Family of radio man fighting for life after attack struggling to survive another attack—high medical costs
KIDAPAWAN CITY—In a case too common among the poor, the family of a radio man who survived a gun attack in Tacurong City is appealing for help to survive a different kind of attack on their finances—high medical bills.
The family of Benjie Caballero, station manager of Radyo ni Juan in Tacurong, said Caballero’s hospital bills had already reached P1.6 million and still counting.
Caballero is still at the intensive care unit of a hospital here since he was shot on Oct. 30 by still unidentified assailants as he waited for a tricycle ride in Tacurong.
Caballero survived the attack, but his sister, Gladys, said the family doesn’t know how to survive this type of attack—the financial drain on them of Caballero’s treatment.
The family, according to Gladys, wanted to transfer Cabellero to a government hospital to reduce expenses but would have to first to pay bills at the private hospital where the radio man is still fighting for his life.
“It’s so expensive at the private hospital so we want to move him to a public hospital but we still have to pay the balance, which is big,” Gladys said.
These officials and offices had given help—Rep. Suharto Mangudadatu and wife Maguindanao Gov. Mariam Mangudadatu, pledge of P500; Office of the President, P300,000 being processed and Sen. Bong Go, P100,000 paid directly to the hospital.
Gladys, however, said the family still needed to raise at least P800,000 to pay up the private hospital, which was not named for security reasons.
She said the family was now working on submitting documentary requirements to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to avail itself of financial help.
Friends and relatives gave what they can but the amount raised was just enough for medicines, which were also expensive.
The hospital, said Gladys, stopped providing medicines to Caballero when the bill shot past P1 million and remained unpaid.
Gladys said Caballero continues to fight for his life at the ICU and the family remained hopeful he would recover.
In the first week of his treatment, Caballero went comatose and regained consciousness after a second operation, Gladys said.
Joel Egco, communications undersecretary for Task Force Media, said he knew about the financial woes of the Cabellero family.
He said his office had also sought help from the Mangudadatus.
Rep. Esmael Mangudadatu pledged P100,000 while Sultan Kudarat Gov. Suharto Mangudadatu pledged P1 million, Egco said.
“Maybe our colleagues in the media can help in defraying the cost of Benjie’s hospitalization,” said Egco.
“Benjie knows his attacker and it is important that he survives this ordeal,” Egco said.
Edited by TSB
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