Detained mothers' message to Pope Francis

Andrea (left) Miradel (right) 

Four months after Andrea Rosal was arrested in March 2014, she met four-month pregnant Maria MiradelTorres. Torres was very weak due to profuse bleeding when she was brought to Taguig City Jail. “I was reminded of my ordeal in the hands of state forces when I saw Miradel. How many mothers have to go through this kind of cruelty just because they help and serve the poor people?” lamented Rosal.

 

 

 

On March 27, 2014, the seven-month pregnant Andrea Rosal, daughter of the late Communist Party of thePhilippines’ spokesperson Ka Roger Rosal, was arrested with Edward LanzanasShe gave birth on May 17 but her baby died the following day. Meanwhile, Miradel Torres was arrested in Quezon Province on June 20, 2014 after she was confined at a hospital due to threatened abortion. Her doctors advised Miradelto have complete bed rest but was illegally arrested and brought to the headquarters of the Southern Luzon Command where she underwent interrogation. She was transferred to Taguig City Jail female dorm the following day.

 

Both Rosal and Torres sent message to Pope Francis even before he arrived in the Philippines:

 

I hope Pope Francis will help me in my quest for justice for what happened to me and my baby. I am a daughter of a revolutionary and that is not a sin. The inhuman conditions inside the jail and the unjust treatment I went through led to the death of my first-born, baby Diona Andrea. The government deprived me of motherhood from the moment I was arrested. I was not even allowed to see attend my daughter’sburial. The Aquino government only proved my father chose the right path. These injustices have to stop,” said Rosal.

 

Miradel Torres who gave birth last November 19, 2014 wrote, “My baby and I have been through so much difficultyWhen they arbitrarily arrested me during my fourth month of pregnancy, they arrested my baby, too. Now that he is born, he will not go home without me. We should be released together. I appeal to you, our dear Pope Francis to help call for my release as well as that of other political prisoners who also suffer for crimes they did not commit. My baby needs me. He needs a mother to take care of him.”

 

When she was brought back to the jail after giving birth Rosal said, “Every day is torture. It never skip my mind what my baby and I went through inside this jail. If she were alive, only these iron bars separate us and I could see her again. But now she’s gone forever.”

 

At the hospital, while Miradel was putting her baby to sleep, she said, my baby is a fighter, he held tight and did not give up despite what they did to us; I will do the same for him, for us, until we are finally free.###