“Yet we are still waiting for the Court to deliver what the Chief Justice vowed. One of the petitioners has already given birth and like what we’ve feared, the day after giving birth, she was brought back to prison with her baby.”
By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
MANILA – Relatives and supporters of political prisoners once again trooped to the Supreme Court today, July 7, pleading the SC justices to act immediately on the petition they filed three months ago.
Led by KAPATID, relatives and friends of political prisoners tied blue ribbons at the SC’s gate to signify their call for a positive resolutio and handed letters of appeal to the justices. They also asked Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta to be true to his words.
Peralta said in a virtual press conference last June that the decision on their petition for the release of 22 elderly and sickly political prisoners on humanitarian grounds might come out on June 16.
Fides Lim, spokesperson of KAPATID and wife of peace consultant Vicente Ladlad said that three months of waiting is beyond enough. She said that investigative reports reveal that many prisoners are dying at the New Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa City. At least 80 prisoners died from May 1 to May 19. The figure surpassed the prison camp’s average mortality rate of 50 to 60 deaths per month, Lim said.
“Yet we are still waiting for the Court to deliver what the Chief Justice vowed. One of the petitioners has already given birth and like what we’ve feared, the day after giving birth, she was brought back to prison with her baby,” said Lim.
Marites Asis, mother of 23-year-old Reina Mae Nasino, asked the SC to release her daughter who recently gave birth last July 1.
Nasino, a political prisoner at the Manila City Jail female quarters, delivered her firstborn at the Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital in Sta. Cruz, Manila. She and her baby were immediately taken out of the hospital the next day despite the hospital’s permission allowing both to stay in the hospital at least for a week to ensure continued medical care for her underweight and jaundiced newborn.
“Named River, this baby is the reason why we wear blue today and tie blue ribbons with letters of appeal from political prisoners’ kin. Blue symbolizes the waters of the river that give life. Blue is also the color of the sky that expresses the freedom we yearn for Reina Mae and her baby, and other prisoners who likewise deserve to be freed,” Asis said.
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