Nothing can be sadder for a mother than seeing the daughter she nurtured inside her body for nine months die just two days after she gave birth to it. That’s what happened in the case of Andrea Rosal, daughter of Ka Roger Rosal, the spokesperson of New People’s Army until his death in 2011.
Andrea Rosal, 31, was arrested last March for charges related to kidnapping and murder. Despite her pregnancy, she was detained, according to one report, together with 31 other inmates in a 5 X 10 meter cell.
“She did not receive any medical attention from jail authorities during her detention in Camp Bagong Diwa,” Tinay Palabay of human rights group Karapatan told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Despite the sensitive nature of Rosal’s pregnancy and with her about to give birth anytime, Rosal did not receive adequate maternal care. She was not immediately transferred to the Philippine General Hospital from Camp Bagong Diwa because of the delay in the release of a court order.
You see, if you are a political prisoner, you will need court permission to give birth in an hospital. Logic-defying, right? Now this photo of Andrea Rosal holding her dead baby has gone viral over the Internet.
And although she was allowed to visit her daughter’s wake for three hours, she was denied the chance to attend the funeral in Batangas on May 22. This is worse than adding insult to injury. What can be more painful for a mother than not being able to bid goodbye to her departed child?
As if this cruelty is not enough, just look at how “secured” Andrea was when she went to her child’s funeral. The photo below was originally uploaded by Zhander Cayabyab of DZMM.
Despite being wheelchair-bound, not lower than 14 uniformed personnel from the Armed Forces of the Philippines stood by her just as she approached her daughter’s coffin. Can’t she be given space for a few minutes to grieve privately? Will doing so give her the opportunity to escape?
Ironically, this is happening at a time when the country already has a reproductive health law, which seeks to address maternal and infant mortality. Section 2.d of Republic Act 10354 reads:
“The State likewise guarantees universal access to medically-safe, non-abortifacient, effective, legal, affordable, and quality reproductive health care services, methods, devices, supplies which do not prevent the implantation of a fertilized ovum…” (emphasis added)
The words “universal access” obviously means that no distinctions will be made regardless of a person’s political beliefs. In theory, yes. But in this particular case, it obviously did not happen.
During the last few weeks of her pregnancy, did she get the necessary medical care? Because if yes, then the delicate condition of her baby would have been detected early on and subsequently, the needed interventions would have been done.
This is just the latest side story in the four-decade long struggle between the Philippine government and the local Communist movement. It does not take a genius to understand that the State has the upper-hand in this ideological warfare.
However, does the government have to resort to this cruelty just to show dominance over its opponents? For me, the basic issue here is compassion for another human being.
The State has shown in this case that it is heartless in dealing with those they tag as Communists. This action will serve no other purpose but to intensify the Left’s resolve to fight. There’s no more need to use Andrea Rosal and the death of her newborn for propaganda purposes since the military’s vindictive acts already speaks volumes.