Activist visits baby’s wake; court shortens furlough

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    THE Manila Regional Trial Court yesterday shortened the furlough it granted to activist-community organizer Reina Mae Nasino who has asked that she be allowed to visit the wake and attend the burial of her baby daughter who died last Friday.

    Instead of the three-day continuous furlough granted on Tuesday, Manila RTC Branch 47 Judge Paulino Gallegos said Nasino can attend the funeral of her daughter, River Emmanuelle, on October 16, from 1 to 4 p.m., at the Manila North Cemetery.

    In an amended order, Gallegos also allowed Nasino to visit the wake at the La Funeraria Rey in Pandacan, Manila, yesterday from 1 to 4 p.m.

    Nasino, escorted by at least 10 jail officers, arrived at the funeral home at past 1 p.m. She was in full personnel protective gear and handcuffs which were removed by her escorts after several minutes inside the funeral home.

    “Masakit na masakit sa akin.Sabik akong makita ang anak ko pero hindi sa ganitong kalagayan (This is really painful.I really want to see and be with my daughter but not this one),” Nasino said.

    “Kung naririnig man ako ng anak ko, hindi naman ako susuko. Mabigat yung pagkahuli sa amin, tinaniman kami ng granada at sinampahan ng gawa-gawang kaso tapos nawala pa yung isa sa kinasasabikan kung makita sa paglaya ko,” she added.

    A commotion took place twice inside the funeral home after Nasino’s escorts tried to block her from answering questions from the media.

    Nasino’s lawyers argued that she has constitutionally-protected right to freedom of expression even if she is a detainee.

    The Nasino family later decided not to grant media interviews anymore.

    The second commotion took place after her escorts tried to take Nasino out of the funeral home although it was just past 3 p.m.

    Nasino was one month pregnant when she and several other activists were arrested by the police in Manila in November last year.

    She gave birth at the Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital last July but her pleas to stay with her daughter for at least a year at the hospital or to allow her baby to be taken to her detention cell with natal care facilities to be provided were dismissed by the court.

    The baby was brought to a hospital on September 24 for diarrhea and fever. She died Friday evening.