Court stands firm on ruling to separate political detainee mom and infant child
This photo taken June 16, 2020 shows Marites Asis, mother of detainee Reina Mae Asis Nasino, calling for the release of her pregnant daughter.
KAPATID/release
Court stands firm on ruling to separate political detainee mom and infant child
Kristine Joy Patag (Philstar.com) - August 6, 2020 - 2:02pm

MANILA, Philippines — A Manila court junked political detainee Reina Mae Nasino’s appeal to be allowed to stay with her infant child.

Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 20 threw out Nasino’s Motion for Reconsideration on its earlier ruling that ordered the infant “be turned over to her father or any relative, who could take care of her better.”

Nasino had earlier moved that she may be allowed to stay at the hospital or the prison nursery with her newborn daughter until the baby turns a year old.

The court, in junking her appeal, gave weight to the letter submitted by the officer-in-charge of the Manila City Jail Dormitory that said that they have no facility as a nursery for newborn babies.

The Manila City Jail Warden, in its letter-comment, said that Nasino and her child had been using a “former stage which was enclosed” to monitor the health conditions of pregnant, elderly and sickly persons deprived of liberty. It said that Nasino and her child cannot be allowed to use the room for a longer time as the health of other PDLs cannot be compromised.

The warden also noted a Bureau of Jail Management and Penology circular in 2010 that holds the infants born while the mother is in detention may be together for at most one month.

“The Female Dormitory has a heart for mothers and their babies, however BJMP also has policies and guidelines to be strictly implemented,” it added.

The warden also said noted the baby has been feeding on milk formula since July 3 and prison is not a place for a baby to stay especially amid the pandemic.

“In light of the letter-comment of the OIC Manila City Jail Female Dormitory, the Motion for Reconsideration of PDL Reina Mae Nasino is denied for being untenable,” the ruling penned by Presiding Judge Marivic Balisi-Umali read.

Kapatid: Pressure is on SC to rule on petition

Kapatid spokesperson Fides Lim said that the lower court standing firm on its ruling “steps up the pressure on the Supreme Court to act with exigency on the petition” political prisoners filed in April.

Nasino is one of the 22 political prisoners who asked the Supreme Court for temporary release on humanitarian grounds in this time of COVID-19 pandemic. But four months have since passed and the SC has yet to resolve their petition.

Kapatid is a support group for families and friends of political prisoners.

Lim stressed that Nasino should have been free of worry and fear for her and her child had the SC “promptly and positively resolved the petition.”

“As COVID-19 cases spiral, the conditions inside congested prisons all the more warrant the exigent intervention of the Supreme Court, especially for nursing mothers like Reina Mae who should at least be granted temporary freedom to care for their baby during this lethal pandemic,” Lim added.

She also said that a baby on mixed feeding, instead of sole breastfeeding, is not enough reason to sever ties between a mother and an infant.

KAPATID SUPREME COURT
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