Here’s how you can help jailed activist pay for baby River’s burial

Jailed activist and first-time mother Reina Mae Nasino will have only 3 hours to bury her child on Friday, October 16. She is barred from joining the funeral procession.

This has worsened Nasino’s plight. Nasino has long been pleading the courts to let her stay with her newborn child. Later, when the infant died, she asked to be granted furlough just to attend the wake and burial of baby River.

Youth groups, including Kabataan party list Metro Manila and Anakbayan Metro Manila, and Far Eastern University (FEU), have been helping Nasino by providing for the needs of the infant. They raised money to buy essential goods such as milk and diapers.

Now these groups are calling for donations to help finance baby River’s burial.

Also helping in the donation drive are Rise for Education Metro Manila, the FEU and Metro Manila chapters of Gabriela Youth, and Youth Movement Against Tyranny among others.

“Minutes after the death of Baby River was reported, we immediately convened in an online meeting and in Kabataan Party list’s office to talk on the urgent need to raise money to help the family of [Reina Mae Nasino], ” said Xynel Ross Zulueta, organizer of the National Democratic Mass Organizations (NDMO) chapter of Far Eastern University. Zulueta is also the university point-person of the donation drive for baby River.

The youth groups aim to raise at least P35,000 for baby River’s transportation during her burial. 

Meanwhile, Prisoners’ group Kapatid, which served as a support organization for Nasino’s family, estimated that the funeral of baby River would cost around P80,000 to P100,000. These included wake, casket, daily expenses during the wake, meals during the burial, as well as burial space at Manila North Cemetery.

The rest of the proceeds raised would go to the Nasino family and legal fees of Reina Mae.

Donations collected by the youth groups will be forwarded to Kapatid, which will then turn these over to the Nasino family.

Kapatid said that since the death of River, numerous individuals and youth groups like Anakbayan-FEU have offered to help. 

Ito ay patunay na buo ang simpatiya ng masa sa labang kinakaharap ngayon ni Reina Mae Nasino at ng kaniyang pamilya (This is proof that the masses are sympathetic to what Reina Mae and her family are going through)” Kapatid said.

Originally granted 3 continuous days, Nasino’s furlough was cut to 6 hours, split 3 hours each on Wednesday, October 14, and the burial on Friday, October 16.

Nasino was among the activists arrested in late 2019 as part of the Duterte government’s massive crackdown on progressive groups and individuals.

She carried almost her entire pregnancy while incarcerated at the Manila City Jail for the non-bailable charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

Zulueta said that while any financial contribution would be a big help, it was also important that the public was aware of the struggles of Reina Mae and baby River. 

“Imagine, a mother is deprived to properly grieve for her child that died due to a slow justice system and the false accusations raised by the police,” Zulueta said in a mix of English and Filipino.

Those interested may donate using the details below:

As of Thursday, October 15, 12:04 pm, the fund drive has raised P10,226 for baby River’s funeral and burial expenses. –

Russell Ku

Russell Ku is a Rappler volunteer from the Ateneo de Manila University. He is a senior taking up Bachelor of Science in Communications Technology Management. He’s currently an Inquiry staff writer for The GUIDON.