Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima bewailed the unjust treatment of political prisoner Reina Mae Nasino by the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) during her furlough to visit the wake of her three-month-old daughter, Baby River, last October 14.
Nasino was handcuffed and heavily guarded. While media practitioners initially had access to her during the wake, BJMP personnel later blocked their cameras and prevented her from being interviewed.
De Lima, the first prominent political prisoner under the Duterte regime, said it was obvious that the jail guards’ mistreatment of Nasino was meant to silence her from speaking truth instead of protecting her.
“Shortened furlough. Multiple jail guards. Head to toe in full set of PPE. Shackles on her wrists. No media interviews. Wag na tayong maglokohan. The dozens of heavily armed escorts tasked to secure Reina Nasino were not there to protect and ensure her safety, as they claimed,” she said in a recent statement.
“Like the intent of her questionable arrest and continued detention, patuloy na binubusalan ang mga bilanggong pulitikal gaya ni Reina ng isang mapaniil na rehimen na takot sa malayang pagpapahayag at puna ng mga kritiko,” she added.
De Lima earlier expressed dismay over the decision of the Manila Regional Trial Court to reduce the furlough granted to Nasino from three days to just a total of six hours for two days, after the Manila City Jail cited the lack of personnel.
“Kailangan ba ng isang batalyon para bantayan ang isang 23-taong gulang na ina, na labis-labis ang pagluluksa, at walang ibang nais kundi ang makita lamang ang kanyang pumanaw na sanggol at makasama nang mas matagal ang pamilya?” she asked in her Dispatch from Crame No. 944.
“Ipinagkait na kay Reina ang napakahalagang pagkakataon na maaruga’t mahagkan ang anak nang nabubuhay pa. Pati ba naman ngayon, sa kanyang pagdadalamhati sa tuluyang pagkawala ng anak at paghahatid sa kanya sa huling hantungan, nililimitahan pa?” she added.
De Lima, a social justice and human rights champion, was also among the first personalities who appealed to grant Nasino a furlough to mourn the death of Baby River with her grieving family for humanitarian reasons. (30)