Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) spokesperson Celine Pialago apologized over her Facebook post following the burial of three-month old baby River, the daughter of detained activist Reina Mae Nasino.
In a now deleted Facebook post, Pialago criticized people who sympathized with Reina, and said that they turned her situation into a ‘drama serye’ (drama series).
“Hindi lahat ng inang nakakulong ay nakapunta sa libing ng kanyang anak. Kaya yung mga sumisimpatya kay Reina Mae Nasino, pag-aralan ninyo mabuti ang dahilan bakit siya nakulong at kilalanin niyong mabuti kung sino siya sa lipunan,” she said.
“Masyado ninyong ginagawang pang drama serye sa hapon ang paghihinagpis niya. Tigilan niyo,” the MMDA official added.
Pialago said on Monday, October 19, that her Facebook post has been misunderstood, and she did not intend to offend offend Reina or any grieving mother.
“I would like to apologize to Miss Reina, and to all of the grieving mothers na nag-isip na yung drama serye ay patungkol sa kanila nung sila nawalan ng mga anak,” Pialago said during DZRH’s Coffee Break.
The spokesperson stressed that he social media post alludes to people who use the issue and grief of Reina to manipulate public perception, and mindset against the government.
“When I said drama serye, hindi yung drama ng isang ina na naghihinagpis na nawalan siya ng anak. Hindi iyon, dahil wala naman drama sa ganoon, dahil totoong buhay iyon,” Pialago said.
“Ang drama serye na tinutukoy ko ay yung mga tao na sumasakay sa issue ni Miss Reina, yung mga tao na ginagamit yung opportunity para makapag-manipulat ng ibang tao,” she added.
Netizens criticized the deployment of 43 security personnel for the burial of baby River, who died due to due to acute respiratory distress syndrome, on Friday, October 16.
Reina managed to attend the burial and the wake of her daughter after a court in Manila granted her furlough.
The court initially granted three-day furlough for Reina, but it got shortened to six hours, spread over two days, due to the inadequate manpower of the Manila City Jail.
Throughout the burial, Reina wore a full-body personal protective equipment, and handcuffs.
Authorities apprehended Reina, a member of group Kadamay, in November 2019 for unlawful possession of firearms and explosives during a raid in Tondo, Manila.
Eight months after her arrest, Reina gave birth to baby Rivers on July but the activist got separated from her daughter, who was brought to her grandmother, in August.