Docs in lipo death want more time to submit affidavits

/ 12:45 AM March 29, 2017
Shiryl Saturnino

Shiryl Saturnino

The doctors who operated on Shiryl Saturnino, a 29-year-old businesswoman who died on Sunday after undergoing three procedures at a plastic surgery clinic in Mandaluyong City, have asked for more time to submit their affidavits.

The Mandaluyong police chief, Senior Supt. Joaquin Alva, said that investigators who went to The Icon Clinic on Monday were told that anesthesiologist Dr. Jose Jovito Mendiola and surgeon Dr. Samuel Eric Yapjuangco would give the documents the following day.
But when they returned on Tuesday, they received instead a letter from the establishment’s lawyer asking them for five more days to comply.


As of Tuesday, the police and the family of Saturnino were still waiting for her autopsy results while authorities said they were validating the permits of the clinic as well as the licenses of the doctors involved.

In a statement sent to the Inquirer on Tuesday, the establishment’s legal counsel said that they would fully cooperate with investigators while announcing that the clinic remained “fully operational.”

According to lawyer Estelita Cordero, “Ms Saturnino was a valued and regular patient whom we took care of for many years. Right now, there is an ongoing investigation on what really caused the passing of Ms Saturnino. It is our responsibility to inform the public about the truth and we are fully cooperating with the investigation.”

“We are also currently extending full support to the family of Ms Saturnino in their time of grief. We will provide the public with additional information once we have gathered all facts and official data. In the meantime, The Icon Clinic is fully operational in servicing our valued patients,” she added.

Alva said that the doctors may face charges of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide should negligence—either through an act of omission or commission—be proven on their part.

Saturnino died on Sunday almost an hour after she underwent liposuction in addition to breast and butt surgery at the clinic.

A report sent to the Eastern Police District director, Chief Supt. Romulo Sapitula by Chief Insp Jose Villarta, Mandaluyong police investigation unit head, said that Saturnino died at 3:21 a.m., almost an hour after she was operated on.

Villarta said that Doctors Mendiola and Yapjuangco reported that the victim was about to be wheeled to the recovery room when her heart stopped beating at 2:40 a.m.

The doctors said they tried to revive her and even called for help from Makati Medical Center which sent another doctor to the clinic.


Based on the information gathered by case investigators SPO2 Emmanuel Ermino and SPO1 Jamar Sabri, it was Saturnino’s third time to go to the establishment.


Ermino said the victim had nose surgery and a breast procedure in 2013 and 2015, respectively.

Accompanied by her relative Shiela Mae Deinla and the victim’s 9-year-old daughter, Saturnino checked into the clinic around 5 p.m. on Saturday, he added.

Based on their initial investigation, this was the first time a patient died at the clinic, Ermino said.

No case has been filed for now although the victim’s parents, Noli and Shirley Saturnino, have asked the police to conduct an investigation.

An uncle, however, said that they were not blaming anyone for the victim’s death, adding that they were waiting for the results of the tests conducted on samples taken from Saturnino.

“We are not in a position to say there was negligence. But maybe her body could not handle having three procedures done at the same time. She was able to handle the first two operations maybe because these were done one at a time,” Dante Anabe added.

The clinic has been very cooperative with the family, even shouldering the victim’s funeral expenses, he said.

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