Taguig court allows Andrea Rosal to visit baby’s wake

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

(UPDATED) A Taguig City court allowed alleged New People's Army (NPA) leader Andrea Rosal to go to the wake of her two-day-old baby but only for three hours on Wednesday, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The same court, however, did not allow Rosal, a daughter of the late NPA spokesperson Gregorio "Ka Roger" Rosal, to attend her daughter's burial on Thursday in Ibaan, Batangas.

"We will consult with Andrea tonight (Tuesday) when we pay her a lawyers' visit," said Edre Olalia of the National Union of People's Lawyers (NUPL) in a text message when asked about the possibility of filing an appeal.

Andrea Rosal
Andrea Rosal and her newborn daughter baby Diona Andrea Rosal. The two-day-old baby passed away last Sunday due to hypoxemia or the lack of oxygen in the blood.

Diona Andrea Rosal died last Sunday due to hypoxemia or the lack of oxygen in the blood. Her remains are now at the Cathedral of the Holy Child, National Cathedral of Philippine Independent Church in Taft Avenue, Manila, according to militant group Karapatan Southern Tagalog.

Rosal on Monday afternoon submitted a motion before the Taguig Regional Trial Court branch 266 seeking permission to attend her daughter's wake and burial.

Rosal, a top NPA leader in the Southern Tagalog Region, was arrested by government security forces two months before she gave birth for charges of kidnapping with murder, in connection with the alleged abduction and killing of a soldier and a man in Laguna in 2007.

On May 15, the court hearing the cases filed against Rosal allowed her to give birth at the Philippine General Hospital in Manila. She was admitted on Friday evening and gave birth to her baby girl on Saturday morning. Unfortunately, the baby passed away on Sunday.

In a statement, militant group Gabriela blamed the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Aquino administration for the death of Rosal's "innocent daughter" for refusing her request of hospital detention for the reason that her pregnancy was sensitive.

Joms Salvador, secretary general of Gabriela, said since Rosal was detained in the last trimester of her pregnancy, she has been living in poor conditions that are not suitable for an expectant mother.

Salvador cited the inefficient ventilation and the size of Rosal's detention cell along with other inmates at the Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.

Rights group Hustisya added the military lied in saying that they extended help to Andrea and her child.

“We do not need to be medical doctors to understand that Andrea’s detention has endangered the life of Andrea and her child. They offered death to baby Diona Andrea, not immediate and proper medical attention. We hold state forces and the Aquino government accountable for her death,” said Hustisya secretary general Cristina Guevarra.

The group called for Rosal's release, who "remains weak after giving birth" and "is still in mourning."

"While (Janet) Napoles, who stole millions of pesos from the Filipino people is given preferential treatment and remains in the hospital weeks after her operation, Rosal was not allowed access to medical services until she was about to give birth. What kind of justice is this?" Salvador said, referring to the alleged pork barrel scam mastermind who allegedly funneled state funds to her fake nongovernment organizations.

Senator Nancy Binay said she feels sorry for Rosal.

"I am saddened by the unequal and lopsided treatment afforded to political prisoners, especially to pregnant women like in the case of Andrea," she said, noting that some prisoners and influential detainees receive VIP treatment from the government such as security escorts and outside medical care.

Earlier, AFP Public Affairs Office chief Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala extended the military's condolences to the Rosal family.

Zagala also said that what happened to Rosal's daughter was already out of their control, as he assured that they did their part in providing medical attention to the detained rebel leader. (Sunnex)

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