“Amid the pandemic and the modified enhanced community quarantine, authorities are pushing for the heartless and inhuman act of separating a baby from her only source of nutrition and protection at this early stage of her life.”
By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
MANILA – Political prisoner Reina Mae Nasino’s baby has been separated from her after the Manila Regional Trial Court rejected her appeal to let her take care of the baby for a year.
Today, Aug. 13, Manila City Jail Female Dorm warden, Chief Inspector Ignacia Monteron ordered the removal of Baby River from the jail facility. The baby was fetched by her grandmother Marites Asis this afternoon.
“It is really painful that they are being separated. I can feel what my daughter is feeling,” Asis said in a statement.
The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers called the separation of Nasino and her daughter as the “height of heartlessness.”
“Amid the pandemic and the modified enhanced community quarantine, authorities are pushing for the heartless and inhuman act of separating a baby from her only source of nutrition and protection at this early stage of her life,” the NUPL said in a statement.
“The irony is the government is celebrating Breastfeeding Awareness Month this August under Section 12 of RA 11028 or the Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009. Under this law, all government agencies have the duty to uphold children’s right to their mothers’ breastmilk,” the lawyers’ group added.
The court ruled that lactation facilities which will enable Nasino to express milk are not the concern of the jail.
The NUPL added that under the Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Mag-Nanay Act of 2018 ot RA 11148, mother and child should “not be separated for early breastfeeding initiation and exclusive breastfeeding, which is part of the strengthened integrated strategy for maternal, neonatal, child health and nutrition in the first 1,000 days of life.”
Meanwhile, Asis asked the Supreme Court to decide on the petition filed last April for the humanitarian release of 22 political prisoners who are elderly and medically vulnerable to the COVID-19. Nasino is one of the 22 political prisoners in the said petition.