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We, University of the Philippines alumni, academe, artists, writers, students, human rights advocates, friends and colleagues of Ericson Legaspi Acosta, call for his immediate and unconditional release from his current illegal detention.
Ericson is a cultural worker and writer, and a former UP activist. During the ‘90s, he served as editor of the Philippine Collegian, UP’s official student publication. He is a former chair of the student cultural group Alay Sining, a former chair of the campus alliance STAND-UP and member of the UP Amnesty International. (Read article about Acosta’s journey from “troublesome” artist to political detainee here.)
His works as a writer, poet, thespian, singer and songwriter have remained relevant especially to the succeeding generations of UP activists in and out of the university. His bias for the poor and oppressed dates back to his campus days.
Last February 13, soldiers in San Jorge, Samar arrested him on mere suspicion that he is a member of the New People’s Army. Ericson was unarmed and was in the company of a local barangay official when he was arrested without warrant. He was held for three days without charges and was subjected to continuous tactical interrogation by the military. He has been charged with illegal possession of explosives and is detained at the Calbayog sub-provincial jail.
His rights continue to be violated each day he remains incarcerated. The fabricated charges are intended to keep him under government’s control and scrutiny. His frail appearance in the photo released to media by the AFP heightens concerns for his health given the conditions in jail.
The road to genuine and lasting peace cannot be paved with government’s continued iron-fist policy of arresting its perceived enemies on mere suspicion. It behooves the Aquino government to forge favorable conditions in the conduct of its peace efforts by releasing political prisoners.
Ericson has dedicated his life to serving the people. We, his friends, colleagues, family and supporters, call on the Aquino government to effect his immediate release by dropping the trumped-up charges.
FREE ERICSON ACOSTA NOW!
RELEASE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS!
Support the Ericson Acosta Legal Defense Fund
Last February 13, former UP activist, journalist and cultural worker Ericson Acosta was arrested by the military in San Jorge, Samar on the suspicion that he was an NPA rebel. He is currently detained at the Calbayog sub-provincial jail and faces trumped-up charges of illegal possession of explosives. Contrary to the AFP claims, Ericson was unarmed and in the company of a local barangay official at the time of his arrest. He was held for three days without charges and was subjected to continuous tactical interrogation by the military.
Ericson was a former editor of the Philippine Collegian in UP, a former chair of the student cultural group Alay Sining, and a former chair of the campus alliance STAND-UP. He is a writer, journalist, poet, thespian, singer and songwriter. His works remain relevant on and off campus. Since his UP days, Ericson has worked closely with the poor and oppressed.
We his friends, together with his family and human rights groups, are working for his immediate release and for the dropping of all the fabricated charges made against him.
We appeal for your support for the legal defense fund which we have put up for him. The funds raised will go to Ericson’s legal defense and medical needs. There are the inherent difficulties faced by the family who are based in Metro Manila while Ericson is detained in Samar.
Through your help, we can see to it that Ericson will be released and be reunited with his family and the people he serves.
You may donate through the account:
BDO The Block SM City North branch
Savings Account # 0251065464
For international donations:
BDO The Block SM City North branch
Savings Account: 00-0251065464
Routing #: 021000089