MANILA, Philippines (4th UPDATE) – An American woman was caught at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 hiding a 6-day-old infant inside her belt bag on Wednesday morning, September 4.
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) identified the woman as 43-year-old Jennifer Talbot.
"Infant was hidden in the oversized belt bag and (Talbot) did not declare nor present (the infant) to the immigration inspector during departure formalities," said BI Deputy Spokesperson Melvin Mabulac.
Mabulac said personnel from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development arrived at the scene to handle the situation.
"Subjects already turned over to the National Bureau of Investigation," Mabulac said.
Manila International Airport Authority said in a statement that the baby was in "safe condition."
NBI Spokesperson Nick Suarez said "the baby was turned over to the DSWD."
MIAA General Manager Ed Monreal has ordered his security team “to establish the circumstances surrounding the alleged attempt of a female passenger to sneak out of the country a 6-day old male infant whom she reportedly kept inside a bag she was carrying," the MIAA said.
“The MIAA cannot issue any further statement at this time until the ongoing investigation is over,” it added.
In a statement on Friday, September 6, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said it has taken custody of the baby. The baby is temporarily staying at a DSWD Center for Children and provided with the "appropriate intervention and medical care."
"DSWD assures that it will continue to manage this case until its resolution, putting premium on the child’s best interest," the DSWD said. – with a report from Ralf Rivas/Rappler.com