Mother of boy on a leash apologizes
MANILA, Philippines – The mother of the boy on a leash said she is sorry for posting her child’s photos on Facebook.
In the images that went viral online, her naked son had a leash around the neck and looked like he was being fed with dog food. He is about 3 to 4 years old, according to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). (READ: Stop circulating photo of child on leash – DSWD)
After receiving flak from netizens, the 23-year-old mother from Bataan apologized and asked the public not to judge her.
“Nanghihingi po ako ng tawad sa ginawa ko. Mahal na mahal ko po yung anak [ko] na yan. Kahit magtanong kayo sa barangay sa amin. Kilala po ako na maarugang ina po ako,” she told GMA News Tuesday night, May 26. (I apologize for what I've done. I love my son very much. You can ask residents in our village. I'm known for being a caring mother.)
She explained it was just for fun, saying she took the photos after a relative placed a shoe lace around the neck of her son, who then started acting like their pet dogs.
“Kaisa-isa ko po yang lalaki. Unang anak ko po iyan. Kaya para sa akin po, talagang mahalaga po siya sa akin. Hindi ko po talaga intensyon na masama yun,” the mother said. (He's my only son. He's my first child, so he is very important to me. I did not intend to harm him.)
In a phone interview with Rappler, DSWD Social Marketing Service Director Joel Espejo clarified that DSWD will still assess the psychological condition of the mother despite her apology.
“While [the apology] is a good indication, she still has to undergo the assessment and evaluation of our social worker and psychologist,” Espejo said.
“(If she is suffering from) psychological imbalance, she has to undergo counseling and psychosocial intervention to be administered by DSWD,” Espejo said.
DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman and Justice Secretary Leila De Lima earlier said the mother may face child abuse charges in violation of the Violence against Women and Children (VAWC) Act and Republic Act No 7610 or the Anti-Child Abuse Law.
“That is not absolute,” Espejo clarified, however.
“We still have to wait for the result of the assessment and the evaluation to be done by our DSWD Field Office Region 3,” said Espejo.
The young boy is currently under DSWD custody and is staying at the Reception and Study Center for Children (RSCC) in Bataan. – Rappler.com
Editor's note: We previously used a background file photo of a Reception and Study Center for Children in Zamboanga, which had nothing to do with the story. We apologize for the error and have made the necessary correction.