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Final Goodbye: Reina Mae Nasino attends Baby River's funeral amid tight security

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 17 2020 01:06 AM

Wearing a PPE and hands cuffed, Reina Mae Nasino bid her baby River one final goodbye at Manila North Cemetery Friday. 

With relatives and supporters, Nasino mourned the death of her daughter to pneumonia. Instead of leaning on her mother or other relatives in her moment of anguish, Nasino was surrounded by jail guards, some in digital camouflage clutching long rifles and keeping a close watch on the proceedings.

Nasino’s time with her baby was troubled from the start. 

Born pre-mature in July, River was separated from her mother mid-August as Nasino stayed in City Jail while awaiting trial for illegal possession of firearms and explosives. She and two others were arrested in November 2019. They said the charges were trumped up, alleging police planted evidence.

Reports said some 40 guards were present when Nasino attended River’s wake on Wednesday. This after the Manila City Jail raised concerns that it lacked personnel to guard Nasino during the wake causing her furlough to be shortened from 3 days to 3 hours per two days.

On Friday, a contingent of SWAT, police, jail guards and firemen were once again present. 

As a person deprived of liberty, Nasino was guarded by several BJMP personnel, some of whom were wearing body armor and toting high calibre firearms. The subject they needed to keep a close watch on? A sobbing mother who stood no taller than 5-foot-2 attending her child’s funeral on furlough.

The security details was so heightened that initial rules for the entry of supporters were revised, preventing some from going inside the funeral home. A mass for River supposed to be held inside the building was done outside instead where police kept watch.

Reports also said that the hearse carrying River’s remains sped up during the procession leaving grieving relatives behind. 

The treatment toward Nasino at River’s wake to her funeral has caused widespread anger, with some complaining of selective justice and comparing her treatment to higher profile and wealthier prisoners allowed temporary release on humanitarian grounds. 

Here are some scenes at the funeral.

Police stand guard in front of La Funeraria Rey, where Baby River’s wake was held. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

The police only allowed relatives and close friends to attend the wake. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Because of strict rules set by the police, a Mass meant to be heard indoors was held outside with police keeping watch. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

The hearse carrying Baby River’s remains heads to the Manila North Cemetery. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Police kept a close watch on the hearse, which sped off leaving, mourning family members behind. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Friends, family members, and supporters grieve during the funeral procession. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Protesters gather at the gates of the Manila North Cemetery to support detained activist Reina Mae Nasino and daughter Baby River. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Funeral workers bring down the coffin of Baby River at Manila North Cemetery. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Nasino grieves, as she says her final goodbye to her baby. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Heavily armed guards surround Nasino and other family members as they grieve. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Handcuffed, Nasino cries over her baby’s casket. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

BJMP personnel keep Nasino under heavy guard. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Nasino remains in handcuffs, even as she mourns the death of her baby whom she spent a brief time with. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Family members and loved ones cry during the funeral. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN news

Nasino holds a flower handcuffed. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Instead of family, Nasino is surrounded by BJMP personnel intent on keeping her under heavy guard. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

BJMP personnel check an album filled with Baby River’s photos that will be put inside her coffin. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Nasino sobs as she looks at her baby’s coffin. Jonatan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Nasino views the remains of Baby River as loved ones and supporters are overcome with emotion. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Heavily armed BJMP personnel stand over graves at the Manila North Cemetery as they keep a close watch on Nasino. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN news

BJMP personnel assist Nasino as she wipes her tears during the funeral. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Nasino holds Baby River’s coffin as she is surrounded by guards. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Instead of family members, Nasino is surrounded by BJMP personnel intent on keeping her under heavy guard. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Instead of family members, Nasino is surrounded by BJMP personnel intent on keeping her under heavy guard. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Family and friends of Nasino are also present at Baby River’s funeral. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Heavily armed BJMP personnel stand over graves at the Manila North Cemetery as they keep a close watch on Nasino. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN news

Veronica Vidal, Reina Mae Nasino's aunt, arranges the flowers inside the burial site of Baby River at Manila North Cemetery. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Detained activist Reina Mae Nasino raises her fists while handcuffed, as she weeps during the funeral of her daughter. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

BJMP personnel assist detained activist Reina Mae Nasino as she drinks from a bottle during the funeral. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Nasino raises her hand as she is taken back to jail. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News