A still-unidentified woman who recently gave birth in Pasay City General Hospital has earned condemnation from netizens after a video of her repeatedly slapping her wailing newborn child was posted on social media.
In the video, the red-clad woman can be seen lying on a bed in the hospital’s ward section. Her slaps on the child’s face are so strong that it is very audible. It can be assumed that she is trying to silence her infant before breastfeeding.
The 21-second clip was posted by Facebook user Nilo Sabangan last August 20 on his personal account and has received over 1.3 million views as of early Saturday morning. According to Sabangan, whose wife gave birth on the same hospital, the video was recorded August 18.
Speaking to GMA News, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Dinky Soliman confirmed that a social worker has already been tasked to assess the capability of the mother to raise her newborn. According to her, the agency may have to take temporary custody of the child.
Soliman explained that the woman may be experiencing postpartum depression as well as other psychological problems. “Kinakailangan na kung may ganoong nangyayari, mahinto at kaagad na kunin ‘yung baby,” she also said, adding that the hospital may be guilty of negligence in dealing with this case.
The young mother may be held liable for violating Republic Act 7610 or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act of 1992. The law’s section 10 penalizes acts of neglect, abuse, and cruelty against children. Apart from indefinitely losing custody of her child to DSWD, the mother may even be sentenced with prison mayor, or imprisonment of six to twelve years.
UPDATE, August 22
As of Saturday morning, the mother of the infant is already under the custody of DSWD and will undergo a psychological evaluation before being turned over to other institutions.