Thursday, December 17, 2009

Teodoro visits Maguindanao

by Christine F. Herrera

Original Story:

Barely a week after martial law was lifted in Maguindanao, former Defense secretary Gilberto Teodoro looked into the health care status of the third poorest province of Mindanao and found a year-old baby stricken with hydrocephalus and requiring immediate medical attention.

Appalled by the deteriorating condition of the child, Teodoro took upon himself to bring the child Mohamiden Kusain to Manila for surgery.

The ruling party’s presidential bet, Teodoro said he would shoulder the hospitalization of the child. He also had her parents, Samareddin, 20, and Sarajane, 19, flown to Manila to look after the child while undergoing treatment.

“It’s sad. The infant should have been taken care of immediately,” Teodoro said. “The infant will get all the treatment she needs to get back to normal.”

Kusain is one of the thousands of anonymous children of Mindanao displaced by decades of violence and conflict, he said.

Following the lifting of martial law over the weekend, Teodoro said he visited Maguindanao to try to create a broad consensus among civil society groups and leaders so that the province would rise up from the tragedy, which was the massacre of 57 people, including 30 journalists.

President Arroyo said she had placed Maguindanao under martial law to prevent the conflict between the political rivals Ampatuan and Mangudadatu clans from developing into a full-scale civil war that could have engulfed the entire island.

Original Story:

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