Press Release
May 16, 2009

Villar reunites baby and minor mother

Nacionalista Party president Manny Villar settled the hospital bills of an infant, releasing her from confinement at a hospital in Manila since Feb. 6, and reuniting her with her minor mother.

Villar paid the hospital bills and doctors' fees on behalf of "Baby Girl Placido," who was born pre-term to 16-year-old "Jam" (not her real name) at the Chinese General Hospital.

"I am happy to see mother and child reunited after months of unfortunate separation," said the senator, who visited them at their residence in Dagupan Extension, Gagalangin, Tondo, Manila. "The baby should not be denied her highest fundamental right to be with her mother."

Villar said the mother wrote him for help to release her child from the hospital where the latter had been confined and detained for three months since birth, and the he took pity on the infant.

The underaged mother earlier wrote Villar, "Dumudulog po ako upang ipang-amot ng tulong ang aking anak na isinilang ko nang may karamdaman. Maayos na po ang kanyang kalagayan sa ngayon ngunit wala po kaming sapat na pera para siya ay mailabas."

According to her attending physician Dr. Vicky Tung Lu, the baby, born on Feb. 6 weighing only 2000 grams, had pulmonary interstitial emphysema and sepsis neonatorum.

Sepsis, an infection spreading throughout a baby's body, occurs in less than one percent of newborns but accounts for up to 30 percent of deaths in the first few weeks of life, with infection up to 10 times more common in premature newborns.

The minor mother, abandoned by the father of her baby, is a high school graduate and the third child among seven children of indigent parents, her father being a freelance electrician and her mother a plain housewife.

"Labis po akong nagpapasalamat kay Senator Manny Villar dahil muli kong nayakap ang aking anak na kasama kong haharap sa buhay," she tearfully said.

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