MANILA, Philippines — “Masyado ninyong ginagawang pang drama serye sa hapon ang paghihinagpis niya. Tigilan niyo!”
(You are turning her grief into a drama series in the afternoon. Stop it!)
This was how Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) spokesperson Celine Pialago on Sunday described how supporters of detained activist Reina Mae Nasino have managed to turn her plight into a “drama serye” (afternoon television serial drama) especially with how authorities have treated the death and burial of her three-month-old daughter, Baby River.
In her official Facebook page, “Asec Celine Pialago – MMDA Spokesperson,” Pialago urged Nasino’s supporters to explore the activist’s background and why she was arrested.
“Happy Sunday everyone! Walang kinalaman sa traffic pero sa tingin ko kailangan kong gamitin ang boses ko bilang isang Pilipino sa usapin na ito,” she said.
(This is not related to traffic but I think I should speak up as a Filipino in this issue.)
“Hindi lahat ng inang nakakulong ay nakapunta sa libing ng kanyang anak. Kaya yung mga sumisimpatya kay Reina Mae Nasino, pag aralan niyo mabuti ang dahilan bakit siya nakulong at kilalanin niyong mabuti kung sino siya sa lipunan,” Pialago added.
(Not all women who are in jail get to attend their child’s burial. Those who are sympathizing with Reina Mae Nasino should get to know her ad who she is in society.)
Pialago’s Facebook post has since become viral, garnering over 8,900 reactions, 2,500 comments, and 466 shares.
Baby River was buried at the Manila North Cemetery on Friday afternoon. Critics have raised concerns on how the burial was conducted, with the strong presence of personnel from the Philippine National Police and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology who were deployed to escort Nasino.
Rights group Kapatid lamented that prior to the burial, elements of the Manila Police District (MPD) allegedly “hijacked” the the child’s burial. At one point, the group said some 20 police officers deployed at the La Funeraria Rey in Pandacan, Manila, where baby River’s wake was held, reportedly interfered with the release of the child’s remains for burial.
The casket was then finally brought outside the funeral parlor and was loaded into a hearse. The hearse then sped off at 12 noon, ruining the plans of the Nasino family to hold a funeral march and bring the casket to the Supreme Court or to the Court of Appeals.
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