Police searching a house in Rizal for firearms were shocked to discover a seven-month-old human foetus preserved in a plastic container.
Local police chief Superintendent Guillermo Eleazar said his officers conducted a raid on 37-year-old Randy Picardal’s house after reports of illegal gun possession.
As well as finding a loaded .38-calibre gun and an improvised firearm, the police discovered something much more disturbing — a plastic tub containing a foetus. They also found two sacks of bloodied adult diapers, forceps and specimens of the makabuhay (pro-life) plant, which is believed to induce abortions.
Speaking after the raid yesterday (April 29), Picardal claimed to be a faith healer and said he used the foetus to heal sick people remotely.
“That’s used for good,” he said. “For example, when you heal someone from far away, say their name, say it to the foetus.”
Picardal told police that he had bought the foetus from his sister in Samar.
Officers also found photographs of Picardal’s past patients, who were all pictured with crosses drawn on their foreheads.
Neighbours told ABS-CBN News that many women — including schoolgirls — were frequent visitors to Picardal’s house.
In a separate incident last night, a 13-year-old who was crab fishing in the Iloilo River on Visayas island found a six-month old foetus wrapped in a plastic bag.
Abortion remains illegal in the Philippines, but hundreds of thousands of women turn to traditional healers and untrained practitioners.
According to a report by The Guardian, about 610,000 illegal abortions are conducted in the Philippines every year, with three women dying every day from post-abortion complications.
The Philippines’ Reproductive Health law was enacted in 2012, after much protest from the Catholic Church. The law guarantees access to contraception and sex education but is yet to be fully implemented.
The police will charge Picardal for illegal possession of firearms and will investigate the alleged abortion services.