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Medic not yet off the hook in baby’s death

Medic not yet off the hook in baby’s death

By DJ Yap
Last updated 00:54am (Mla time) 07/28/2006

Published on Page A23 of the July 28, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

THE 21-YEAR-OLD WOMAN WHOSE newborn baby suffocated to death underneath a diaper she had on while at a Quezon City hospital is still unsure whether or not to press charges against the gynecologist who attended to her, according to police.

“The doctor was a family friend, so they would probably be able to weigh things only after the wake,” said Supt. Procopio Lipana, chief of the Quezon City police criminal investigation division.

Police earlier said Dr. Glody Tolentino, a consultant at Sta. Teresita General Hospital on D. Tuazon Street, could be held liable for the death of the baby girl who was born earlier than expected and found dead underneath an adult diaper on Tuesday.

Tolentino, who also holds clinic at St. Luke’s Medical Center, had put on the diaper on 21-year-old Charlotte Hernandez hours before her delivery.

The Inquirer had been trying to reach Tolentino at her St. Luke’s clinic for comment since Wednesday, but her secretary Jane Roque said she had not reported for work since the incident.

The doctor also could not be contacted at Sta. Teresita, which she only visits when she has patients confined there, according to the hospital staff.

If the Hernandez family decides not to press charges, the police are willing to file the case in their stead, according to lawyer Rogelio Yalong, legal officer of the CID.

He said the charge should be reckless imprudence resulting in homicide, contrary to previous police statements that the case would be infanticide.

“Infanticide means there’s an intent to kill the child, which is not true in this case,” Yalong said.

The baby would have been Hernandez’s first child, police said. The infant’s father is currently working in Dubai.

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