Manila Bishop Pabillo to offer Mass for Baby River
MANILA, Philippines — Bishop Broderick Pabillo, the Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, is set to offer Mass for Baby River, the late daughter of political prisoner Reina Mae Nasino, said Kapatid.
In a statement on Sunday, Kapatid — an organization composed of relatives of political detainees — said Pabillo himself will offer the Mass on November 17, to mark the 40th day of Baby River’s death.
The group said Nasino’s mother Marites Asis and Kapatid Metro Manila coordinator Fe Simporios whose husband was arrested with Nasino have discussed the issue with Pabillo, who then vowed to hold the Mass for Baby River.
“Siya mismo ang magmimisa,” Asis said after Pabillo’s decision. “Nakakaiyak po talaga dahil kapag nagsasalita kami, pinakikinggan niya kami. Grabe po dahil para akong nangumpisal sa kaniya ng aking mga nararamdaman tungkol sa aking anak at yumaong apo.”
(He will offer the Mass himself. Speaking to him (Pabillo) made me cry because he really listened to us. It was like making a confession to him about what I feel about the treatment given to my daughter and my dead grandchild.)
Pabillo is also expected to issue a letter to other churches under the Archdiocese of Manila’s care to ask that Masses be offered for Baby River. Meanwhile, the Mass to be offered by Pabillo is expected to be held at the Sto. Niño de Tondo Parish in Tondo, Manila.
“What we are feeling are beyond words. We thank Bishop Broderick Pabillo for listening and choosing to do something about the desperate plight of political prisoner Reina Mae Nasino and her child,” Kapatid spokesperson Fides Lim said.
“Bishop Pabillo’s gesture of taking the family’s words with deep sincerity means a lot when you’re at the lowest point in your life. His action strengthens us all in our continuing fight for justice, not only for baby River and Reina Mae but all political prisoners who chose to fight for those in the margins despite the dangers of doing so under a government that silences dissent,” she added.
Nasino’s case drew controversy after the courts did not allow her to stay with her daughter, who was born while she was in detention. She was arrested for alleged illegal possession of firearms and explosives during a police raid in November 2019.
Nasino tried pleading with the courts to be given temporary release so that she could attend to her daughter, but the courts did not oblige. Even her attempts to be temporarily released as Baby River was being treated at the Philippine General Hospital’s intensive care unit was not acted on.
After Baby River passed away, Nasino was only given several hours over three days to attend the wake instead of the original three-day furlough.
During Baby River’s burial, the funeral march to the Manila North Cemetery was also interrupted.
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