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Hospital faces new raps for 'illegal detention'

(UPDATE) TWO more complainants have come forward to ask for help in filing a case against a private hospital in the city of Valenzuela for alleged illegal detention, Mayor Wes Gatchalian said.

Gatchalian told reporters about the new complainants after Regional Trial Court Branch 109 Judge Marita Iris Laqui-Genilo issued an arrest warrant for the three personnel of the ACE Medical Center in Barangay Malanday.

The complainants — Nerizza Safra and Cheryluvic Ignacio — said they decided to approach the mayor upon learning about the complaint filed by other complainants.

Safra, who gave birth to a premature baby in 2017, stayed in the hospital together with her newborn for over a month. She said her bill reached nearly P500,000, of which she could only pay P200,000. The hospital rejected her request that she issue a promissory note for the balance.

She sought assistance from the Public Attorney's Office, which issued a demand letter to the hospital. Only then was Safra and her daughter allowed to go home.

Failing to settle the remaining bill fully, the hospital did not register the birth certificate of her daughter.

Ignacio was hospitalized after she tested positive for Covid-19 in October 2021.


After receiving a discharge order on her 11th day in the hospital, her bill stood at P275,374.47.

Ignacio's HMO (health maintenance organization) only covered P125,000. She said she was forced to remain in the hospital because it refused to accept a promissory note. She stayed in the hospital and waited until a family member helped her settle the bill.

Gatchalian vowed to ensure the case against the hospital staff would push through.

Newly installed police chief Col. Allan Umipig said they would immediately serve the arrest warrants to the hospital staff, identified as Maria Cristina Eugenio, Raymond Masaganda and Samuel de los Santos, who could post bail for their temporary liberty.


Last month, the mayor accompanied the first batch of complainants — Lovery Magtangob and Rachel Alvaro — who filed a case against the trio for alleged illegal detention, among others, before the City Prosecutor's Office.

Prosecutors found probable cause for grave coercion