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Court grants jailed activist Nasino 3-day furlough for wake, burial of Baby River

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com
Court grants jailed activist Nasino 3-day furlough for wake, burial of Baby River
Marites Asis, mother of political prisoner Reina Mae Asis, burst into tears after the Manila court granted their furlough to allow her daughter to visit the wake and burial of three month old Baby River.
JUCRA pool photo

MANILA, Philippines (Update 2,  9:56 a.m.) — A Manila court has granted detained activist Reina Mae Nasino’s plea for temporary liberty to attend her three-month-old daughter’s wake and burial.

The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, Nasino’s legal counsels, said that the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 47 on Monday granted Nasino a three-day continuous furlough to visit River’s wake and attend her burial.

Lawyer Kathy Panguban said that the furlough is subject to certain conditions like the submission of River’s death certificate and the provision for escorts from the Manila City Jail.

They will also furnish the Manila court with Nasino's itinerary while on furlough.

Kapatid, a political prisoner support and advoacy group, meanwhile said that the court order will be served on Wednesday by sheriff to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.

Nasino, 23 and a first-time mom, gave birth to River on July 1. She carried River in her womb while serving her preventive imprisonment in the Manila City Jail. River was born underweight.

The Manila RTC Branch 20 had ordered them separated when River was a month old.

On September 24, River was brought to the hospital for diarrhea and fever. She had not left the hospital since.

River died on Friday, 8:50 p.m., without reuniting with her mother. Nasino's urgent plea for furlough filed late afternoon that day remained unheard.

Kapatid: The courts failed her

Presidential Harry Roque on Monday stressed that the decisions to separate Nasino from her baby as well as to keep her in custody were made by the court and not the executive branch.

"That incident is really saddening but the president cannot do anything about it," Roque said in Filipino at a press briefing.

"That falls within the jurisdiction of the court. The decision lies wholly with the regional trial court and the regional trial court has ruled. We respect that decision and the executive will implement that decision," he added in English.

Vice President Leni Robredo supported the call for Nasino’s temporary release so that she can be with her family. "This is the least we could do for a mother who lost her daughter too soon and under these painful circumstances," she said in a statement.

Kapatid spokesperson Fides Lim meanwhile thanked the court its action and called for the dismissal of the illegal possession of firearms and explosives case against Nasino.

"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.

Nasino is one of the 22 political prisoners at-risk of contracting the coronavirus who ran to the SC to seek their temporary liberty in April. During their wait for the SC’s ruling, Nasino gave birth and was separated from her one-month old baby.

READ: Baby River, Enrile's release and the long wait on political prisoners' plea

The SC, in its ruling, treated the petition as application for bail and recognizance and ordered the courts hearing the cases against the petitioners to resolve the issues with utmost dispatch.

NATIONAL UNION OF PEOPLES LAWYERS

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