VP laments lack of compassion, sense of humanity at baby River’s burial

Published October 18, 2020, 5:44 PM

by Raymund Antonio

Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday cried out against the lack of “compassion and sense of humanity” over the treatment of detained activist Reina Mae Nasino at the burial of her baby last Friday.


Speaking on her radio show, Robredo said the number of security personnel who escorted Nasino during baby River’s burial was a case of “overkill.”

“Nakita natin iyong mga litrato, nakita natin iyong footages. Hindi natin alam kung bakit ganoon kagrabe iyong response, eh iyong nanay nag-iisa, gustong makita iyong anak niyang namatay,” she said.

(I have seen the photos and footages. I don’t know why there was excessive response since the mother was just alone who wanted to see her dead child.)

The vice president said the police and jail personnel deployed at the burial should had understand the “complexity of the relationship” between a mother and child.

“Nasaan iyong compassion, nasaan iyong humanity?,” she asked. “Iyon iyong hindi natin maintindihan. Sobrang nakakadurog ng puso.” 

(Where is the compassion?  Where is  humanity? That’s what I don’t understand.  It is too disheartening.)

Tension erupted during the funeral procession after it was cut short and the vehicle carrying the remains of baby River suddenly sped off to the cemetery.

The bereaved mother buried her baby in handcuffs and full personal protective equipment, guided by 50 prison guards and policemen who were deployed for the burial rites.

Baby River was laid to rest at the Manila North Cemetery Friday afternoon, a week after she died of respiratory failure at the Philippine General Hospital.

Photos of the burial circulated online, prompting a lot of people to question and denounce how Nasino and her family were treated.

Robredo lamented the disparity of the privilege given to prominent personalities who were also jailed and sought a furlough compared to Nasino.

“Iyon pinakapunto ko dito, parang hindi pantay iyong pagbigay ng pag-intindi, hindi pantay iyong pagbigay ng privileges sa mga mayroon kaysa sa wala (My main point here is that the understanding and privileges given to the rich and poor are not equal),” she said.