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Nasino visits Baby River’s wake wrapped in PPE suit, shackled in handcuffs

/ 09:28 PM October 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Political detainee Reina Mae Nasino on Wednesday afternoon arrived at her three-month-old daughter’s wake wrapped in a PPE suit and shackled in handcuffs. Her supposed three-straight day with her daughter was cut short to two days for three hours each.

The Manila Court amended its Tuesday order following a letter from Manila City Jail Officer-In-Charge Maria Ignacia Monteron that they do not have enough workforce to provide an escort for Nasino’s three-day furlough.

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She said while they share the sadness of losing baby River and sympathize with the grieving mother, “we cannot compromise the security and safety of other PDL (Persons Deprived of Liberty).”

Monteron said only five escorts from BJMP were provided for Nasino. The police only augmented it.

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However, the police only stayed outside the funeral home. Three BJMP personnel guarded Nasino inside while the others guarded the hallway.

For most of the duration of her stay, she was handcuffed.

Kapatid’s Fides Lim confronted her guards: “Remove the handcuffs. Shame on you!”

Not enough space to grieve for her daughter, Nasino remained handcuffed when she stood near her daughter’s coffin. Her aunt even fed her because she cannot move her hands. For a short while, the guards removed her coffin so that she could raise her fist while holding her daughter’s photo on the other hand.

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A commotion ensued after her escorts prevented her from answering questions from the media and for attempting to whisk her away to detention earlier than the time set by the court.

Human rights group Kapatid called as a “gross injustice” and “heartless” what has happened to Nasino–from forcibly separating the mother and child to now preventing her from being with her child for the last time.

“Now, a mere warden can thwart a court order, invoking the same reasons for lack of personnel and so-called health concerns. With all that Reina Mae has been through, that court order of three days is not even enough consolation,” Kapatid said.

National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) President Atty. Edre Olalia said, “security and health reasons obviously apply only to the least, last and lost in society than to the privileged and powerful.” He was referring to government officials granted furlough to attend a daughter’s wedding, the graduation of a son, mother’s birthday, periodic check-up, and spend Christmas at home.

“We will be watching closely prison officials when they give again the red carpet and pampering to a parade of those who feel they have more rights and entitlements because they grieve differently than ordinary people who are not favored,” he added. [ac]

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TAGS: Baby River, Furlough, Human rights, Manila city jail, Reina Mae Nasino
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