Baby Diona Andrea was laid to rest in Ibaan, Batangas on Thursday morning. Photo by Arnell Ozaeta, ABS-CBN News Southern Tagalog
BATANGAS - Hundreds of family members, friends and members of militant groups joined the funeral and interment of baby Diona Andrea, daughter of suspected New People's Army (NPA) leader Andrea Rosal and granddaughter of the late NPA spokesperson Ka Roger Rosal, here in Ibaan town Thursday morning.
From Iglesia Filipina Independiente (Aglipayan Church) Cathedral in Taft Avenue, Manila, the groups composed of members of the Free Andrea Movement, Karapatan-Southern Tagalog, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan and women's group Gabriela converged in front of the Ibaan Public Market past 9 a.m. to meet Rosal's family.
Subsequently, the group marched towards St. James Parish Church where a simple prayer ceremony was conducted by Fr. Cervando Sentales for baby Diona.
At around 11 a.m., clad with flags and placards, the group marched with baby Diona's funeral car towards St. Mary's Memorial Park where the remains of Rosal's daughter were laid to rest.
Only the close relatives of baby Diona Andrea were present at the funeral march after the Pasig City court disallowed Rosal to attend the burial of her daughter yesterday.
The court, however, allowed Rosal, to attend the wake of her daughter at the IFI Cathedral from 2 p.m. up to 5 p.m., on May 21, Wednesday.
Rosal, who was then 7 months pregnant, was arrested by authorities in a house in Caloocan City on March 27 for murder, kidnapping and attempted homicide charges.
The 2-day-old Diona Andrea died at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the Philippine General Hospital in Manila last Sunday due to hypoxemia or oxygen deficiency in the blood.
Rights group Karapatan blamed jail authorities for the death of Rosal's baby, claiming she was not given the proper medical attention since her arrest.
Rosal's grandmother, Fely Rosal-Inandan, expressed her disappointment over the government's alleged unfair treatment on her granddaughter and great granddaughter.
"Galit kami, dahil kahit sa huling pagkakataon, hindi man lang siya (Andrea) pinayagang maihatid ang kanyang anak sa huling hantungan," Rosal-Inandan said.
"E di kahit sana isang battalion ng sundalo ay pinasama nila sa libing, pero hindi talaga pinayagan ng korte," she added.
Rosal-Inandal appealed to President Benigno Aquino III to free Andrea because she believes in her granddaughter's innocence.
"Di naman niya kayang gawin ang mga ibinibintang sa kanya, yung kasalanan ni Pedro ay hindi naman kasalanan ni Juan," she said.
Rosal was brought back to Philippine General Hospital after her 3-hour visit in baby Diona's wake.
She will be detained again at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City after her medical check-up.