Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) spokesperson Celine Pialago on Sunday sparked outrage on social media after she criticized people who sympathize with detained activist Reina Mae Nasino and her daughter, baby River, who died at 3 months old.
In a Facebook post, Pialago said that the whole situation has been turned into an “afternoon drama series”. She was referring to the photos of Nasino during the wake and burial of River last week that went viral online.
The original post was deleted, but a screenshot was reposted by Pialago on her Facebook page.
“Masyado ninyong ginagawang pang drama serye sa hapon ang paghihinagpis niya. Tigilan niyo!” Pialago said.
“Kaya iyong mga sumisimpatiya kay Reina Mae Nasino, pag-aralan ‘nyo mabuti ang dahilan bakit siya nakulong at kilalanin ‘nyong mabuti kung sino siya sa lipunan,” the government official continued.
Pialago’s statement earned mixed reactions from her followers, with some supporting her comment while others criticizing her for being “insensitive.”
Nasino, who was arrested in November 2019 over what alleged fabricated charges of illegal possession of firearms, bid goodbye to her daughter last Friday, October 16 while donned in full PPE-suit and in handcuffs. The situation angered the public, criticizing the police for not removing her handcuffs so she can mourn properly.
She was originally granted a 3-day continuous furlough for the wake and burial, however, it was reduced to 2 days or a total of 6 hours after Manila City Jail Female Dormitory officer-in-charge J/Insp. Ignacia Monteron filed a request to shorten Nasino’s furlough stating the “lack of jail personnel in the appeal to allow the detainee to be out for only one day.”
Baby River died on October 9 due to pneumonia after being confined in the hospital for two weeks. Despite appeals for a reunion as her child’s health deteriorates, the political activist was not allowed to see her child.