CHILD RIGHTS GROUPS DEMAND JUSTICE FOR BABY RIVER

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! ###

Signatories:

  1. Action Against Violence and Exploitation Inc. (ACTVE)
  2. Action for the Care and Development of the Poor in the Philippines (ACAP Philippines)
  3. Akap sa Bata Philippines
  4. Amaya Lay (ALAY) in Mindanao, Inc
  5. Amihan Women
  6. Anakbayan Metro Baguio High School
  7. Anakbayan SLU
  8. ANAKBAYAN- UC
  9. Anakbayan – University of Baguio
  10. Anakbayan UP-Baguio
  11. Association for the Rights of Children in South East Asia (ARCSEA)
  12. Bahay Tuluyan Foundation Inc.
  13. Batibot Early Learning Center Inc. (BELC)
  14. Break the Silence National Network, Inc.
  15. Child Alert Mindanao
  16. Child Rights Network (CRN) Philippines
  17. Children’s Legal Rights and Development Center, Inc. (CLRDC)
  18. Children’s Rehabilitation Center (CRC) Inc. – National
  19. Children’s Rehabilitation Center – Panay
  20. Consuelo Zobel Alger Foundation
  21. Cordilleran Youth Center
  22. Dap-ayan Ti Kultura iti Kordilyera (DKK)Cultural Alliance
  23. DASIG SLU
  24. Ebkas Waya
  25. Educo Philippines
  26. ERDA Foundation
  27. Gabriela Guimaras
  28. Gabriela Panay
  29. Grupong Binhi
  30. Innabuyog Alliance of Women’s Organizations in the Cordillera
  31. Innabuyog- Gabriela Youth SLU
  32. Kaisog Day Care Centers
  33. KALikha: Kasama Ka sa Paglikha ng Arte at Literatura Para sa Bayan
  34. Parents Alternative on Early Child Care and Development, Inc. (PAECCDI)
  35. Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD)
  36. Progressive Igorots for Social Action
  37. Rise Up
  38. Rotaract Club of Mega Edsa
  39. Rural Women Advocates – RUWA
  40. Salidummay Performing Group
  41. Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns
  42. Save Our Schools Network
  43. Sulong Likha
  44. TaBaK Baguio
  45. Tambayan Center for Children’s Rights
  46. Terre Des Hommes International Federation
  47. UP Baguio Outcrop
  48. UP Volunteers for Children (UPVFC)
  49. Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau – WLB

#JusticeForBabyRiver

#FreeReinaMaeNasino

#StoptheAttacks

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: