26 June 2011

Case Against Abusive Doctor Filed After 6 Years

Child's Tears
It took six years for the Office of the Ombudsman to file a criminal case against a hospital chief for abusing a child. That’s right everyone, 6 years! If you are looking to the Ombudsman to resolve the cases of military personnel for corruption, then you are in for a long wait if we use the child abuse case as a baseline.

Chief of the Teresita L. Jalandoni Provincial Hospital (TLJPH), Dr. Ma. Estrella Ledesma, in Silay City, Negros Occidental was charged only recently for allegedly abusing then two-year old Gerard Joseph Sagansay way back in 2005. Justice delayed is definitely justice denied.

The boy, who could be turning 8 years old this year, might already have this impression that this is how slow justice is being processed in this country. On second thought, maybe this is already the fastest processing that the Office of Ombudsman can muster. This is so pathetic since we can already sense that the much overuse excused of, “we have loads of cases pending in our desk” or “we don’t have enough personnel in the office” will be used again.

Graft investigation and prosecution officer Ma. Concepcion Billones, filed the case only last7 June docketed as Criminal Case No. 8243 at the RTC Silay. She accused Dr. Ledesma of violating Section 10, Article VI of Republic Act 7610, or the “Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploration and Discrimination Act.

The charge sheet stated that on 1 July 2005, Ledesma allegedly abused Gerard Joseph Sagansay, then a two-year-old, by hitting him, locking him up in the comfort room of the TLJPH (known as Jose C. Locsin Memorial Hospital at the time), and spanking him with her sandals while uttering abusive words to him.

"Ledesma’s alleged acts debased, degraded, and demeaned the worth and dignity of the minor and this has damaged him as a human being," Billones alleged and that the boy's mother, Gemma Sagansay, a clerk at TLJPH, earlier filed charges against Ledesma.

If this is how brutal and abusive Dr. Ledesma is, she should been thrown in jail a long time ago. Why the long wait for charges to be filed? How many 2-year old children did she abuse since then?

Air-wasting-people like this should have not been allowed to practice medicine at all. There is a wide space available in the disputed area west of Palawan that could accommodate abusive doctors like her and it wouldn’t be hard to find somebody willing to pay for her one-way trip there.