Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Mother of abandoned baby 'raped'

The baby boy was born on a flight from the Middle East to the Philippines (AP)

A Philippine woman who admitted giving birth to a baby on a flight and then leaving him in the rubbish on the plane claims she was raped by her employer.

The baby was found by a security guard at Manila's airport last Sunday in a rubbish bag unloaded from a Gulf Air flight from Bahrain. The bag apparently came from the plane's bathroom.

Representative Lani Mercado said she met the woman, and she told her that she had been raped by her employer while working as a maid in Qatar and became pregnant.

She said her employer's wife then forced her to return home, and she managed to hide her pregnancy and board a flight.

"She had labour pains in the plane," Ms Mercado said. "Then she gave birth."

Ms Mercado said the woman told her she abandoned the baby because she was afraid of what her family would say.

Ms Mercado said she met the woman at Manila's National Bureau of Investigation headquarters to try and help her.

The woman gave birth while the plane was approaching Manila, according to the bureau's chief, Magtanggol Gatdula. The woman has been shown a picture of the child, and "she's very eager to see her baby", he said.

The woman left in June last year to work in Qatar for three years, and her family was surprised when she suddenly returned home, said police Inspector Jeffrey Vicente, quoting her husband in northern Apayao province with whom she has two children.

The six-pound, nine-ounce 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 been found.

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