Fernandez couple apologize to Roxas

Gary and Lorita Fernandez, parents of the three remaining quintuplets born in April this year who received help from Senator Mar Roxas and his girlfriend Korina Sanchez, last night apologized to Roxas and Ms. Sanchez for criticisms labeled at them by some sectors after the Fernandez couple sought financial help for further medical treatment of one of the babies in a radio station last Tuesday.

In a letter to Roxas signed by Lorita Fernandez, the couple said they never criticized the senator and Ms. Sanchez but rather sought help from an anchor of a radio station because one of their children could be suffering from hydrocephalus.
"Kami pong mag-asawa ay humihingi ng paumanhin sa nangyaring kontrobersiya laban po sa inyo ngayon. Wala po kaming intensyon na siraan kayo (We apologize for the controversy we generated. We have no intention to besmirch your name)," said the couple in their letter to Roxas.
In response, Roxas said the couple had nothing to apologize for, saying he understood the impatience that couples like them undergo because of the extreme poverty they live in.
"Nalulungkot ako na talagang sa hirap ng buhay ngayon, maraming pamilya gaya ni Gary at Lorita ang kailangang bigyan ng tulong pinansyal (I feel sad that there are couples like Gary and Lorita who really need financial assistance because of their poverty)," Roxas said.

"Nakausap ko na sila Gary at Lori at nainitindihan nilang mas mabuting maturuan silang magtayo ng sariling kabuhayan kesa sa umasa na lang sa tulong ng iba (I have talked to Gary and Lori and they understood that our approach which is to help them gain their own livelihood is better than relying on help from others)," he added.
In their letter, the couple admitted they felt bad towards the social welfare officer assigned to assist them, thus they resorted to seeking help from a radio anchor, who in turn misinterpreted it as abandonment of the couple and their children despite all the assistance they already received.
"Kami po’y humingi ng tulong dahil kailangan po ng suporta ng mga bata … lalo na po sa pagpapagamot ni Marie Loralaine at Wenna Mavinia (We sought help for further support for our children .. especially for medication for Marie Loralaine and Wenna Mavinia)," the couple said.

"Wala po kaming masamang sinabi laban po sa inyo. Ang lahat ng negatibo ay pawang mga kumento (We did not say anything against you. All the negatives were just commentaries)” of the radio anchor, they added. “Alam po naming na sa lahat ng nilapitan naming nu’ng nanganak ako ay walang unang tumulong at nakinig kundi kayo. Kaya’t gusto pos ana naming kayo pasalamatan ng personal (We know that you were the only one who helped us immediately when I gave birth. That’s why we wanted to thank you personally)," Lorita said.
Roxas’ chief-of- staff, Atty. Blas Viterbo, said the senator assigned a social welfare officer to assist the couple after taking care of the hospitalization and medical care for the quintuplets, two of who died from sepsis despite extra medical attention and medication paid for by Roxas and Ms. Sanchez. Until now, sepsis is a common cause of death among Filipino babies born under similar circumstances of poor parents and multiple baby births.

The social welfare officer, Ms. Menchie Silvestre, had advised Roxas and Ms. Sanchez that it would be best to spare the Fernandez couple from more cash gifts and recommended that the couple be given livelihood training instead so they can raise their children without relying on financial help from others.

Roxas said he supports Ms. Silvestre’s advice in the handling of the couple, but assured them he continues to monitor their situation and will help them gain their own means of livelihood.
"Hindi ko sila pababayaan (I will take care of them)," he said.

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Kevin Ray N. Chua

Kevin Ray N. Chua is a 19 year-old blogger from Cebu City, Philippines and an IT Student at Cebu Institute of Technology.

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2 Responses So far
on August 28, 2009 at 7:54 AM  

Good that such issue was clarified. Was also surprised when I saw some blog putting the Senator in a bad light.

Kevin Ray
on August 29, 2009 at 11:33 AM  

Yup Janette. Mar's detractors are finding anything that they can throw against him, but this one has surely failed them to do so.

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