( dpa )- A dead fetus was found dumped in a restroom at the Philippine presidential palace on Thursday, prompting officials to launch an investigation to find the mother.
The fetus, wrapped in a plastic bag, was placed inside a toilet bowl in a women's restroom at the New Executive Building at sprawling the Malacanang presidential palace compound.
A janitor found the plastic bag while cleaning the restroom, according to Brigadier General Romeo Prestoza , head of the Presidential Security Group.
"We are saddened by this incident, which is now being investigated," presidential spokesman Ignacio Bunye said in a statement.
"We hold every human life sacred," he added. "We pray for the soul of this innocent child and hope that whoever was responsible for this realizes the gravity of this deed and seek atonement."
Abortion is illegal in the predominantly Catholic Philippines. Despite the ban, officials estimate that some 400,000 abortions are still performed in the country every year.