Manila court separates barely 3-week-old baby from detainee mother | Inquirer News

Manila court separates barely 3-week-old baby from detainee mother

/ 01:35 PM July 22, 2020

Reina Mae Nasino

Political detainee Reina Mae Nasino and her newborn child. Photo from Kapatid PID (FILE)

MANILA, Philippines — The Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) has decided to separate a newborn child from her mother who is considered a political detainee.

In a two-page order, the Manila RTC Branch 20 ruled that the child of Reina Mae Nasino be turned over to her father or any relative who could take care of her better.


“The jail does not have sufficient facility for the care of the baby,” read the order of Presiding Judge Marivic Balisi-Umali.


Nasino gave birth to a baby girl last July 1. She was discharged after 48 hours from Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital.

In her motion, she urged the court to allow her to stay at the hospital or at least at the prison’s nursery inside the Manila City Jail Female Dormitory with her daughter until the child reaches one year of age.

Her motion also mentioned the “rooming in” as a national policy to encourage breastfeeding for infants. Breastmilk, they explained has been recognized for its health advantages and essential benefits which is crucial especial at a time that the country is fighting a pandemic.

The Manila City Jail’s Officer-in-Charge of the Jail Female Dormitory said that it only has 64 personnel, some of which are under home quarantine thus, it cannot escort Nasino to the hospital for 12 months.

But the prosecution, in its comment, suggested that the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology’s Health Service Office can provide “breastfeeding female inmates with ample privacy.”

The court, in denying Nasino’s plea said her request for a lavatory for hand washing, a cooling facility for expressed breast milk, and an outlet for electrical breast pumps be best referred to the local government unit or appropriate government agency.


Nasino is one of the three activists arrested in November last year when she was a month pregnant. Last April, she joined 22 other petitioners composed of high-risk inmates calling for the Supreme Court to allow their temporary release on bail or on recognizance citing the continuous spread of the virus, especially in congested jail facilities.

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TAGS: Activists, BJMP, COVID-19, Nasino, Rooming-in

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