Quadruplets’ kin want to press raps
The Inquirer News Service
THE CALISAAN couple Saturday told President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo that they are bent on pursuing charges against the staff of the Manila Central University (MCU) Hospital that allegedly turned them away, resulting in the death of their quadruplet babies.
"All we want is justice for my babies," the mother, Jocelyn, told the President. "We want them (MCU staff members) to learn their lesson because we don’t want other families to suffer from this. What if more babies die because of their negligence?"
Ms Macapagal Saturday assured the couple that there would be no whitewash in the investigation of the Calisaan quadruplets’ death.
Clad in a black dress, Ms Macapagal arrived at the Calisaan residence on 2nd Street, Ana Bustamante, Caloocan, at 4:35 p.m. Health Secretary Manuel Dayrit was with the President.
"Don’t worry, we will look into this," Jocelyn quoted Ms. Macapagal as saying.
Dayrit said he had already formed a fact-finding committee to look into the case.
The team would be composed of retired judge Samilo Barlongay (chair), Dr. Bu Castro of the Philippine Medical Association’s Commission on Legislation and Ethics, Dr. Cynthia Cuayo Juico of the Philippine Pediatrics Society, Dr. Rosalinda Arandia, director of the Quirino Memorial Medical Center, and lawyer Angelito Grande, corporate secretary of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp.
The President also pledged to the couple 10,000 pesos in cash to compensate them for the hospital bills they had incurred.
The pledge money would reportedly come from the funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, according to a member of the President’s staff.
Ms Macapagal gave the team members 15 days to wrap up the investigation.
The quadruplets — Maria Angelica, Maria Therese, Maria Angelene and Milagrosa Jhobelle — were born in a lying-in clinic in Caloocan City last Tuesday. Their mother was only in her sixth month of pregnancy.
Shortly after Jocelyn gave birth, the babies, who weighed only between 500 and 1,000 grams, were transferred to the nearby Manila Central University Hospital.
Valdimir, the father of the babies, claimed that some members of the hospital staff treated them shabbily when they learned that the couple could not afford to pay the hospital bills.
The babies were transferred to the Jose Fabella Hospital in Sta. Cruz, Manila. Hours after the transfer, three of the babies died.
Milagrosa Jhobelle, who was earlier named Maria Jhobelle, died on Thursday night. She was buried on Friday afternoon along with her sisters in a common grave at the La Loma Cemetery.