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Two teary-eyed moms recount painful experience with GHI in Senate Hearing

Two mothers whose children were previously under the custody of Gentle Hands Inc. (GHI) narrated their harrowing stories and experiences on the refusal of the privately-run childcare facility to release their children during the fact-finding hearing of the Senate Committee on Women, Family Relations, and Gender Equality on Wednesday (July 5).

Monina Roxas told the Senate committee that the Quezon City-based orphanage refused to return her three children despite the GHI’s receipt of her Parenting Capability Assessment Report (PCAR) issued by the Pasig City Social Welfare and Development Office.

A PCAR is a document issued by the LGU’s social welfare office that certifies the capability of a parent to perform parental roles and responsibilities to their children.

Roxas, who was not able to control her tears while recalling her painful experience, recalled that while her children were inside the orphanage, she was prohibited by the GHI to visit them.

“Bago ko po maipasok ang mga anak ko doon, may usapan po kami na pwede pong dumalaw tuwing Huwebes… Noong naiwan na po ang mga anak ko doon, dumalaw po ako bandang mga December [2019] kasi nga po may policy po sila na three months na kailangan makabisita po. Dumalaw po ako noong December, hindi po ako in-allow ni Ma’am Charity na dumalaw,” Roxas said.

(Before my children were admitted there, we had a discussion that I could visit every Thursday… When my children were there, I visited around December [2019] because they have a policy that I have to visit within three months. I visited in December, Ma’am Charity did not allow me to visit.)

“Simula po noong December 2019 to September 2021, hindi ko po nakita ang mga anak ko,” a teary-eyed Roxas pointed out.

(I did not see my children from December 2019 to September 2021.)

Melanie Marzan, a single mother, also shared her experiences with GHI. She was recently reunited with her 20-month old baby, Baby Boy Marzan, through the help of the DSWD’s National Capital Region field office.

Baby Boy Marzan was among the more than 100 children who were taken by the DSWD from the GHI after the Department found various violations in the orphanage that led to the issuance of Cease-and-Desist Orders (CDOs) on May 22 and June 13, this year.

Marzan, who also cried before she can speak before senators, narrated that she placed her son in the temporary custody of GHI since she was unable to take care of him due to her third pregnancy.

A teary-eyed Marzan narrated that while her son was inside the orphanage, she was prohibited by the GHI to visit him.

“The time that I tried to visit my son, they restricted me. In fact, there is one social worker… he even told me na kahit humarap kami sa korte, hindi ko makukuha yung anak ko (even if we go to court, I cannot take back my son). It was very alarming for me na sasabihan mo ako na ng ganyan (to tell me that),” Marzan said.

Roxas and Marzan were among the mothers who already filed kidnapping cases against GHI for its refusal to return the children to their custody.

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