‘Sorry, not sorry’: Pialago apologizes for just a portion of ‘drama-serye’ remark on Baby River’s burial
MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) spokesperson Celine Pialago on Monday apologized to those who thought she was being “too insensitive” to the plight of mothers who lost a child, but said that she “won’t apologize” for saying that detained activist mom Reina Mae Nasino deserved the over-the-top security detail that attended the burial of her daughter, Baby River.
Pialago became a hot topic on social media for her Facebook post on Sunday where she said that supporters of Nasino are turning her plight into a “drama serye” (television drama).
“Wala pong problema sa pag-aapologize. Number 1 po, ‘yung pag-aapologize lalo na po doon sa mga nanay din na nawalan, na ang tingin po nila I was too insensitive doon sa naging paghihinagpis nila noon, noong mga nakaraan, ‘yung mga histories po nila, ‘yun ho, ang bagay na ‘yun I would like to apologize lalo na po doon sa mga nakakarelate po sa sitwasyon po ni Ms. [Reina],” she said in an interview with ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo.
(There is no problem with apologizing. I would like to apologize to mothers who also lost their babies who thought my comment was too insensitive, especially to those who can relate to the situation of Ms. Reina.)
“Doon naman po sa pamilya, kung mag-a-apologize po ako sa salita na ‘drama serye’ sa paghihinagpis niya bilang isang ina, I am sorry. But for who you (Nasino) are, kung sino ka, kung bakit ka maraming security, that I won’t apologize,” she added.
(I am sorry to the family over my “drama serye” remark if they thought I was referring to her suffering as a mother. But for who you are, for why you had a lot of security, that I won’t apologize.)
Pialago also directly addressed Nasino, saying she did not mean to attack her grief when she mentioned the term “drama-serye” in the lines as with the loss of Baby River.
“(F)or the drama serye quote, and quote na ang akala mo ay tinutuligsa kita bilang isang nagluluksang ina, that I am sorry. But for the rest of my post, hindi po [ako magso-sorry],” she said.
(But for the drama serye quote that you thought I was attacking you as a suffering mother, that I am sorry. But for the rest of my post, I will not say sorry.)
Baby River died on October 9 while Nasino remained in detention at the female dormitory of the Manila City Jail. Her daughter was buried at the Manila North Cemetery on Friday, with critics raising concerns on how the burial was conducted and lambasting the strong presence of police and personnel of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology to escort Nasino.
Nasino, 23, and two other activists were arrested at the Tondo, Manila office of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan in November 2019 and were charged with illegal possession of firearms and explosives, a non-bailable offense. At the time of her arrest, she learned that she was one-month regnant.
She also insisted that the charges were trumped up and that the evidence recovered from them were planted.
Pialago, however, explaining she has “sources,” said the public should first check the background of Nasino before blaming the government on why she had to have several security escorts during the wake and burial of her daughter.
“Yung mga tao po kasi na nakikita natin sa social media na hindi po kasi nila alam ang sinasabi nila which is challenging them also to check the background of the person bago i-blame sa government kung bakit tight ‘yung security that time. I am speaking as a reservist, hindi naman po as spokesperson of MMDA,” she said.
(Those people in social media who don’t know what they are saying are challenged to check the background of the person before blaming the government on why the security had to be tight that time. I am speaking as a reservist, not as MMDA spokesperson.)
Pialago enlisted as a Philippine Air Force reservist.
Pialago also explained that some bashers have misinterpreted her “drama serye” remark.
“‘Yung first two sentence [of the Facebook post], leave it as it is pero ang gusto kong i-highlight ay ‘yung salitang ‘drama. I think ‘yung mga nagagalit o ‘yung mga bashers sa social media, ‘yung mga na-offend, ang tingin nila doon sa drama ay ‘yung paghihinagpis ng ina na ‘yun ang tinutukoy ko. But actually, what I am pointing out during that time ay ‘yung mga tao na nananamantala sa sitwasyon ni Ms. [Reina].
(The first two sentences leave it as it is but what I want to highlight is the word “drama.” I think those who were angry or offended and the bashers on social media thought I was referring to Nasino’s suffering as a mother. But actually, what I am pointing out during that time are people who take advantage of her situation.)
“Hindi po ito ‘yung paghihinagpis ng isang ina, kasi ‘yung iba po ang tingin ay inaatake ko ang pagkawala ng anak ni Ms. [Reina] which is hindi naman po ganun. Ang gusto po nating i-point out doon sa ating post, kina-capitalize po ng ibang grupo, sinasamantala po ‘yung sitwasyon para ma-highlight kung anumang gusto nila,” she insisted.
(This is not about the suffering of a mother, as some think I was attacking her loss of her daughter, which is not the case. What I wanted to point out is other groups are capitalizing on the issue to highlight something that they want to highlight.)
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