We cried a River

fringes-logoAs a mother myself, I cannot begin to fathom how Andrea felt, and how Reina feels now. I have been struggling to find the right words. But there are, simply, no words enough to aptly describe the pain, the rage, the emptiness, and despair.

By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
Bulatlat.com

MANILA – On Friday evening, Bulatlat received confirmation from human rights lawyers that the three-month-old baby girl of political prisoner Reina Mae Nasino has died, away from the warmth of her mother who remains unjustly detained over trumped-up charges.

The news of River’s passing brought back a lot of memories from former political prisoner Andrea Rosal’s struggle – from her illegal arrest, to the difficult situation she had to endure while in detention, and losing her baby a day after giving birth.

Baby River with her grandmother. (Photo from Kapatid Facebook page.)

I remember standing next to Andrea, daughter of the late spokesman of the Communist Party of the Philippines, as she hugged and kissed baby Diona Andrea for the last time. She wept silently, murmuring sweet words only the heavens can hear. I took out my phone and snapped a photo of what would be one of the only two photos ever to have recorded this moment – a moment I thought would never happen again.

But it did.

Yesterday afternoon, lawyers and colleagues were doing their last ditch efforts to find ways to free Reina, even for just a while. Short enough to see her baby, and long enough to feel her warmth. It never happened. She was denied to hold her baby for the last time and bid her goodbye.

As a mother myself, I cannot begin to fathom how Andrea felt, and how Reina feels now. I have been struggling to find the right words. But there are, simply, no words enough to aptly describe the pain, the rage, the emptiness, and despair. But we have to find them because we need to write such dark evening in the country’s history, when the heartless and the evil prevailed for a short, bitter moment. But surely, they should know that a day of reckoning will come and there will be no more Rivers and Diona Andreas.

We cried a River tonight. You and Baby Diona Andrea will always be remembered. (https://www.bulatlat.com)

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