“We pray that Judge Paulino Gallegos will find (it) in his heart to reduce their bail to a reasonable and fair amount.”
By DANIEL ASIDO
MANILA – Political prisoners support group Kapatid is asking for donations to help send the ‘Tondo 3’ home before Christmas after their bail plea was granted by a local court.
Last December 12, Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 47 Presiding Judge Paulino Gallegos granted activists Reina Mae Nasino, Alma Moran, and Ram Carlo Bautista’s petition for bail with a total amount of P1.41 million (US$25,067)after the prosecutors failed to prove that the evidence against the three is strong.
Read: Court grants bail to Baby River’s mom, 2 activists
Nasino and Moran are asked to pay P420,000 ($7,520) each for the two charges against them, while Bautista is asked to pay P570,000 ($10,205.85)for the three charges against him.
Kapatid questioned the amount of the bail, calling it an “injustice” given that the activists come from poor families who would find it difficult to secure the amount.
“On behalf of the families of [Tondo 3], we appeal to the court to immediately reduce the gargantuan amount it imposed that is far beyond their capacity to pay and impairs the justness of its decision,” Kapatid Spokesperson Fides Lim said.
Kapatid compared the bail amount to the P300,000 ($5,371.50) bail posted by former first lady Imelda Marcos after she was convicted by the Sandiganbayan for using her government position to maintain Swiss bank accounts while her husband was in office.
“We pray that Judge Paulino Gallegos will find it in his heart to reduce their bail to a reasonable and fair amount especially considering that their case is baseless and awaiting final dismissal. Bring them home before Christmas,” she added.
Nasino, Moran and Bautista were arrested in February 2019 during the raid of the Tondo District office of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan. The raid was conducted based on a warrant issued by Quezon City Executive Judge Cecilyn Burgos-Villavert whom human rights groups refer to as a “one-person factory of defective warrants.”
Read: Office of Bayan-Manila raided, 3 activists nabbed
Last August 31, the Court of Appeals (CA) invalidated the search warrant issued by Burgos-Villavert for “failure to meet the standards of a valid search warrant.” Because of this, the CA’s 12th Division, in its decision, said that “all evidence procured by virtue thereof are deemed inadmissible.”
Of the three, Nasino became known because of the abuse that she experienced after giving birth to her daughter, River Emmanuelle, while in detention. The three-month old infant River died weeks after she was separated from her mother. Much worse, the original 36-hour furlough for Nasino to attend the wake of her baby was shortened to six hours, and then during the funeral, the jail guards took the baby’s body.
Read: Manila court denies mother’s plea to be with newborn
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Read: #JusticeForBabyRiver: Netizens mourn, rage against “inhumane” treatment of grieving mother
Read: Until the last minute, political prisoner Reina Mae Nasino denied of ‘proper mourning’
Read: Lawyers decry ‘cruel, inhumane, degrading treatment of Ina Nasino
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Karapatan is calling for donations for the three activists’ bail money. Donations can be sent through GCash (Account: 09355229709) or through its BPI account (Account Number: 3909504626). (RTS, RVO)