Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) spokesperson Celine Pialago drew flak for her remark on the situation of detained activist Reina Mae Nasino and her daughter River who died away from her mother.
Pialago posted on Sunday, October 18, that not all jailed mothers could attend to their children’s burials. She added that people should find out more about who Nasino is and why she was arrested and detained.
“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 MMDA spokesperson Celine Pialago said.
“Masyado ninyong ginagawang pang-drama serye sa hapon ang paghihinagpis niya. Tigilan ‘nyo!” she added to the now-deleted post.
(To those sympathizing with Reina Mae Nasino, know first why she’s detained and understand who she is in society. You’re making her grief like an afternoon drama series. Stop it!)
Celine Pialago was known to speaking her mind and often got into arguments, especially with MMDA’s bashers. She experienced cyberbullying in 2014 after she accidentally said “passed away” instead of “passed out” while referring to a fellow contestant in an interview during the Miss Earth pageant in 2014.
MMDA spox Celine Pialago under fire over ‘drama serye’ remark
Kapatid, a prisoners’ rights group, said that such remarks to downplay what happened to Nasino and baby River “are desperate attempts to cover” the violations by the Duterte administration.
“It is a real story that exposed the countless injustices committed by the government,” the group said.
“MMDA Chair Danny Lim, a former political prisoner himself, should have long shown the door to his spokesperson…. It should be obvious by now that sensitivity cannot be taught nor proper manners and right conduct if one is empty-headed,” Kapatid added.
Reina Mae, a 23-year-old activist, was arrested for alleged illegal possession of firearms and explosives.
“The CHR is deeply concerned with how government authorities are handling the case of human rights worker Nasino,” CHR spokesperson lawyer Jacqueline Ann de Guia said.
Nasino gave birth to the child while in jail, and the court refused her request to visit her daughter twice until baby River died on October 9.