A Mother’s Right to Bury her Child is Sacred

She is accused of many crimes,  among them kidnapping, murder and attempted homicide. Her last name (Rosal) rings familiar in all areas of society.  After all, she is the daughter of the late Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal, known as the New People’s Army (NPA) spokesperson. Last March 27, on orders of a court in Quezon, Andrea Rosal was arrested in Caloocan City.

Andrea Rosal was pregnant and close to full term, was placed in a tiny cell with several other women inmates, and not given ample medical attention (a contention by some human rights groups). She prematurely gave birth to Diona Andrea Rosal but 2 days after, Baby Diona passed away due to “persistent pulmonary hypertension”.

Andrea Rosal with daughter

Andrea Rosal with Baby Diona Andrea (photo from Free Andrea Rosal Movement)

This incident would not have sparked much social media attention if not for the fact that a Pasig City regional trial court denied Andrea’s request to attend her baby’s burial on May 22 in Ibaan, Batangas. Instead,  it only gave her a 3-hour window today, from 2-5pm to view her baby’s remains at Iglesia Filipina Independiente.

Pasig City RTC ruling on Andrea Rosal

 

Come on, is that really “compassionate justice”? I am reacting as a mother here and trying to imagine the grief that she is feeling. She is not just a wake visitor who goes, sits down with grieving relatives, sends sympathies and goes away. She is the mother of the one in the coffin. That is her baby. I think she needs more than just a 3-hour visit. She needs closure. And that includes taking the walk to the burial place of her child, make her last goodbyes, and watch her child’s coffin placed in its final resting place. She will never ever see her child again, hold her, smell her. Can’t we at least give her this chance to bury her child?

Yes, she is a high-risk prisoner. But if I remember right, Janet Lim Napoles (JLN) was also considered a high-risk prisoner (and still is, based on the kind of security afforded her). But what a stark difference. JLN has her own jail to herself, her own security detail and a bulletproof vest when she appears in public, and her own doctors attending to her in the hospital. Rosal was placed in a tiny cell with over 30 other women inmates. One woman is a subversive fighting based on her own ideology; the other is accused of plundering national coffers. One is just trying to say goodbye to her dead beloved child; the other spoiled her child rich with money that is suspected to be ill-gotten.

So although I will never subscribe to Rosal’s ideology (and certainly the call by the Free Andrea Rosal Movement is up to the courts), I believe in her right as a mother (and as a human being) to bury her child properly. There is still time. I really hope the courts reconsider. After all, I think given what we’ve seen with JLN, there can be ample security provided around her during the funeral.

As I am writing this, my friend Noemi is right there at the church where Andrea Rosal is. Her coverage can be found in our Blog Watch social media site, blogwatch.tv.

 

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