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Pialago apologizes to Reina Mae Nasino but won't take back 'drama serye' remark

After her controversial remark about Baby River Nasino, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) spokesperson Celine Pialago on Monday apologized to the late infant's mother, detained activist Reina Mae Nasino.

Pialago came under fire over the weekend over a Facebook post where she told the public to know Reina Mae's story first before sympathizing with her.

An urban poor organizer who faces charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives, Reina Mae was given only six hours to attend the wake and burial of Baby River, her three-month-old firstborn who died of pneumonia last October 9.

“Nagso-sorry ako doon sa mga grieving mothers, to Reina also. Ako po ay personally na nakikiramay,” Pialago told GMA News Online.

However, Pialago said she will not withdraw her statement likening the outpouring of sympathy to Reina and her daughter to a "drama serye."

“Hindi ako magwi-withdraw. Pero gusto kong ma-emphasize ‘yung salitang dramaserye. Na-highlight kasi ng netizens natin sa Facebook  tila ba binabatikos ko ‘yung  paghihinagpis ni Reina,” she said.

“Ang pino-point out ko sa ‘dramaserye’ ay ‘yung mga kababayan natin na kina-capitalize nila ‘yung issue of a grieving mother,” Pialago said.

Pialago, who said her comment was her own and not part of her role as MMDA spokesperson, said that she only wanted to influence and educate the public about the issue.

“Nagsasalita ako simula noong nagkaroon ako ng knowledge noong pumasok ako sa Reserved Force. So nalaman ko ‘yung pros and cons, yung pag-handle ng ganitong high profile cases,” she said.

“On a positive note, I want to educate people,” she added.

For Pialago, the public should be knowledgeable first about Reina Mae and her case before symphatizing with her.

“That’s why I said, bago kayo sumimpatya alamin niyo muna, tignan niyo muna sino ba si Reina," she told GMA News Online.

“’Yung tinutukoy ko po so dramaserye ay ‘yung mga taong sumisimptya sa sitwasyon niya para maka-capitalize ‘yung sarili nilang interest,” she added.

Reina Mae carried River in her womb while in jail and gave birth at a hospital on July 1. Weeks later, mother and daughter were ordered separated.  —KBK, GMA News