Wednesday 18 October 2017

Woman who left newborn baby on plane claims she was raped

Paul Divers in Manila

THE Filipina woman who admitted giving birth to a baby on a flight, and then leaving him in the rubbish on the plane, said she was raped by her employer.

The 6lb 9oz baby made headlines around the world after he was found in a rubbish bag taken off a Gulf Air flight from Bahrain at Manila International Airport last Sunday.

Yesterday, Philippines politician Lani Mercado said she met the woman, who told her she had been raped by her employer while working as a maid in Qatar and became pregnant.

"She had labour pains in the plane," Ms Mercado said. "Then she gave birth."

Ms Mercado said the woman told her she abandoned the baby because she was afraid of what her family would say.

The woman gave birth while the plane approached Manila, according to the chief of Manila's National Bureau of Investigation, Magtanggol Gatdula.

Picture

She has been shown a picture of the baby, temporarily named George Francis after Gulf Air's flight code GF, and "she's very eager to see her baby", he said.

She left in June last year to work in Qatar for three years, and her family was surprised when she suddenly returned home, said police Inspector Jeffrey Vicente, quoting her husband in Apayao province with whom she has two children.

The 30-year-old woman was located on Wednesday in Apayao. Authorities brought her to Manila for questioning and testing. They did not release her name.

Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman, who has custody of the baby, cautioned that authorities are working to confirm the woman is the mother.

She earlier said authorities plan to conduct DNA tests on the woman and the baby and that it would take at least a month to establish whether she is the parent.

The mother could face criminal charges for abandoning her child, Ms Soliman said.

Irish Independent

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