Monday, June 13, 2011

Artists and writers demand release of Ericson Acosta

Artists and writers demand release of Ericson Acosta

Family, friends and other personalities from artistic and literary circles called for the release of Ericson Acosta, a freelance journalist documenting the state of human rights in Samar.

Acosta was arrested on February 13 in Barangay Bay-ang, San Jorge, Samar along with some leaders of a farmers' organization. A grenade was planted among his belongings to justify filing a case of illegal posession of firearms against him.

The Free Ericson Acosta Campaign was launched in April to support efforts to secure Acosta's release. He is currently detained at the Calbayog Sub-provincial Jail. Before he was presented to the public, Acosta was severely tortured and almost summarily executed by the military.

Acosta was a writer at the Philippine Collegian, the student paper at the University of the Philippines in Diliman. He was one of the editors of the Literary Folio of the Philippine Collegian, which they managed to put together in 1994, decades after it was last published. Acosta is not just a writer. He is also a poet, a talented actor and composer of original music.

To support the campaign, panelists and delegates to the 50th UP National Writers' Workshop condemned Acosta's continued illegal detention. They drafted the statement in Baguio City where the writers' workshop was conducted. Among those who signed the statement were National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera, Jose Dalisay Jr., Jun Cruz Reyes, Gemino Abad, J. Neil Garcia, Charlson Ong, Rolando Tolentino, Romulo Baquiran, Jr., and Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo.