Lady justice stands in front of the Philippine flag

Manila, Philippines – Filipinos are outraged due to the unfair treatment of an activist mother who was not able to visit her dying infant daughter while she’s in jail. 

Authorities arrested Reina Mae Nasino, an activist in 2019, during simultaneous raids against activists in the country.

Her infant daughter, River Nasino, died on October 9. She was three months old. 

Nasino carried her daughter in the womb while inside the Manila City Jail, said Rappler, an independent news organization. 

However, authorities separated the mother from her daughter after birth and reports of diarrhea.

Later on, the hospital discovered that the infant has respiratory problems. 

Nasino’s counsel from The National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) pleaded the court to reunite the two for a longer time at the hospital.

Another plea is to let the baby stay inside the jail with the provision of facilities for natal care. 

Nasino’s counsel hoped that the court would allow the mother to “express breastmilk” and have access to “clean lactation facilities” inside the jail. 

However, the court did not allow the pleadings.

On Wednesday, the court granted Nasino three days to visit the wake and burial of her daughter. 

Later on , the court shortened the visit to only two days due to a lack of personnel, per ABS-CBN News. 

A jailed mother's baby barely hanging on to life

People Are Outraged

Many people felt outraged because of the unfair treatment given to the mother and her infant daughter. 

A lot of people also compared the Nasino’s situation with other high-ranking officials in the country, who are either charged or guilty of crimes.

One of which is the former first lady of the country, Imelda Marcos.

The Court convicted her of graft but she stays a free person. 

In another case, a politician, Senator Bong Revilla, visited his ailing father in 2017

Revilla was in jail at that time for his trial for plunder. 

Why Nasino Is In Jail

Law enforcement authorities simultaneously raided offices and houses of activists in different cities in 2019 based on search warrants issued by a Quezon City Judge, Cecilyn Burgos Villavert. 

According to BBC, Nasino then didn’t know she was pregnant when authorities arrested her last year.

The soon to be mother then only discovered she’s pregnant with her daughter after a check-up in prison.

According to authorities, they suspect the activists of being members of the New People’s Army (NPA).

The NPA is the military arm of the leftist organization, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

However, rights groups condemned the action as a crackdown against activists to suppress their right to civic spaces. 

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