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Taped baby’s mama denies signing settlement

By: Michelle Joy L. Padayhag July 02,2014 - 05:22 AM

Hospital lawyer to show check, signed voucher for P15,000 she received as ‘assistance’

Ryan Noval and mother show both documents at a press conference. (CDN PHOTO/ JUNJIE MENDOZA)

A bizarre twist in the case of baby Yohannes has focused attention on whether a formal settlement between the infant’s mother and hospital officials is genuine.

“I didn’t sign that,” said Jasmine Janice Badocdoc, 31, at a press conference yesterday, a day after a copy of the June 27 “Settlement of Dispute”  was received by the Department of Health (DOH) in Region 7 from the private hospital.

She held up a sheet of paper with three sample signatures of her own, and a copy of the settlement.

The document says she and the Cebu Puericulture Center and Maternity House Inc. agreed to “put an end to dispute” and have “no more right or cause against each other” that could be the basis of lawsuit now or later over the taping of the baby’s mouth in the nursery.

The baby’s father Ryan Noval stood by her side, calling the settlement a “ploy” to discredit the couple.

Noval said they would go ahead with plans to sue the hospital, and were just waiting for their family lawyer Heidi Orbiso to arrive from Manila on Thursday.

Compare three speciment signatures of Jasmine Janice Badocdoc, written on the spot yesterday, and the signed June 27 amicable settlement in her name. (CDN PHOTO/ JUNJIE MENDOZA)

In a separate interview, the hospital’s lawyer Cornelio Mercado said the case was turning “into a circus” with denials that could be easily disproved by records and testimonies.

Mercado said he was present with two hospital officials, a doctor and the head nurse in the board room on Friday, June 27 when Badocdoc showed up alone about 2 p.m. to sign the settlement after she had “initiated two prior meetings.”

Mercado said the baby’s mother also signed a voucher and endorsed a check for about P15,000 as “financial assistance” from the maternity hospital.

He said she chose to receive the amount in cash, representing a reimbursement of the hospital bill she had paid during her delivery of baby Yohannes in the hospital in May.

Mercado said he was ready to show these documents in public since the mother was denying her role in the settlement.

Hospital president Florencia Streegan had asked Jasmine during the meeting if the baby’s father was aware of the settlement and was told “no”

“I still hope they will honor their commitment and that they acted in good faith,” said Mercado.

“She (Jasmine) was the one who contacted me and initiated two meetings held in the board room.  She kept saying she wanted closure in the case.”

He said that if the mother insists that her name was forged, she has to go to court and file a complaint of falsification.

The terms of the amicable settlement would bind the mother and the hospital from taking any action – administrative, civil, criminal, or special law – arising from the taped-baby case.

The parents of the baby are not married.

They were very pleased, however, with the results of the inter-agency panel which investigated their complaint of child abuse.

The panel’s final report released on Monday said the private hospital was liable for negligence and medical malpractice after nurses taped the mouth of baby Yohannes, a newborn, to “quiet” him.

The use of a pacifier, held in place by tape, was cited as proof that the hospital was not complying with proper breastfeeding procedures.  It also said there was a deliberate cover-up of the lapse, with nurses not telling who was responsible.

Yesterday, members of the inter-agency panel gathered to sign a supplementary report with recommendations for the hospital to shape up  its standards of health care. The report will be submitted to the Council for the Welfare of the Children (CWC).

In a closed-door meeting, with Badocdoc and Noval present, they also discussed the settlement.

On the spot, the baby’s mother was asked to give three specimen signatures on a blank sheet of paper.

“We have officially closed our investigation regarding the taping of baby Yohannes’ mouth,” said Dante Jadman of the Commission on Human Rights later in a press conference that followed.

He said it was up to the parents if they wanted to take any other action after this.

Jadman and  Alan Felix Macaraya Jr., the legal counsel of the National Telecommunications (NTC-7) appeared convinced that the signatures were different.

“You can really say that there is really a difference between the specimen and on the signed document,” said Macaraya.

“It really depends on the lawyer of Jasmine Badocdoc if they would file a complaint for falsification or libel because what happened affected the reputation of Jasmine,” Macaraya told the reporters.

Badocdoc confirmed that she went to the hospital on June 27, but for a different purpose.

“I only signed the logbook which shows that I claimed the certificate of live birth of my son,” she said.

She flatly denied receiving ‘financial assistance’ from the hospital.

“Regarding the five figure (amount), that is too cheap for our integrity and parang nasasayang lang ng lahat ng pinaghirapan namin,” said Badocdoc in a calm voice.

“It is a delaying tactic by the hospital to divert the the attention of the public because they know that the resolution would be released.”

“No amount of settlement can buy off what happened to my baby,” she said.

An e-mail response from hospital lawyer Cornelio Mercado to Cebu Daily News challenged her account.

“It was Jasmine who initiated the prior meetings, narrated her domestic problems, and wanted the settlement done and over on Friday, 27 June 2014,” Mercado wrote.

“The settlement deed expressly and impliedly revealed what truly happened.  After Mr. Ryan Noval learned of the settlement, Jasmine said that she did not sign any document, or the deed was fabricated,” he said.

“Suffice it to state that the document speaks for itself.   Mr. Noval knows not whereof he speaks from when he claimed (without specifics) that the settlement deed “discredits them.”

Mercado said he was present during the signing of the agreement with Streegan, the president of the board of trustees; vice president Dr. Iris Jakosalem, chief nurse Elena Jumao-as and a pediatrician.

The baby’s father said he was getting both support and criticism from the public.

“There are some haters. There are opinionated people who don’t know us. They don’t know the pain that I am going through.”

Noval explained that finances are everybody’s problem. “We are not rich. It happened that I grew up in United States (US),” he said.

“They don’t know anything and if you would ask us for the truth, we will give you the truth,” Noval added.

Asked how was their relationship as a couple, Noval said, “Relationships are not perfect. I am not perfect and she is not perfect.”

Even if they are not married, he said they are committed to each other.

“When you are in the family, not many men can become a family man. That’s why, regardless with the hardships and imperfections, we still live together,”  he said./ With Eileen G. Mangubat


Related Stories:

Hospital officials, mother of taped baby sign ‘no blame’ agreement

Gov’t probers find hospital ‘negligent’ for using tape, pacifier for boy’s mouth

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TAGS: Cebu City, Cebu Puericulture Center and Maternity House Inc., falsification, Rye Kido, taped baby, Yohannes

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