MANILA - Trouble erupted during the visit of detained activist Reina Mae Nasino to her daughter's wake when authorities wanted to bring her back to jail before her 3-hour furlough was up, her lawyer said Thursday.
Some 37 to 47 policemen escorted Nasino to baby River's wake on Wednesday, with 7 uniformed personnel inside the funeral parlor, according to lawyer Kathy Panguban, secretary-general of National Union of Peoples Lawyers (NUPL) in Metro Manila.
Nasino was in handcuffs "all throughout" the visit, Panguban said.
Authorities freed one of Nasino's hands only for a brief time, she added.
"Maayos naman. Nagkagulo lang nung bigla nilang hinatak si Reina at gusto nilang paalisin, pull her out earlier than what is stated in the court order na 1-4pm. Wala pang alas-3 nun eh," she said.
(It was orderly. There was trouble when they suddenly pulled Reina and they wanted her to leave earlier than what is stated in the court order which was 1-4 p.m. It was not even 3 p.m. when that happened.)
"Doon na nagkaroon ng kaguluhan dahil alam ng lahat hanggang alas-4 siya maaaring manatili dun sa lamay ng kaniyang anak."
Authorities also tried to prevent Nasino from speaking to the media.
"Ang posisyon namin d'yan si Reina isa siyang political detainee, 'yung kaniyang karapatan sa pagpapahayag ng kaniyang damdamin ay nand'yan pa rin. Hindi pa nga siya convicted. Pwede siyang magsalita, magpahayag ng kaniyang nararamdaman, pagtingin niya sa mga nangyari," Panguban said.
(Our position is Reina is a political detainee, her right to express herself remains. She's not even convicted. She can speak and express her feelings.)
Earlier Wednesday, the court reduced Nasino's furlough to 2 days or a total of 6 hours from an initial 3 days.
Jail officials cited lack of personnel to escort Nasino as she was a "high-risk" inmate amid health concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Panguban said.
"Ang daming pulis na nakakalat sa labas," she said. "May iba pa nga, isa akong nakita na merong bitbit na armas, high-powered rifle, may isa short firearm."
(Many policemen were scattered outside the funeral home. Some were carrying firearms, I saw one with a high-powered rifle and another with a short firearm.)
Nasino's lawyers are considering their next legal move but their priority is getting her to baby River's burial on Friday, Panguban said.
"Stated naman 'yun sa court order, malinaw na nakalagay 'yung papayagan siya na makipaglibing sa kaniyang anak," she said.
(It's stated in the court order and it's clear that she's allowed to attend the burial of her child.)