TODDLER ABUSE DSWD: 7 takes over probe on parents, siblings for kid’s injury
The Department of Social Welfare and Development in the region (DSWD-7) has taken full custody of a two-year-old girl who was rescued from her home in Sangi, Toledo City, after she was found with burn wounds on her thighs, her ears bloodied and her vagina swollen.
While Toledo City’s Social Welfare and Development Office tends to believe that the child was brutalized by members of her own family, the child’s mother continued to insist on Sunday that she remained at a loss as to what could have possibly happened to her daughter.
The burn marks, she said, were caused by a cooked hot sweet potato that fell on her child’s legs; while she had no idea about the other injuries.
“So far we could not yet tell if we would file charges (child neglect) against the parents since we are still waiting for the final medical results,” said Mae Tacandong, head of Toledo City’s Social Welfare and Development Office.
A thorough medical examination will be conducted on the toddler by Dr. Marian Naomi Poca this week to determine the extent of the child’s injuries.
The two-year old was picked up by members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and social workers in Toledo City, southwest Cebu, after a neighbor posted a call for help on Facebook, Friday.
The child was turned over to the Reception and Study Center for Children (RSCC) of the DSWD-7 yesterday, where she will stay until her medical check-up at the Pink Room of the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) will be completed.
“Initial findings showed that she has no contagious disease,” Tacandong told Cebu Daily News as DSWD is also trying to determine if the child was sexually molested.
Over at the RSCC, social workers noted that the child showed no signs of fear nor resistance when told that her mother will be staying with her.
The victim’s neighbor had posted on his Facebook account that the girl was often beaten up by her parents.
Initial investigation also showed that the girl’s 10-year-old half brother, who was tasked to watch over his younger siblings while the parents were out, would pinch the child’s vagina every time she would urinate or defecate.
The two-year-old girl is the fourth of five children. The two oldest, a 10-year-old boy and a nine-year-old girl, are her half siblings — the children of her mother from a past relationship.
Her two other siblings are aged three and a nine-month-old baby. The mother is pregnant with her sixth child.
Toledo City social workers will assess today the child’s other siblings to determine if they too will have to be put under DSWD’s care.
The child’s parents are mango vendors in Toledo City.
Both denied hurting their child; but the Toledo City Police Office has kept the couple under their close watch pending results of the DSWD investigation.
“Yung DSWD ang gusto mag-find out kung may liability ang parents (It is the DSWD that wants to find out if the child’s parents have liabilities),” said Supt. Samuel Mina, chief of the Toledo City Police Station.
DSWD 7 is taking the lead in the investigation as the child will be directly taken into counseling, said Mina.
“Ngayon mag-wait lang kami this Monday sa anong report ng DSWD at saka na namin gagawin yung next step kasi yun yung napag-usapan (We will just wait for the DSWD report coming on Monday to know what will be our next step since this was what we agreed upon),” Mina said.
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