THE father of the newborn baby girl who died after she was thrown out of a pedal-powered tricycle that was speeding to the hospital yesterday accused the mayor of Badian town of trying to stop him from pursuing a criminal complaint against the midwife who allegedly turned them away from a birthing center.
Benjamin Gabirto claimed that staffers from the mayor’s office and the municipal social welfare office went to his house yesterday afternoon and asked him to go with them as Mayor Robburt Librando wanted to talk to him.
He was allegedly taken to the mayor’s house where Librando told him that it would be better if they settle the issue in the barangay level as it would be too costly if they pursue their plan to sue the birthing center’s midwife.
“Atong bohaton ani mao nga adto na lang mo sa baranggay maghosay kay gasto kaayo ug hassle kung mopasaka mo ug kaso batok sa midwife ngadto sa korte. (All we have to do is to refer your case to the barangay for possible mediation because it would be costly if you pursue the case in court.)
Gabirto said he turned down the mayor’s suggestion. Librando then allegedly gave him P2,000 and offered him a job at the town hall.
“Wa usab ako misugot sa offer sa mayor nga trabaho kay sama ra nga akong gi uyonan ang iyang sugyot nga setolon lang sa barangay ang among reklamo” (I also refused the mayor’s job offer as they might interpret it as a gesture that I’m now amenable to their suggestion that we just settle the case before the barangay.),” he said.
Librando was not immediately available for comment. His secretary said she also couldn’t contact the mayor.
Gabirto said he and his wife, Regina, are planning to go to the Capitol to ask Gov. Hilario Davide III to help them in pursuing their complaint.
The governor earlier called on the municipal government to investigate the case as the birthing center in Badian falls within their jurisdiction.
Evelyn Senajon, the head of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO), said she personally travelled to Badian yesterday morning to assess the needs of the Gabirtos.
“I told the governor that it was also our social responsibility to go and visit so he said yes,” she told Cebu Daily News.
“They (Gabirto) told me that they were very hurt by what happened to their baby,” she added.
“We can classify them as indigents. But they know how to converse properly and answered our inquiries well,” Senajon said. /Correspondents Renan Alangilan and Peter Romanillos