Woman gets 6-year prison term for attempted child trafficking
posted 13 days ago  ·  
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A woman from Sorsogon province was recently sentenced to six years of straight imprisonment for attempted child trafficking involving an eight-day old baby in the capital town in 2018.

Jocelyn Cruzado, however, will not likely serve the jail term as her lawyer applied for her probation soon after, posting a cash bond of P36,000.

From the original charge of child trafficking filed before the Regional Trial Court, it was reduced to attempted child trafficking after Cruzado and the complainant, through their respective counsels, entered into a plea bargaining agreement.

RTC Branch 43 Presiding Judge Lelu P. Contreras counted in her favor the mitigating circumstances of plea of guilt and voluntary surrender.

Records of the case show that on June 8, 2018, the 22-year old complainant reported to the police that at 10 A.M. that day she left her baby under the care of the babysitter, Cruzado, a resident of Castilla, Sorsogon. When she returned home at 2 P.M., the baby and Cruzado were no longer there.

She told the police that a friend informed her that the woman was already on board a ferry traveling from Virac to Tabaco City.

Alerted by the Virac police, four police officers accosted Cruzado as she disembarked from the ferry. The woman said she had an agreement with the complainant to get the baby after birth.

Following Cruzado’s arrest, the baby was brought to the station and a local hospital before being brought back to the island.

The mother accused Cruzado of kidnapping her baby but on June 21, 2018 executed an affidavit of desistance, claiming that the incident was merely a result of misunderstanding and that she was no longer interested in prosecuting the kidnapping complaint.

A clarificatory hearing conducted by the Provincial Prosecution Office to determine the truth soon shed light on the incident.

It turned out that both the complainant and Cruzado were friends on facebook and agreed that the latter would take care of the baby in Sorsogon, with Cruzado to help in reimbursing the P50,000 the complainant’s mother sent in settling part of the hospital bill when she gave birth.

The complainant told the prosecutors that Cruzado wanted to borrow her child to present it to her husband, as she had pretended to be pregnant.

Even without a counter-affidavit from Cruzado, the prosecution office dismissed the kidnapping rap but filed the charge of child trafficking as she had engaged in trading and dealing with the infant in exchange for a promise to extend to the complainant P50,000 as financial assistance.


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