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Detained activist Nasino files criminal and administrative raps vs cops, jailers
Heavily guarded Reina Mae Nasino looks at her 3-month-old daughter as she lays her to rest at the Manila North Cemetery on October 16, 2020. Allowed just three hours out of jail, the grieving mother remained handcuffed during the funeral.
KAPATID/release

Detained activist Nasino files criminal and administrative raps vs cops, jailers

Kristine Joy Patag (Philstar.com) - December 2, 2020 - 2:10pm

MANILA, Philippines — Jailed activist Reina Mae Nasino on Wednesday filed criminal and administrative complaints against several officers of the Manila Police District and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology over their treatment of the grieving mother through Baby River's wake and burial.

Nasino, through her counsels from the National Union of Peoples Lawyers, filed a complaint-affidavit before the Office of the Ombudsman accusing Police BGen Rolando Fernandez Miranda, director of the Manila Police District, Jail Director Allan Iral, BJMP chief, and Jail Inspector Ignacia Monteron, officer in charge of the Manila City Jail Female Dormitory of violating the Anti-Torture Act of 2009.

At least five jail officers, 15 police officers and several other unnamed cops are included as respondents in the complaint.

The police and jail officers are also accused of violating Article 235 of the Revised Penal Code or the maltreatment of prisoners. Jail officials Iral and Monteron face additional complaints for violating RA 10028 or the Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009

The filing comes after Nasino and her lawyers asked the Supreme Court to dismiss Manila court judge Marivic Balisi-Umali over her “conscious indifference” to her case.

In her complaint-affidavit, Nasino narrated Monteron’s opposition to their motion to allow her to be with her baby for a year—letters to the Manila court that were never given to their legal team—and to the initial three-day furlough for Baby River’s wake.

Nasino also cited the sheer number of officers that guarded her during the six-hour furlough for the wake and burial, despite claims that the BJMP is understaffed.

READ: 'Gross injustice' as 'heartless' execs, court give jailed activist 6 hours to mourn dead child

“Despite the fact that my case is still being tried in court, I feel like I have already been adjudged guilty and punished accordingly. For the respondents, it was not enough for me to suffer the terrible loss of my child and for my family to be disrespected in their grief. They had to publicly oppress me during my child’s funeral and burial and violate, at the same time, the basic rights of our sympathizers,” she told the Ombudsman.

“Thus, respondents should be held to account for their heartlessness, inordinate and unconscionable acts that caused me untold pain and suffering and which has scandalized broad and diverse sectors of Philippine society and even the international community, save regrettably for some insensitive, tactless and remorseless being,” she added.

Sheer number of escorts

Nasino recalled that on October 14, when she was allowed three hours to visit Baby River’s wake, she was flanked by almost 50 uniformed officers, five of whom were from the Manila City Jail Female Dormitory while others are from the police.

“Given their sheer number, my escorts from the BJMP and the PNP overcrowded my child’s wake. They stood side by side and refused to observe social distancing, in contravention of existing health protocols and even the trial court’s strict orders,” she said.

RELATED: Sanctions urged against BJMP personnel for blocking media access to Nasino

Nasino also narrated that on Baby River’s burial, she was again surrounded by dozens jail officers and heavily armed police.

“Under the stifling heat, I stood in my PPE in front of baby River’s remains. I was shackled the entire time, unable to lift a bottle of water to my own lips and wipe my own tears,” she said.

Nasino said the “inhumane acts of respondents” against her fall under mental and psychological torture under RA 9745.

READ: Still in cuffs, jailed activist buries baby born while behind bars

Monteron’s opposition

Nasino also said Monteron should be charged for violation of the Anti-Torture Act of 2009 over her acts inside the jail and the trial court, where the jail official advocated to sepaate her from Baby River.

“Respondent Monteron put up excuses for her failure to fulfil her obligations as a duty-bearer with regard to our right to breastfeed. Disregarding the best interests of baby River especially amid a pandemic is a deliberate and aggravated treatment or punishment,” she said.

Nasino stressed: “The foregoing maltreatment, disrespect of my deceased child, and wrongful interference with her funeral and burial all indicate intent on the part of the respondents to inflict psychological or mental harm, force, violence, threat or intimidation and demean or degrade my human dignity.”

NATIONAL UNION OF PEOPLES LAWYERS OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN
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