A Philippine woman has acknowledged
giving birth to a baby on a flight and then abandoning him in the trash on
board the plane.
The baby was found by a security
guard at Manila’s airport last Sunday in a trash bag unloaded from a Gulf Air
flight from Bahrain. The trash apparently came from the plane’s bathroom.
Politician Lani Mercado said the
woman explained to her why she had abandoned the baby. She said the story was
heart-wrenching and urged the public not to judge the woman harshly.
Mercado, who serves on legislative
committees on children and women, refused to provide other details of the
meeting, saying government investigators had asked her not to divulge
information about the woman. It was not clear why she was allowed to meet with
the woman, but lawmakers often get involved in high-profile cases.
The 30-year-old woman was located
Wednesday in the remote northern province of Apayao after investigators set out
to find the person who sat in a bloodstained seat on the plane.
Authorities brought her to Manila
for questioning and testing. They did not release her name.
Social Welfare Secretary Dinky
Soliman, who has custody of the baby cautioned that it is still not certain
whether the woman is the mother.
She earlier said authorities plan
to conduct DNA tests on the woman and the baby and that it would take at least
a month to establish whether she is the parent.
The mother could face criminal
charges for abandoning her child, Soliman said.
The 3kg baby – still attached to
the placenta – was found wrapped in tissue paper. Airport officials said the
baby, already bluish in colour, may have died within a few minutes had he not
The baby, temporarily named George
Francis after Gulf Air’s flight code GF, is now fine but underwent an X-ray
because of two bumps on his head, welfare officer Thelsa Biolena said. The
results have not yet been released.
About 20 couples, including some
from abroad, have offered to adopt the boy, she said.