THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has arrested a baby seller and a registered nurse for child trafficking.
The baby seller, identified as April Rose Ramirez, was reportedly selling the child of a married woman with another man. The nurse, Catherine Lagustan, wanted to buy a child to prove to her boyfriend that he got her pregnant.
Lagustan took to social media to search for a baby. She found the Facebook page Babies home.ph and closed the deal with Ramirez.
She reportedly shouldered Ramirez’s and child’s airfare from Cagayan De Oro to Manila. The agreement was the child will be bought for P30,000 and Ramirez will get a fee of P3,500.
However, when they arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Sept. 10, Lagustan found out that the baby has a cleft palate. Though still willing to pay the agreed amount, she refused to take the child. As the child was crying incessantly, a certain Rose Antiquina volunteered to help calm the baby.
Lagustan and Ramirez left the baby to Antiquina while they bought a return ticket to Cagayan de Oro. Lagustan also gave Ramirez P26,000. Lagustan later went back to the place where they left Antiquina and the child. But when Ramirez did not return, Antiquina and Lagustan went to the Airport Police Department (APD) for assistance.
It turned out that Ramirez was also looking for them and they all met at the APD.
The airport police became suspicious that this incident involves child trafficking and decided to report the matter to the NBI.
NBI International Airport Investigation Division (NBI-IAID) Chief Manuel Dimaano said Ramirez and Lagustan have been charged before the Pasay City Prosecutor’s Office with child trafficking in violation of Republic Act 7610, or the Anti-Child Abuse Law.
Also named as their co-respondent is the child’s mother who hails from Cagayan de Oro.
Dimaano said the offense is non-bailable and carries a penalty ranging from reclusion temporal (12 to 20 years imprisonment) to reclusion perpetua (20 to 40 years imprisonment).
Meanwhile, the NBI official said the baby has been turned over to the care of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.