Authorities here on Monday rescued a 10-year-old girl whose right forefinger was cut off by her grandmother after she allegedly stole P20 (S$0.56).
Supt. Laudemer Laude, Tagum City police chief, said they were coordinating with the city social welfare and development office for the possible filing of charges against the grandmother.
Laude said on Tuesday that their initial investigation showed that the grandmother cut off the child's finger last Wednesday (Apr. 19) in Apokon village.
Delia Monilla, a community leader, said the grandmother got angry at the girl for pilfering money.
"The grandmother said she was fed up with the girl for repeatedly stealing money. She said the child has already stolen about P7,000. The P20 was not the first," Monilla told a local radio. "As far as I know the child was not being neglected. She and her two other siblings are being fed well," she said. According to Monilla, the victim's mother is a Middle East-based worker. The child's father, who had left the family, is the son of the grandmother.
Neighbors said the child allegedly stole the money to buy bread.
Monilla said the girl's grandmother was the community's former treasurer.
Laude told Philippine Daily Inquirer the police rescued the child on Monday and has placed her in the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Arlene Semblante, provincial social welfare chief, said she would recommend to the Tagum City social welfare and development office and the city police to investigate the grandmother.
"We will take care of the child. If she has to be taken away from her grandmother's custody, we will recommend her to be under the provincial women and children shelter," Semblante said, adding she was nearly in tears upon seeing the picture of the child's mutilated index finger posted on Facebook.
"She must have been traumatized," Semblante said.