Detainee seeks hospital stay after giving birth
Marc Jayson Cayabyab (The Philippine Star) - July 5, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A detainee who had just given birth has asked the Manila Regional Trial Court to let her stay at the hospital for a year amid fears that she and her baby could be infected with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the city jail.

Reina Mae Nasino, a Kadamay coordinator who was among those arrested in a police raid against the group Bayan last year, filed a motion through her counsel asking Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 20 to allow her to stay at the hospital after giving birth on July 1.

She asked the court to allow her to stay at the hospital or at the prison nursery with her daughter until the baby turns a year old.

Nasino, in her motion, said there are 80 detainees in a cell at the Manila City Jail Female Dormitory “that can only hold a maximum of 40 inmates.”

The court scheduled a hearing on Friday but the hearing was cancelled without a judge.

Her lawyer Rey Cortez yesterday said Nasino was returned to the jail “in a hasty manner” on Thursday, a day after giving birth at the Fabella Hospital.

Pending the resolution of her motion, Nasino and her baby are in a separate cell at the female dormitory, her lawyer said.

Kapatid, a group supporting political prisoners, said the hospital allowed Nasino and her baby to stay for at least a week “to ensure continued medical attention for an underweight newborn.”

In opposing Nasino’s request, Assistant City Prosecutor Rosalie Mazo-Atienza said it would be costly for the government to secure at the hospital a detainee charged with the “grave” crime of illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

She also said staying at the hospital “would not be safe and would only pose a great risk to the child as well as to herself to stay in the hospital for a long time just to be with each other.”

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