“Yung maraming pulis” is a catchphrase among cemetery helpers when asked to locate the tomb of Baby Emmanuelle ‘Mikmik’ River Nasino inside the Manila North Cemetery.

Baby River would have been three years old now. But she succumbed to death due to respiratory complications acquired from inadequate maternal care.

Such care would have been given if she had not been separated from her mother Reina Mae ‘Ina’ Nasino, an activist and former political prisoner.

Ina together with Ram Carlo Bautista and Alma Moran, collectively known as Tondo 3, were arrested on trumped-up charges of firearms and explosives last November 2019 upon the issuance of search warrants by Quezon City Judge Cecilyn Burgos-Villavert.

They were released in December 2022. But the Office of the Solicitor General remained persistent and has appealed to the Court of Appeals (CA) since last September 2022 in a bid to revoke the CA decision amid defective warrants. The CA then acquitted Tondo 3 last July 2023.

Earlier today, Ina alongside her kin and colleagues gathered at the Manila North Cemetery to pay respect and visit Baby River. It was also the day where Baby River’s remains were transferred to the Manila North Green Park, a private cemetery park within the Manila North.

National Union of People’s Lawyers said in their statement released last September noting that Ina and her child are no victims of the circumstances.

“Baby River, who would have been three years old now if she was just given a modicum of a chance to live a healthy life that she deserved as every infant does — born of “left-leaning” mothers or not — are testaments of how society and its institutions can be both inhuman and callous, detached from realities in blighted prison walls,” said NUPL.

“They are victims of a system that criminalizes dissent, neglects the marginalized and the innocent, and emboldens perpetrators of rights violations,” it added.

Rights group Karapatan National Capital Region echoed not only to remember the death of Baby River and hold account the Duterte administration along with the responsible individuals like the Manila cops who took over the vehicle during Baby River’s funeral procession, Villavert, mañanita cop Debold Sinas and the rest of the policemen responsible to the arrest of Tondo 3.

Karapatan NCR further slammed the current Marcos Jr. administration following its continuing and rampant human rights violations.

Ina’s aunt, Tita Vicky said that the graves rented for deceased babies in the Manila North were only allowed for a minimum of three to five years. And so Baby River’s remains have to be transferred.

Now, Baby River is united together with her grandfather in the Manila North Green Park.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here