“If my baby were still alive, I would not mind even if I just had a little time with her. I know that once I am free, I would be with her. Three hours is not enough for our last time together.” – Andrea Rosal
By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
MANILA — The Pasig City Regional Trial Court Branch 266 denied the petition of Andrea Rosal to attend the funeral of her newborn daughter.
Rosal, however, was allowed to attend the wake of her daughter Diona Andrea at the Iglesia Filipina Independiente on May 21, 2014, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
“Wherefore, in the interest of compassionate justice, the accused is allowed to to attend the wake of her baby daughter who now lies at the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) National Cathedral, Taft Avenue, Manila, 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. On May 21, 2014, provided that she is escorted with sufficient number of jail guards who shall immediately return her to the Philippine General Hospital or to her detention cell upon clearance from the said hospital,” Toribio E. Ilao Jr said in the court order.
“However, the accused is not allowed to attend to the burial of her daughter on May 22, 2014 at Ibaan, Batangas for security reasons apart from her present medical condition,” the court order read.
Rosal, daughter of the late spokesman of the Communist Party of the Philippines Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal, was arrested on Mar. 27 and was charged with murder and kidnapping.
She gave birth at the Philippine General Hospital on May 17, following the court order granting her petition for hospitalization. Her baby, however, died the following day.
Maria Kristina Conti of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyer, one of Rosal’s lawyers, found the decision disappointing.
When asked by media if she found the court decision humanitarian enough, Conti said, “humanitarian, yes. But is it humanitarian enough? I am not sure.”
“We take offense that she has been branded as high risk detainee despite lack of proof. Their allegations have been unsubstantiated and are refuted in our motion to dismiss [the cases],” Conti said.
‘High risk detainee’
During the hearing, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology countered Rosal’s petition to attend the funeral in Ibaan, Batangas because she is categorized as “high risk detainee” and that she is allegedly a top official of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Southern Tagalog region.
Ephraim Cortez of the NUPL said the BJMP brought her back and forth from the detention center to the hospital and “yet she is considered a high risk (detainee)?”
Cortez said that jail guards gambled the life of the child and that they never considered the risk it entailed for a pregnant woman who badly needed medical attention.
“The best evidence for this is that the child is now dead,” Cortez added.
Conti said “the defense does not seek sympathy from this court. But rather this motion arises from indignation not only for the recent treatment of Andrea but also her illegal arrest and detention.”
Asked about how she feels upon hearing the court decision, Andrea Rosal replied, “If my baby were still alive, I would not mind even if I just had a little time with her. I know that once I am free, I would be with her. Three hours is not enough for our last time together.”