Baby, parents go home, attend probe on suspects
FOUR days after losing and then regaining their baby, Jonathan and Jayvee Celadenia went home with their newborn son Prince Niño at 4 p.m. yesterday.
Charges of kidnapping and serious illegal detention were filed with the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office against 24-year-old call center agent Melissa Londres for stealing the baby from the couple at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC).
Her boyfriend, Philip Winfred Almeria, was included for allegedly conspiring with her.
Both arrested suspects were given 10 days to file counter affidavits in their defense.
In the glare of the media spotlight after her arrest on Tuesday, Londres admitted taking the baby as a desperate bid to keep her boyfriend from leaving her.
But yesterday during the preliminary investigation, she stayed silent.
Her lawyer Edgardo Montenegro advised her not to talk to reporters.
“We have the right to answer the charges. We need to study the case first and prepare our defenses,” Montenegro said.
Montenegro who belongs to the Ruiz, Payot, and Montenegro law firm were retained by Londres’ father for her legal defense.
Police said Londres posed as a nurse, buying white scrubs and wearing a face mask, in a well-laid plan to find a baby she could take home from the VSMMC.
“Dako jud kaayo akong pasalamat kang Senior Santo Niño kay napasakaan na jud og kaso ang suspect (I am very thankful to Senior Santo Niño because charges has been filed already),” Prince Niño’s father Jonathan said.
His wife and son were discharged at noon and the couple later went to court to attend the filing of charges against Londres and Almeria.
He said he just wanted to go home and cook some papayas for his latating wife since the fruit would help stimulate breast milk.
In their joint affidavit, Senior Insp. Delfin Bontuyan, SPO2 Jackson Rivera and SPO2 Roel Leyson said they received information last Tuesday about Londres’s whereabouts from a “concerned citizen” who called the attention of a media practitioner.
They said they went to barangay Lahug in Cebu City to verify the report.
“We were able to locate the house where the suspect was hiding. As we neared the house, we noticed that there were persons inside attending to a baby who was crying,” the policemen said.
When Londres opened the door, the policemen went inside and saw the two suspects with the baby. Bontuyan said Almeria told them not to touch the baby.
“Bisag ato pa na ipa-DNA. Ipaklaro na ang ilang pamasangil (Do not touch our baby. We’re willing to undergo DNA testing to prove that he’s out son. Be careful of what you’re accusing us of),” said the boyfriend.
Police said they considered Almeria, also a call center agent, an accomplice to the crime since he claimed to be the baby’s father.
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