Kapatid said a simple Google search will reveal that longer furloughs and privileges were granted by the courts and prison agencies to big-time politicians. Thus, there is no reason why Reina Mae Nasino cannot be allowed to grieve and be with her daughter for just mere three days.
By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
MANILA – The Bureau of Jail and Management (BJMP) is asking the court to shorten the three-day furlough granted to political prisoner Reina Mae Nasino, citing lack of personnel.
Lawyers from the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) received an order from Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 47 that another hearing is being set regarding Nasino’s furlough, which was granted earlier today, Oct. 13.
In a letter, Maria Ignacia A. Monteron, Manila City Jail Female Dormitory (MCJFD) officer-in-charge, is asking the court to lessen the visitation of Nasino to River’s wake. Instead of three days, Monteron is proposing that Nasino will only visit the wake on Oct. 14, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and attend the burial on Oct. 16.
NUPL President Edre Olalia slammed Monteron’s move, saying it cannot “supersede and defy a clear and executory order of a court of law.”
“With the resources of the government, does it need an army to escort a grieving mother in deep bereavement and treat her like a hardened armed and dangerous serial criminal?” Olalia said in a statement.
“There seems to be no end to the jail authorities’ callousness and indifference to a grieving mother’s agony,” the NUPL said in a statement.
The NUPL said it was Monteron who moved to separate the baby from Nasino and denied her request to express breastmilk and be given access to lactation facilities in jail, “despite the clear mandate of laws recognizing mother and child’s right to breastfeed.”
River was born underweight and was only a month old when she was separated from her mother. Deprived of her mother’s care, River fell ill and died of acute respiratory disease on Oct. 9.
Kapatid, an organization of families and supporters of political prisoners, appealed to BJMP authorities led by Gen. Allan Iral to provide necessary support to Monteron.
The group argued that the BJMP and the government granted longer days of furlough for former Presidents Joseph Estrada and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Kapatid said a simple Google search will reveal that longer furloughs and privileges were granted by the courts and prison agencies to big-time politicians. Thus, there is no reason why Nasino cannot be allowed to grieve and be with her daughter for just mere three days.
“A court order has already been issued. Why does a jail warden refuse to comply with it?” the group asked.
The NUPL vowed to oppose what they call a “flimsy excuse” that can be remedied by asking personnel augmentation to the BJMP.
“Whereas the MCJFD’s personnel constraints is not without a solution, Ina’s opportunity to her child for the last time, once lost, will be irretrievably gone,” NUPL said.
Nasino and two other activists were arrested on November 5, 2019 during a police raid of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Manila office. Her lawyers maintained that the firearms allegedly found under her bed were planted.