Groups reiterate call to free political prisoner after her sick baby dies
MANILA, Philippines — Different groups reiterated their call on the Supreme Court (SC) to release political prisoner Reina Mae Nasino after her three-month-old daughter died on Friday, in order to correct the injustice done to her.
Kapatid, a group of individuals whose relatives are political prisoners, said that the court should allow Nasino to grieve with her family during this trying time.
Earlier, it was reported that Nasino’s baby River, who was confined at the Intensive Care Unit of the Philippine General Hospital, died due to Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome.
River was born last July while Nasino was detained at the Manila City Jail. But despite their pleas for the infant to stay with her mother, the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 20 decided to separate the two.
“There are no words to describe the anguish that Reina Mae is feeling now. She was denied of her right to take care of her child and to see her at the hospital while still alive and was struggling for a chance to survive,” Kapatid said.
“We assert our call for the compassionate release of Reina Mae from prison to correct this blatant injustice done to her and her baby who was never given a chance to live. We ask the court and the government to allow Reina Mae to grieve with her family in this period in her life,” it added.
Women’s rights advocate Gabriela party-list on the other hand asked whether the court and the administration are not bothered over not allowing a mother to see her dying daughter.
READ: Detainee’s 3-month-old baby in critical condition, group bats for mom-daughter reunion
“No words can suffice for this monstrous lack of compassion by this rotten system for the baby and her mother. Baby River was separated by the court on her third week. Various groups appealed this decision but the Manila Regional Trial Court decided to keep them separated,” Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas said.
“When the baby exhibited COVID-19 symptoms and was rushed to the hospital, the court callously stood its ground against the release of Nasino. Up to the baby’s dying minutes, the court did not budge,” she adde.
Nasino was among the activists arrested in different raids conducted by the police on non-government organizations’ offices in 2019. During the raid at Bagong Alyansang Makabayan’s office in Manila last November 2019, she was already one month pregnant.
Under the search warrant was issued by Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 89 Executive Judge Cecilyn Burgos-Villavert, police officers supposedly found explosives and firearms in the offices. However, Nasino stressed that these were merely planted evidence.
During that time, party-list group Bayan Muna also questioned why National Capital Region Police Office chief Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas talked with Villavert before a raid in Bacolod.
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