Some cops turn bad; others help deliver baby at station | Inquirer News
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Some cops turn bad; others help deliver baby at station

/ 12:39 AM September 19, 2012

Ma. Carina Santos had her own opinion about the police being ridden with scalawags, but an emergency encounter with some officers helped change all that.

The 33-year-old mother gave birth to a baby boy Monday morning at a police precinct in Balintawak, Quezon City, with the help of policemen and civilian employees, particularly an investigator who served as the “midwife.”

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“Everyone at the precinct helped me, they placed sheets of carton on the floor for my mat and provided hot water. I didn’t expect to give birth there and be extended so much kindness,” she told the Inquirer.

Santos, a native of Bulacan province, said she was not expected to give birth till October and was on her way to Dr. Jose Fabella Medical Center in Manila for a routine checkup.

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But for the past few days she has been bringing baby clothes and other supplies whenever she leaves the house, just in case.

“When I got off the bus, I was still able to walk. But I started feeling the pain just as I was walking past the precinct,” Santos said.

She entered the office and asked for a seat so she could rest—but the baby began kicking in her womb as though raring to go out.

She began to scream, sending the five policemen and five civilian staff members present in a frenzy.

While everyone got busy as Santos was going into labor, it was civilian investigator Christian Barcase who directly attended to the mother despite being inexperienced in delivering babies.

Barcase took instructions from an elderly woman who happened to be at the precinct at the time, according to his superior, Senior Police Officer 4 Raymundo Layug.

“We were rushing here and there, getting towels and hot water for the woman. But it was Barcase who helped the woman and told her to relax, be steady, as she pushed the baby out,” Layug recalled.

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Around 7 a.m., out came Nico, Santos’ newborn who was delivered next to a photocopying machine inside what used to be a container van before it was converted into a small office of Quezon City Police District’s Traffic Sector 1.  An ordinary pair of scissors was used to cut the umbilical cord.

“We were trained in many things but not delivering a baby!” Layug said. “(But) we never thought that we could not do it. We just wanted to make sure that the baby would be okay.”

The delivery was over in 10 minutes and Santos still managed to walk a few steps to a stretcher. She was later brought to Quezon City General Hospital along with her Nico.

In an interview on Tuesday, Santos said she and her baby were doing fine, and recalled Monday’s experience with delight.

“They (the precinct personnel) said it was the first time that a baby was born in their office. They even took photos of me and my baby,” the mother said.

They felt they were “blessed” by what happened and playfully nicknamed the baby “Uno” for being born at Sector 1, she said.

“I think I was able to thank them, but I want to do it again. I can never forget such kindness,” Santos said, adding that she also planned to make Barcase one of Nico’s godparents.

QCPD director Chief Supt. Mario de la Vega said he would give formal commendations to Barcase and the policemen of Sector 1 next week.

For Layug, what Barcase and his colleagues did was all in a day’s work. “We know that the police force has been reeling from a spate of bad news lately but we don’t let that affect us. Many of us are just willing to help and serve.”

Santos admitted that the incident changed her perception of policemen.

“Some of them may be bad, but now I know that some of them, like those who helped me, are reliable and willing to help—even in delivering babies for the first time,” the grateful mom said with a chuckle.

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