Malacañang has expressed sadness over the death of a three-month-old baby separated from her mother, Reina Mae Nasino, a detained political activist, but insisted President Duterte cannot interfere with a court matter.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the Palace respects the decision of the regional trial court who reportedly denied the mother’s plea to reunite with her child.
“Talagang nakakalungkot po yang insidenteng ‘yan (That incident is truly sad),” Roque said during a Palace press briefing.
“Pero wala pong magagawa ang Presidente. ‘Yan po ay nasa hurisdiksyon ng ating hukuman (But the President cannot do anything about it. That is under the jurisdiction of the court). The decision lies wholly with the regional trial court and the regional trial court has ruled. We respect that decision and the Executive will implement that decision,” he added.
Nasino, arrested in a police raid of a Bagong Alyansang Makabayan office in Manila last year, lost her baby River last Friday due to a lung condition.
The mother was separated from her child last August after a court ruled that the Manila City Jail was not a place for a baby to stay. Nasino appealed to the court to allow her to see her child but her plea was reportedly rejected.
Following the baby’s death, rights groups have called for the release of Nasino on humanitarian grounds.