Celebrities cried out against the treatment of jailed activist Reina Mae Nasino at the burial of her 3-month-old daughter River on Friday, October 16.
River died on October 9, and Nasino was given only a 3-hour furlough to attend the burial. The bereaved mother buried her baby in handcuffs and full PPE, guarded by 43 jail and police officers who were deployed for the burial. (READ: Baby River, who died in 'cracks' of justice system, laid to rest under tight police watch)
Photos of the burial circulated online, prompting many to question and condemn how Nasino and her family were treated.
Actress Anne Curtis was among those who retweeted photos of the burial, saying "Was it really too much to ask to have compassion for a grieving mother?"
Her sister Jasmine Curtis also spoke out, retweeting photos comparing the burial of dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Heroes' Cemetery in 2016, and baby River's burial. In the retweet she wrote, "I don't understand this."
TV host Bianca Gonzalez shared Anne's tweet, and also said, "Parang hindi man natin masabing 'rest in peace' kay baby River kasi hanggang huling hantungan, hindi man nakapagpaalam ng tahimik at payapa ang kanyang ina."
(We can't even tell baby River to rest in peace because even until her final resting place, her mother couldn't peacefully and quietly say goodbye.)
Bianca also tweeted, "Baby River deserved better."
Director Antoinette Jadaone shared a video that showed the hearse carrying baby River's casket speeding up as the grieving family struggled to keep pace. She wrote in the caption, "Mga walang puso (Heartless)!"
Nasino was arrested in November 2019 for non-bailable charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives, in a government crackdown on activists.
She spent most of her pregnancy at the Manila City Jail, and gave birth to baby River on furlough at the Dr Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital on July 1.
Despite pleas that she be allowed to stay with her baby, the mother and child were separated a month after the birth. Baby River died on October 9.
After River's death, Nasino had initially been granted a 3-day continuous furlough to say goodbye to her daughter, but it was shortened to 6 hours split between two days after the Manila City Jail Female Dormitory said they lacked the manpower to guard Nasino during those days. – Rappler.com