Lawyers urge court to allow political prisoner to comfort her dying daughter

Baby River with grandmother Marites Asis (Photo courtesy of Kapatid)

“The movant [Nasino] thus prays that she be placed on a furlough so that she may be with her baby during her last days.”


MANILA – Lawyers of political prisoner Reina Mae Nasino filed today, Oct. 8, an urgent motion for her temporary release as her child is now in a very critical condition.

Lawyers from the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) appealed before Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 37 to allow Nasino to be reunited with her three-month-old baby, “if only to give her comfort during the last days of her brief life.”

According to the pediatrician, the baby’s lungs have succumbed to bacterial infection and are quickly deteriorating. She is no longer responding to medications and may die any moment now, the motion stated.

“The movant [Nasino] thus prays that she be placed on a furlough so that she may be with her baby during her last days,” the petition read. “With respect, the Honorable Court is urged to extend the kindness and compassion that the movant and her baby were denied when they were precipitately separated from each other and deprived of their basic right to breastfeed.”

The baby was separated from her mother a few weeks after she was born. The court denied Nasino’s petition to allow her to breastfeed and take care of her child for a year. On Aug. 23, the baby was fetched by her grandmother.

Deprived of breast milk, the baby fell ill several times since then. On Sept. 24, the baby was brought to the Philippine General Hospital after showing COVID-19 symptoms. She would later be diagnosed with acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Nasino’s lawyers invoked Article 3 of the Convention on the Rights of Child, to which the Philippines is a State Party. “The baby’s best interest shall be the primary consideration in all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, administrative authorities, legislative bodies, or, in this case, courts of law,” the lawyers cited.

The lawyers also said that Nasino is not a flight risk and does not have any intention of fleeing.

Nasino, along with two other activists, was arrested on Nov. 5, 2019 during the police raid of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)-Manila office. (

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