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Anne Curtis, Bianca Gonzalez And Karen Davila Speak Out After Baby River's Death
  • Anne Curtis is the latest celebrity mom to speak out about Reina Mae Nasino, an activist in prison. The treatment police gave Reina Mae during her baby's burial has dismayed and shocked many Filipinos.


    In a tweet, Anne, whose daughter Dahlia Amelie is 6 months old, said, "Was it really too much to ask to have compassion for a grieving mother?"

    Her tweet came with photos from a Philippine Star tweet that showed a heavily guarded burial along with Reina Mae in handcuffs and protective suit. News reports said 47 armed men served as Reina Mae's security escort.

    Bianca Gonzalez and Karen Davila have also expressed their profound sadness and dismay at how Reina Mae and her daughter have been treated.

    Bianca first tweeted, "Parang hindi man natin masabing 'rest in peace' kay baby River kasi hanggang huling hantungan, hindi man nakapagpaalam ng tahimik at payapa ang kanyang ina."


    Later, she said, "Hug your kids a bit tighter today," with the hashtag #BabyRiver, and "Baby River deserved better."

    Karen tweeted about Reina Mae, "Hindi po siya convicted criminal. Hindi po siya drug trafficker. Aktibista lang po siya. Bakit ganito kalupit... sa kapwa Pilipino pa?!"


    Who is Reina Mae Nasino

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    Reina Mae, an urban poor organizer, did not know she was pregnant when she was arrested in November 2019 for illegal possession of firearms and explosives (questions have been raised on the validity of this charge). She spent her pregnancy in Manila City Jail but was allowed to leave to give birth to River on July 1, 2020, at the Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital.

    News reports said the activist was separated from Baby River a month after giving birth, a crucial period because the baby was born underweight at 5.5 lbs.

    Care for low-birth-weight infants

    Low-birth-weight infants need special care because their vital organs may not be fully developed or mature. It puts them at high risk of dying from conditions like infection and breathing problems, according to the World Health Organization. One thing that gives them a fighting chance to survive is breastfeeding immediately after birth and exclusively until 6 months.

    Reina Mae's lawyers asked the court to keep mother and baby together in the hospital or prison. But their plea went back and forth in the regional trial courts and even the Supreme Court, as the Integrated Bar of the Philippines detailed in a statement.

    When a furlough was approved by the court, Baby River already passed away on October 9 after her lungs succumbed to a bacterial infection.

    Babies have rights

    IBP said the tragedy highlighted the need to improve the country's justice system, especially in cases of children.



    In a statement title "Babies Have Rights," IBP noted the story of Baby River raises questions including:

    • Why can't our justice system safeguard an innocent child's needs and rights to breastfeeding and a better chance to survive? 
    • What don't our jails have adequate facilities to address the needs and rights of children and women detainees duly recognized by domestic and international law?
    • Can we not have justice with compassion?

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