Political prisoner’s mother worried about daughter’s condition

Marites Asis outside the female dormitory of the Manila City Jail.

“There is no reason especially why the prison authorities will not allow us to send food, flowers and solace to Reina Mae at this lowest point in her life.”

By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
Bulatlat.com

MANILA – “I want to see may daughter even just for a glance.”

This is the plea of Marites Asis, mother of political prisoner Reina Mae Nasino to the jail authorities of the Manila City Jail Female Dorm. She came to visit her daughter on on Oct. 28 upon learning that Nasino returned to her cell after being isolated for less than two weeks.

Asis brought food, health kits and flowers for Nasino and two other women political prisoners, Cora Agovida and Alma Moran. However, the warden did not allow the visit, even sending in the food and health kits, according to Kapatid, a support group of families and friends of political prisoners.

“There is no reason especially why the prison authorities will not allow us to send food, flowers and solace to Reina Mae at this lowest point in her life,” said Kapatid Spokesperson Fides Lim in a statement.

This was not the case in the male dorm, according to Kapatid. Jail officers allowed the entry of health kits, except for food, for the political prisoners in the male dorm.

Nasino was in isolation for less than two weeks after her furlough. Kapatid earlier expressed their concern as they were informed that Nasino would be isolated for 21 days instead of 14 days.

According to her counsel, Katherine Panguban of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL), Nasino was returned to her regular cell last Monday night, Oct. 26. She underwent swab test on Friday, Oct. 23 and the result came out negative, Panguban said during an online forum on Tuesday, Oct. 27. However, she said that jail authorities did not show her proof that she indeed tested negative.

Lim meanwhile said that they cannot help but worry about the condition of Nasino who, as they described, experienced extraordinary cruelty.

“Even now, her lawyers are put on loudspeaker when they talk to her and inquire about her condition. This is a violation of the right of privileged communication between a client and counsel, which leads us to ask—why are jail authorities doing this?” Lim said.

Nasino, and fellow activists Alma Moran and Ram Carlo Bautista were arrested after a raid of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Manila office in Tondo on Nov. 5, 2019. She delivered a baby girl last July 1 but the court did not allow her to take care of her baby up to 12 months. Deprived of mother’s milk, baby River got sick and died of respiratory illness last Oct. 9. ()

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