WE, child rights advocates and organizations promoting children’s rights and welfare, express alarm and indignation over the inhumane treatment of Reina Mae Nasino in relation to her family’s plea to allow her to visit her dying child, Baby River.
Nasino was among the activists arrested in several raids conducted by the police on the offices of people’s organizations in 2019. She was already one month pregnant with Baby River on her arrest and detention resulting from the raid at Bagong Alyansang Makabayan’s office in Manila last November 2019, Under the search warrant issued by Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 89 Executive Judge Cecilyn Burgos-Villavert, police officers supposedly found explosives and firearms in the office, which Nasino said were merely planted evidences.
Baby River was born last July while Nasino was detained at the Manila City Jail. But despite the pleas for the baby’s prolonged stay with her mother, the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 20 decided to separate the two after 3 weeks.
Even when baby River exhibited COVID-19 symptoms and was rushed to the hospital, the court remained adamant against the temporary release of Nasino up to the baby’s dying minutes. Baby River died due to Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome while confined at the Intensive Care Unit of the Philippine General Hospital. According to Nasino’s lawyers, the Manila RTC Branch 47 later allowed Reina Nasino to attend the wake and burial of her child but limiting it to 3 hours each day.
This unfortunate incident is another clear manifestation of the government’s violation of its commitment to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which requires State Parties implementing the convention to comply with the provisions. The UNCRC states that every child has basic rights, including the right to life, to their own name and identity, to be raised by their parents within a family or cultural grouping, and to have a relationship with both parents, even if they are separated.
We reiterate our dismay and dissatisfaction with the country’s justice system as it again failed to fulfill its duty to promote the rights of the people, especially the children. We strongly demand justice for Baby River and her mother Reina Nasino! ###
As part of the call for justice for baby River and for the immediate release of Reina Mae Nasino, Salinlahi in partnership with various child rights groups and progressive artists, spearheaded an online solidarity concert last October 21. Watch the video below: