BJMP to look into personnel's actions during Nasino furlough

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The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology said that it would look into accusations that journalists were prevented from interviewing political prisoner Reina Mae Nasino when she attended her daughter's wake on Wednesday. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 15) — The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology said that it would look into accusations that journalists were prevented from interviewing political prisoner Reina Mae Nasino when she attended her daughter's wake on Wednesday.

"We will look at the nature of the incident and the circumstances surrounding PDL (person deprived of liberty) Nasino's furlough," the BJMP said in a statement on Thursday.

During Nasino's visit to the wake of her three-month-old daughter "Baby River," videos surfaced showing jail escorts trying to whisk her away from media before the prescribed end of her furlough.

A Manila court had granted Nasino a leave from jail from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday to see her deceased child from whom she had been separated since July.

The National Union of Journalists in the Philippines condemned the BJMP's actions and demanded an investigation.

"The incident in which four of Ms. Nasino's BJMP escorts surrounded her in an attempt to block her from being captured by cameras and clearly interviewed by reporters, is as abusive as it is illegal," the group said in a statement.

The court initially gave the political detainee three days of furlough but this was reduced due to lack of personnel to guard the 23-year-old Nasino.

A lawyers' group had fought for Nasino to be allowed to visit her baby when River was still struggling against lung complications in a hospital. River died from pneumonia on October 9 without reuniting with her mother.

Nasino and her two colleagues were arrested in the office of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan on Nov. 5 last year for possession of guns and explosives. She said the evidence against her was planted and vowed to continue the fight against injustice for the sake of her child.