New-born baby of political prisoner Andrea Rosal died two days after birth

(An updated version of Urgent Appeal issued on April 22, 2014)


Andrea Rosal, a woman political prisoner and daughter of communist spokesperson Ka Roger Rosal, lost her first child two days after giving birth while in detention.   

Mother and Child

Andrea Rosal was arrested together with Edward Lazanas on March 27 by elements of the National Bureau of Investigation for trumped up charges of kidnapping with murder.  Rosal was seven months pregnant during the arrest. 



A decision granting Rosal's Urgent Motion for Hospitalization was issued by the Pasig Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 266 in the morning of May 15, just in time for Rosal’s delivery. 

The Pasig RTC’s decision came out only after six long weeks since it was filed on April 2 at the Mauban Regional Trial Court Branch 64. The Mauban RTC did not decide on the petition but instead transferred the motion to the Pasig RTC. 

Rosal gave birth at 8 a.m. on May 17. But the hours between May 15 and 17 were the longest for a mother in labor. Undergoing uterine contractions since the evening of May 15, Andrea was brought back and forth from Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City to the Philippine General Hospital in Manila, almost 15 kilometers apart, because there were no available room for her according to the BJMP. Andrea Rosal was admitted only at the PGH on May 16. The next morning, on May 17, she gave birth to a baby girl whom she named Diona Andrea Rosal.  


On May 18 at around 5:00 pm, Baby Diona expired due to pulmonary hypertension secondary to neonatal pneumonia and hypoxic encephalopathy, according to her death certificate. Right after she was born, Baby Diona was on artificial respirator. 


Baby Diona's lifeless body was already cold and blue when Andrea had the first and only opportunity to hold her in her arms. (picture attached, with permission from Andrea Rosal)


According to Dr. Beng Rivera-Reyes of the Health Alliance for Democracy (HEAD), the poor prison conditions which Andrea Rosal was in and the failure to provide regular pre-natal check-up may have contributed to the health condition of Baby Diona.


During her detention at the National Bureau of Investigation in Manila, Rosal was brought to a cramped and extremely hot cell most unfit for a pregnant woman. Despite complaints of stomach cramps, Andrea was only allowed to see her doctor two days after her arrest. The doctor’s prescription for hospital confinement and other laboratory procedures were ignored. Instead, she was transferred to the female dormitory for detainees in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City where jail condition was worse.  


She did not receive any medical attention from jail authorities during her detention at Camp Bagong Diwa. Andrea shares the 5x10 meter cell with 31 other female detainees. Each cell has only a window built along the building's corridor; no window is built where fresh air and sunlight could get through. 


Since her arrest, she stopped taking her supplements and has to make do with prison food rations, which is usually just rice and a meagre amount of fish or boiled vegetable. She was allergic to fish, but she was not allowed to cook her own food. She had to sleep on the floor because the sleeping cot assigned to her is on the third deck. Her request for an electric fan of her own was refused by jail authorities citing there is a limit to the number of fans in each cell. 

Andrea is still mourning for the death of child. But the Court prohibited her to bury her own child for "security reasons". She is only allowed to visit the wake of Baby Diona for three hours.  

Andrea Rosal and Lazanas must be immediately released for the cases charged against them are fabricated and baseless. The witness against Andrea Rosal was the same ‘professional witness’ used by the military against security guard Rolly Panesa, who was illegally arrested, detained and tortured on charges that he was a high-ranking official of the Communist Party of the Philippines.  


Recommended Action: 

Send letters, emails or fax messages calling for:


  1. The immediate release of Andrea Rosal and Edward Lazanas; 
  2. The end to the policy of labelling, targeting and persecuting children of members of the national democratic movement;
  3. The withdrawal of Oplan Bayanihan, the Philippine government’s counterinsurgency program, that victimizes innocent and unarmed civilians; and 
  4. The Philippine Government to observe the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UN Standard Minimum Treatment of Prisoners, UN Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and all the major Human Rights instruments that it is a party and signatory to.




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