A baby got a funeral reserved for murderers and plunderers

By now, your FB and Twitter feeds are littered with stories about the burial of Baby River.

To recap, the three-month-old deceased infant is the daughter of detained activist Reina Mae Nasino, who was arrested back in November 2019 for the illegal possession of firearms and explosives. Her lawyers deny this allegation, saying that the evidence was planted.

Given that it’s a narrative commonly found in victims of extra-judicial killings in the past four years, the denial found a semblance of support among fellow activists.

Reina, who was unaware that she was pregnant at the time of the arrest, gave birth to Baby River in July. The two were later separated. But the case did not spark outrage until after the baby’s diagnosis and eventual death in October.

Reina was only allowed by the courts to visit her daughter well after the latter’s passing, a move slammed by the pvblic as heartless. Why shouldn’t a grieving mother be allowed to see her ailing baby, when so many high-profile detainees, on trial for grievous crimes such as plunder, are easily given the same luxury?

baby river, <b> A baby got a funeral reserved for murderers and plunderers </b>
Rappler

Fast forward to today, the day of Baby River’s burial, it seems that the confounding iron grip on the two continued.

To say that the funeral was something else would be an understatement. The police took control of the procession, cutting it short and speeding it up to the point that Reina’s family was left behind. The police later justified it, saying it was for ‘the security of the baby’s remains’.

Officers also seemed to be in full force, with rifles and convoys at the ready. It’s a scene fit for escorting thieves, murderers, and terrorists, but implemented for a baby and a mother, who has yet to be actually convicted of anything.

 

In the end, Baby River was buried, surrounded by anonymous personnel in suits, grieved by a mother who couldn’t even afford to have her handcuffs removed so she could touch her baby for the last time.

 

It’s scenes like these that make you think. From the way prisoners are treated based on their stature, to the seemingly selective handing out of punishments, one wonders who those old adages, such as dura lex sed lex (it is harsh, but it is the law), are really for.