A WOMEN'S advocate group in the Cordillera called out Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) spokesperson Celine Pialago for her insensitive and callous remarks toward Reina Mae "Ina" Nasino and Baby River's mourners.
"Inayan, Ms. Pialago! As a public official, do good instead in relating with individuals and communities. As a woman, have empathy and compassion to women victims of state terrorism," said Audrey Corse, secretary-general of Innabuyog.
Inayan is a Cordillera indigenous value that is the admonition not to harm and to be good in relations with individuals, the community and the environment which is akin to karma
Corse said Cordillera indigenous peoples have high regard for women and care for children is consistent with concern for future generations.
The Cordillera activist movement addresses and espouses concern for women and children by continued values education.
Innabuyog said Pialago must also be reminded that the country's justice system is not kind to ordinary people but kindest to the real murderers, corrupt officials, and human rights violators.
"Ina was a community worker in the poorest communities of Metro Manila and was denied her right to visit her dying child, let alone hold a proper and decent funeral. Meanwhile, 'big' personalities who pillaged the country and are responsible for the death of innocent people were pampered and treated like they were not criminals. Is this not enough for Pialago to realize, such that we cry in anguish for Ina and Baby River," Innabuyog said in a statement.
Innabuyog added that as indigenous peoples, "we hold our women and children with high regard for their responsibilities in the community and for future generations. Thus, anyone who harms a woman/mother and child could receive the reprimand of being cursed or made an outcast. Draw lesson from this value so that no grieving mother will have to suffer from the same pain you caused."
The women's right group said Pialago has shed her true colors, "model of moral decay among public officials who did not bother to determine the truth and dismiss the concerned public's anger is just blinded by the death of an infant."
"No one is romanticizing the death of a baby who was inhumanely separated from her mother at a time of public health crisis. No one is making a drama serye out of a grieving mother's grief and anger when heavily-armed guards surrounded her deceased baby's casket," Innabuyog added.