Manila court dismisses all charges vs Nasino, 2 others

Manila court dismisses all charges vs Nasino, 2 others
Protesters hold a rally in celebration of International Human Rights day near Malacanang Palace in Manila on December 10,2020.
AFP / Maria Tan

MANILA, Philippines —  Reina Mae Nasino, an activist whose three-month-old child died while she was in detention, has been acquitted of all charges related to illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

The Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 47 issued a resolution on July 17, granting the acquittal of Nasino and two other companions, namely Ram Carlo Bautista and Alma Moran, due to insufficient evidence.

The resolution was made publicly available on Thursday.

Presiding Judge John Benedict Medina dismissed all charges because of the prosecution’s failure to prove the accused’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

“The Court hereby grants the Joint Motion for Reconsideration filed by accused Ram Carlo Bautista y Paculba, Alma Moran y Estrada and Reina Mae Nasino y Asis. … [T]he demurrer to evidence is hereby granted for insufficiency of evidence,” the decision read.

Granting a demurrer to evidence also means an acquittal produced out of the court’s investigation that finds insufficient evidence after a demurrer is filed.

Nasino, Bautista and Estrada were arrested on Nov. 5, 2019.

After spending three years behind bars, Nasino and her companions were granted bail in December 2022 by the same Manila court.

Arrested in November 2019, Nasino gave birth to baby River while in jail during the height of the pandemic. The baby died after being separated from Nasino, who was only allowed to attend the funeral rites of her child in handcuffs. — intern, Dominique Nicole Flores

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