By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
MANILA – The mother of political prisoner Reina Mae Nasino and their lawyers personally filed today, Oct. 12, a very urgent motion for furlough so that Nasino could visit the wake of her dead baby, River.
Three-month old Baby River died on Oct. 9 from acute respiratory disease, away from her mother’s embrace.
Nasino’s mother Marites Asis was assisted by the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) and filed the very urgent motion at Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 37. The urgent motion was electronically filed on Oct. 9, hours before the baby died.
In her motion, Nasino pleaded to the court to immediately give her “the decent and humane chance to be with her baby daughter, whom she was not able to comfort and hold while in sickbed up to her dying hours, for the last time, and to properly grieve over her tragic and untimely passing.”
Prior to this, the NUPL also filed an urgent motion on Oct. 8 for Nasino’s temporary release as River was already in critical condition.
On the same day, the NUPL also sent a letter to Supreme Court Chief Justice Diosdado M. Peralta regarding the circumstances of Nasino and her daughter.
“We are compelled solely by the circumstances to humbly bring this matter to your Honor’s attention for your information and for any appropriate action as you deem necessary and warranted,” the letter read.
River was born underweight and was immediately separated from her mother a month after she was born.
Deprived of breast milk and her mother’s care, River got ill several times since the separation. She was admitted to the Philippine General Hospital on Sept. 24 after showing symptoms of COVID-19 and was later diagnosed with pneumonia.
Nasino filed a petition to the court twice to let her take care of River for at least a year but the court rejected Nasino’s plea.
Nasino and two other activists were arrested in November 2019 during a police raid of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Manila office. Her lawyers maintained that the firearms allegedly found under her bed were planted.