Parents regret letting toddler who went viral on Facebook drink iced tea from liquor bottle

By Jose Santino S. Bunachita |July 19,2017 - 10:40 PM

THE 20-year-old mother of a toddler who was photographed drinking straight from a liquor bottle while being held by his father apologized for the incident which has become viral on social media.

Ria (real name withheld) said, however, that what was inside the liquor bottle was iced tea and not brandy.

“Dili ko ka-blame nila kay mao man ila nakita. Pero nakuha sad unta sila sa (among) side bitaw (I can’t blame the netizens because that was what they saw. But I wish they also heard our side),” she told Cebu Daily News in an interview in their home in Barangay Pahina Central, Cebu City.

In the photo, which was posted on at least three Facebook pages, the toddler was in the right arm of his 20-year-old father who made him drink straight from a longneck bottle. The liquid looked similar to brandy or iced tea.

Based on her confrontation with the child’s father Rolly (real name also withheld), she said that Rolly brought their one-year-and-seven-month-old baby to Carbon Market last July 9 for a friend’s birthday.

Rolly arrived late, and his friends were already drinking. Aside from brandy, they were also drinking iced tea as a chaser. But the chaser they bought were in 230-ml. bottles so they decided to put them all inside one of the empty longneck brandy bottles after taking out the bottle’s stopper. At one point, the child was thirsty, so Rolly made him drink the iced tea.

“Maayo ra man na siya. Sa wala pa miy anak, wala gyud na siyay bisyo. Dili siya mag-smoke. Tagsa ra na siya moinom, nya dili sad na siya magpalabi.

Kadto nga time, nisabay lang daw siya kadyot sa iyang barkada (He’s a good person. Even before we had a child, he didn’t have any vices. He doesn’t smoke. He only drinks occasionally and not too much. That time, he said he just went with his friends),” said Ria about her partner Rolly. The two have been living together with Ria’s parents although they are not yet married.

It was Rolly’s 19-year-old friend James (real name also withheld) who took the photo and posted it on his Facebook account, albeit inadvertently. There was no caption or any description that came with the photo. Ria said James told them he didn’t plan to post the photo and just accidentally included it with the other photos of them having drinks.

There was no caption or any description that came with the photo. Ria said James told them he didn’t plan to post the photo and just accidentally included it with the other photos of them having drinks.

James took it down immediately, but somebody already took screenshots of the photo and apparently sent it to Facebook pages which include Netizens Daily, Putaragis Ka and Pinoy Abroad TV.

“Two days after the incident, we already saw the photos being shared. I confronted him and we tried to message the Facebook pages explaining to them what really happened and also apologizing for it, and also requesting that the photo be deleted,” Ria said in Cebuano.

Two of the pages took down the post. But the one shared in Pinoy Abroad TV is still up as of yesterday afternoon.

“He is really apologetic of what happened. If they insist on putting him to jail, if they thought the child’s future will be ruined because of that incident, how much more if his father is imprisoned?” Ria added.

Rolly was not in their home when CDN visited yesterday. Ria said he was in school in a private university and could not be absent since he had an exam. He is currently enrolled in Grade 12 taking the Accountancy, Business and Management strand.

He is currently enrolled in Grade 12 taking the Accountancy, Business and Management strand.

But Rolly, Ria and James already met with the Gender and Development Office representatives of Barangay Ermita as well as the Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) on Tuesday afternoon. During the meeting, they explained in detail what happened. Rolly and James also wrote handmade letters of apology which they signed.

During the meeting, they explained in detail what happened. Rolly and James also wrote handmade letters of apology which they signed.

“I am asking for apology from the public, my partner and my child. I never expected that things will turn out this way. I hope you can still forgive me and give me another chance,” read Rolly’s letter in Cebuano.

A similar apology was also written by James.

However, City Hall’s DSWS is bent on making a full-blown investigation on the incident. DSWS head Lea Japson said their social worker is already conducting a thorough investigation on the incident.

But as of now, she said there is an 80 to 90 percent chance that formal charges will be filed against them in violation of Republic Act 7610 or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act.

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