make P50,000 from the deal.
In the same report, Mañalac admitted she took the baby. However, she divulged in an interview the reason why the crime was committed.
According to her, “Yes, I took the baby, when the doctor said that I had a polyp and can no longer bear a child, I made a desperate move.”
She also said she has had a miscarriage twice and is desperate to become a mom.
The relatives did not suspect anything when she came home with a baby since they thought she had given birth after not divulging her miscarriage last July.
She also denied the allegations that she was going to sell the baby, saying, “No, I had no intention of selling the baby; I love him, after four to five days that the baby was with me, I felt guilty. My plan was to return him on Monday.”
Meanwhile, the mother Cherry Pañero revealed how the traumatic event took place.
According to her, “She introduced herself as a DSWD personnel; she even had a chart and knew the patients’ names. She said she would have my baby undergo newborn screening.”
Adding to it, she said the woman freely took the baby since her husband was out to buy diapers, but later when her husband returned she asked him to follow the woman whom she thought was a health worker.
She said, “When my husband followed, he said he couldn’t find them. I said ‘Okay, she’s going to return the baby anyway.”
Two hours passed and no DSWD personnel with a baby returned; thus, the couple alerted the hospital management on the lost baby.
“I thought I was going to go crazy, I just gave birth to my son and I lost him,” said the mother who underwent a horrifying experience.
Mañalac, who’s now in jail and will be facing a life imprisonment for kidnapping, said she wanted to see baby Francis for one last time and did not regret being a mother in the short time she had the baby.
However, the angry father, Johnerel said, “What she did to us was very painful and she has no right to see him.”
He also said he is willing to let the kidnapper pay for the misery they felt during the absence of their baby in their midst.
Mayor Lani Cayetano of Taguig City said Php 250,000 will be given to the person who led to the arrest of the kidnapper.
She also assured the public about the actions being done by the hospital management regarding the security lapses.