Court starts hearing case of American woman who tried to smuggle a baby out of PH

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 12) — The Pasay City Regional Trial Court has begun hearing the case of an American woman who is suspected of trying to smuggle out an infant from the country.

Speaking to CNN Philippines On the Record Thursday, Atty. Ruel Dugayon, Executive Director of the International Airport Investigation Division of the National Bureau of Investigation, said the hearing started on Wednesday.

He did not say, however, what issues were discussed.

Jennifer Talbot's is facing cases of attempted trafficking in persons and attempt to commit trafficking.

When asked if the US embassy had extended any assistance for Talbot, Dugayon said, "Bago namin finile yung kaso, kinontact na rin namin yung US embassy regarding dun sa American citizen. Ang ginawa lang naman nila parang kinontact lang nila si Jennifer nagpoprovide lang sila ng list ng law firms na pwedeng mag-assist sa kanya."

[Translate: Before we filed the case, we contacted the US embassy regarding the American citizen. All they did was contact Jennifer and provided a list of law firms that could assist her.]

Dugayon also said Talbot's lawyer was not able to atttend the hearing, but was assisted by a court-assigned lawyer from the Public Attorney's Office.

Talbot is detained at the Pasay City Jail, but Dugayon said "balita namin, nilalakad na niya yung bail niya [we heard she was working on her bail]."

Should Talbot make bail, Dugayon said she will not be allowed to leave the country.

Talbot was arrested on September 4 after she was caught at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport bringing out a six-day old baby. She claimed she was the child's aunt, but authorities did not believe her. She was also unable to provide any documents on the baby.

Dugayon said Talbot told them she wanted to bring the baby to the US to have a blessing and become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.