SHE STAYED with us for just one day, yet the story of Diona Andrea, granddaughter of the late New People’s Army spokesman Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal, continues to haunt the Philippine government.
Diona died a day after she was born on Sunday to Ka Roger’s daughter Andrea Rosal, who was arrested by authorities late March on suspicion of being a leader of the New People’s Army.
Human rights groups have criticized the government’s handling of Andrea’s case and the conditions of her detention. Andrea claims that the conditions of her detention and the alleged refusal of her captors to give her sufficient medical attention even though she was already nine months pregnanet were the reasons for the death of her daughter. The military denies the charges.
The death of Diona and the plight of her mother Andrea highlights an often overlooked issue: the treatment of female detainees and the availability of medical attention especially in cases of delicate situations such as pregnancies. Regardless of political affiliations of those concerned, the issue touches on the most basic of human rights – the right to medical attention, and the right to live.
PCIJ multimedia producers Julius D. Mariveles and Cong B. Corrales raises this question in A Mother’s Tale, a brief multimedia story that includes an interview with another former detainee who went through a similar plight.