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Mother of dumped baby was raped
MANILA, Sept 16 (Agencies):
Published on 16 Sep. 2010 10:31 PM IST
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Alma Dagdagan Estrelles, the mother of the newborn baby boy found last Sunday in the trash bin of a Gulf Air jetliner, was raped several times by her Arab employer in Doha, and decided to dump her child for fear of reprisal from her husband, airport sources said yesterday.
The sources said Estrelles has two children, aged 9 and 5.
The sources also said Estrelles, 30, is a victim of human trafficking as she illegally left the country to get employed in the Middle East, originally in Qatar before going to Bahrain, where her flight originated.
The sources said when Estrelles got pregnant she decided not to return home. Estrelles changed her mind in the last month of her pregnancy. She decided not to give birth in her hometown, but somewhere else in the country, hoping that friends would help her get through the trauma of having an unwanted child.
On her way home aboard the plane last Sunday, Estrelles went into labor, went to the airplane’s lavatory near the tail-end section, and gave birth while sitting on the toilet bowl.
Bruises found in the head of the baby, named George Francis, confirmed the baby hit his head on the bowl, after which he was covered with toilet paper, placed in a small plastic bag and dumped in the trash bin.
Estrelles, of barangay Aninipa, Flora, Apayao Province, was brought to Manila at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. She was escorted by NBI agents.
NBI Director Magtanggol Gatdula said Estrelles had admitted to social workers that she is the mother.
“We look at her more of a victim, maybe of trafficking. Right now our concern is her health. Yesterday, she was in shock, but she is getting better now. Our concern is to make sure that she recovers,” he said. The NBI is still evaluating whether Estrelles will be charged with abandonment of a child, or violation of R.A. 9208 (Anti-Trafficking Act), Family Code and Revised Penal Code.
About 20 couples, including some from abroad, have offered to adopt the boy, she said.
Local media have speculated that the mother could be one of the many Filipino women who work as maids in the Middle East. About one in 10 Filipinos works abroad, many as domestic workers and laborers in the Middle East, to escape crushing poverty and unemployment at home.

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