MMDA’s Pialago apologizes for comment on activist

Ghio Ong, Alexis Romero, Neil Jayson Servallos - The Philippine Star
MMDA�s Pialago apologizes for comment on activist
MMDA spokesperson Celine Pialago apologized to Nasino, but said she would not take back her “drama serye” comment.
pna.gov.ph / Celine Pialago Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines — Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) spokesperson Celine Pialago apologized yesterday after drawing criticism over the weekend for her remarks on the plight of detained activist Reina Mae Nasino, whose three-month-old daughter died in a public hospital in Manila on Oct. 9.

Pialago apologized to Nasino, but said she would not take back her “drama serye” comment.

In a Facebook post on Sunday, Pialago said not all mothers who are detained are able to attend their children’s burial.

She said Nasino’s supporters should scrutinize who the detained activist is.

“Kaya iyong mga sumisimpatiya kay Reina Mae Nasino, pag-aralan ‘nyo mabuti ang dahilan bakit siya nakulong at kilalanin ‘nyong mabuti kung sino siya sa lipunan,” said Pialago. “Masyado ninyong ginagawang pang-drama serye sa hapon ang paghihinagpis niya. Tigilan ‘nyo!”

Malacañang respects the decision of authorities who enforced security during the burial of Nasino’s daughter, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is investigating the jail guards who escorted Nasino during the wake and burial of her child in Manila last week.

Nasino’s police escorts will be sanctioned if proven to have committed any lapses, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said.

Año defended Pialago, saying not all inmates are given furlough.

Netizens questioned the light-handedness accorded to high-value inmates who were given furlough to attend wedding and graduation rites.

Año said he ordered the chief of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) to look into the matter.

“I am waiting for the formal report. From what I saw, the BJMP officers only did their job. No personal agenda,” he said.

Nasino’s camp earlier said they are considering filing a complaint against the BJMP officers and policemen who escorted Nasino during the burial of her child.

The BJMP and Philippine National Police received flak for their actions, which groups said violated Nasino’s civil rights.

Police and BJMP officers allegedly deprived the family of mourning.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines also sought sanctions against BJMP personnel for reportedly stopping reporters from interviewing Nasino during the wake of her baby.

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