“There is no reason to deny her motion. If big names in politics were allowed furlough, the same should be accorded to a grieving mother whose only desire now is to have a last glimpse of her dead 3-month-old child.”
By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
MANILA — Political prisoner Reina Mae Nasino can now attend her daughter’s wake and burial after a local court granted her very urgent motion for furlough today, Oct. 13.
Judge Pauluno Quitoras Gallegos of the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 47 gave Nasino three days. This time, prosecutors did not oppose the motion.
The court order will be served tomorrow, Oct. 14 to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.
The court however, has laid three conditions: presentation of the death certificate; presentation of itinerary; and, for Nasino to shoulder the expenses for escorts.
Kapatid, the support group for families and friends of political prisoners hailed the decision. Fides Lim, the group’s spokesperson, thanked the court “for not failing her this time and for giving her the compassion that some other courts have not given her.”
“There is no reason to deny her motion. If big names in politics were allowed furlough, the same should be accorded to a grieving mother whose only desire now is to have a last glimpse of her dead 3-month-old child,” Lim said in a statement.
Lim said this decision of the court is most needed to console a grieving mother and to correct the injustice done to her and her child.
“From her arrest on November 5, 2019 to the day she lost her firstborn without seeing her alive one last time, Reina Mae undeniably grappled with a lot of pain. The courts failed her several times – to dismiss the fabricated and baseless case filed against her, to seek the Supreme Court’s intervention for the release of prisoners most at risk from the COVID-19 contagion, to stay with her child so she could take care of her,” Lim said.
Edre Olalia, president of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) also thanked “all those who pushed and helped to alleviate somehow a grievous wrong.”
River was only a month hold when the court separated her from her mother. She was born underweight. Nasino pleaded the court to let her take care of her child but was rejected twice.
Nasino is included in the petition to release at least 22 political prisoners on humanitarian grounds due to their vulnerability to COVID-19. The SC, however, only ordered the lower courts to make the necessary procedure for their temporary release.
“There will be time to take stock, undo what must be undone, do what needs to be done so this will never ever happen again,” Olalia said.
“And more time to seek justice on behalf of a young mother who will bury her firstborn who was taken away from her warm clutches because she was fighting for her future and many more others out there simply asking for equity and humanity,” he added.