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Reunion hope for bin baby.

A FILIPINO mother who left her newborn baby for dead after dumping him in a toilet bin on a Gulf Air flight is set to be reunited with the child. Alma Estrellas, whose identity has finally been revealed, is undergoing therapy in the Philippines after earlier expressing a desire to take back the child.

She reportedly delivered the baby in a toilet on September 12 during a flight from Bahrain to Manila and dumped him in the bin.

Named George Francis after the Gulf Air flight code GF, the boy, whose umbilical cord was still attached, was discovered by a cleaner after the plane landed.

The mother-of-three, from the island of Luzon in the northern Philippines, was taken into custody after she came forward alleging she had been raped by her employer in Qatar.

She is now in the care of the Manila-based Philippines Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

"She is in the care of the DSWD and we are trying to help her overcome this personal trauma so she can be reunited with her baby," said national capital region director Thelsa Biolena.

"We have no idea when this will happen because we are continuing to carry out the psycho-social intervention process.

"We believe the woman's testimony that she was raped, but we have not discussed the possibility of taking criminal action against the alleged rapist."

The new details emerged as the DSWD yesterday lifted a media ban on coverage of the case.

In a statement sent to the GDN, the government department said the 30-year-old married mother and her child were doing well.

"He (George Francis) remains active, with good sucking reflex and has no manifestation of any abnormal signs and symptoms other than the soft tissue swelling on the left parietal scalp area.

"He has gained weight from 3.5kg to 3.6kg. He is fed with both mother's milk and an infant's formula."

Officials said the baby, who underwent a CT scan, suffered no lasting damage as a result of the trauma of being dumped in the bin.

They said Ms Estrellas was also physically fit and that no abnormalities had been found during physical examinations.

"She relates well with other clients and staff and is compliant to the rules and regulations of the centre," said the statement.

The statement confirmed that the mother had repeated her desire to "see baby George" and that "she strongly believes that God wants him to live for them to see each other".

The DSWD also said a social worker's report conducted earlier this month, concluded that the mother's husband had forgiven his wife for dumping the child and was willing to adopt George Francis.

The report said the Estrellas family had also relayed a desire to travel to Manila to visit the baby.

Ms Biolena failed to rule out the possibility of criminal charges being brought against the mother, but said the matter had not yet been discussed.

Copyright 2009 Gulf Daily News

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Oct 20, 2010
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