The denial of health care can be considered an act that impaired Andrea’s free will or degraded her human dignity under RA 9745 or the Anti-Torture Act of 2009.”– Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Emmi de Jesus
By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
MANILA — Progressive party-list groups filed House Bill 1178, urging the House of Representatives Committee on Human Rights to investigate possible violations of the rights of Andrea Rosal that may have caused the death of her newborn daughter.
“The reported denial of immediate medical attention given Andrea’s advanced pregnant state runs counter to the State’s affirmation of women’s human rights and its avowed duty under international and domestic laws, particularly under Republic Act No. 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women, to respect, protect and fulfill women’s human rights, which includes, among others, the right of the mother to reproductive health,” Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Luz Ilagan said.
Rosal, daughter of the late spokesperson of the Communist Party of the Philippines Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal, was arrested on Mar. 27, 2014. She was charged with kidnapping and murder, which she denied in media interviews.
Then seven-month pregnant Rosal was detained at Camp Bagong Diwa, where, she said, she was deprived of due medical attention. During the last few months of her pregnancy, she opted to sleep on the floor than the third deck of the bed bunk to which she was assigned to sleep.
Rosal gave birth to Diona Andrea on May 17. The baby, however, died the following day.
“Pregnant women in their third trimester is in need of special care and her request for an electric fan given that she was detained during Metro Manila’s rising heat spell was not capricious but was perfunctorily denied for a flimsy excuse that the facility’s electric bill is high,” Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Emmi de Jesus said.
The resolution was filed in time for the observance of the International Day of Action for Women’s Health.
In a statement, Gabriela Women’s Party said the “resolution highlighted the apparent inaction on her verbalized need for medical attention despite her complaints of premature contractions. Rosal was ordered by the courts to be sent to the Philippine General Hospital but this was unduly delayed at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), where officials kept telling her there were no available rooms.”
De Jesus said the denial of much-needed medical services to the distressed expectant mother also violates the right “to ensure that the human rights of all persons, including suspects, detainees and prisoners are respected at all times.
“No person placed under investigation or held in custody of any person in authority or, agent of a person in authority shall be subjected to physical, psychological or mental harm, force, violence, threat or intimidation. The denial of health care can be considered an act that impaired Andrea’s free will or degraded her human dignity under RA 9745 or the Anti-Torture Act of 2009,” De Jesus said.
Gabriela Women’s Party said the resolution would also like to seek if there was violation of Republic Act 7438 or the Act Defining Certain Rights Of Person Arrested, Detained Or Under Custodial Investigation As Well As The Duties Of The Arresting, Detaining, And Investigating Officers. The said law read that a person arrested or detained would be allowed visits by medical doctors.