Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tanikala at Talinghaga


"Tanikala at Talinhaga" (Chains & Metaphors) is a documentary on artist-political prisoners in the Philippines, with interviews from National Democratic Front consultant Alan Jazmines, a poet and visual artist; activist poet-songwriter Ericson Acosta; and film student Maricon Montajes.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Appeal from Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights

Mr. President, your father’s memory as a political prisoner, hopes to bring you to take action to promote the protection of human rights of Filipino people. One of the very first acts of the late Pres. Corazon Aquino, your mother, was to free political prisoners. It was an action matched with her words to restore the Filipino people's democratic rights.



7 September 2012

His Excellency Benigno Simeon Aquino III 
President Republic of the Philippines 
MalacaƱang Palace JP Laurel Street, San Miguel Manila 1005 Philippines

Transmitted via Electronic Mail and Telefax:
corres@op.gov.ph / opnet@ops.gov.ph
(+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968

Dear President Benigno Simeon Aquino III:

On behalf of the Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights (CPSHR), I would like to bring to your attention, the case of ERICSON ACOSTA, an artist, poet, cultural worker, former editor of the University of the Philippines’s school Paper, and human rights activist—who is illegally detained at the sub-provincial jail of Calbayog City, Samar province.

While doing a study on the human rights situation in militarized communities with the Small Peasants Association of Western Samar and the Alliance of Concerned Samarenos (ACOS), Acosta was arrested without warrant by members of the 34th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army in February 13, 2011. A grenade was later produced by the military who accused him of illegal possession of an explosive, which is a non-bailable offence.

According to the counter-affidavit that was filed by the National Union of People’s Lawyers on Acosta’s behalf:
a. He was arrested without warrant while not committing any crime or doing anything illegal;
b. He was not informed of the reason for his arrest at the time of his arrest;
c. He was denied the right to counsel;
d. He was denied a phone call and prevented from contacting his family or his lawyer;
e. He was subjected to prolonged interrogation for 44 hours;
f. During tactical interrogation, he was physically and psychologically tortured;
g. He was deprived of sleep, threatened, intimidated, coerced and forced to admit membership in the New People’s Army;
h. The grenade subject of the case was planted;
i. The complaint against him was filed in court only after 72 hours and 30 minutes;
j. He was detained in a military camp, which is not of civilian jurisdiction.”

Acosta’s incarceration is a violation of Article 9 of the Convention on Civil and Political Rights which protects a person from arbitrary arrest and detention, to which the Philippine government is a signatory.
In a recent open letter written by Acosta’s father, Isaias, it was revealed that Acosta is suffering from abdominal and back pains, is passing blood in his urine and may possibly have a prostate problem due to bad prison conditions. For humanitarian reasons, political detainees like Ericson Acosta, ought to be freed immediately because he is sick.

Mr. President, your father’s memory as a political prisoner, hopes to bring you to take action to promote the protection of human rights of Filipino people. One of the very first acts of the late Pres. Corazon Aquino, your mother, was to free political prisoners. It was an action matched with her words to restore the Filipino people's democratic rights.

CPSHR adds our collective voice to the legions of individuals and organizations in the Philippines and abroad such as the National Commission on Culture and the Arts, the Philippine Center of the International PEN, and Amnesty International in calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Acosta. His continued detention is a colossal injustice to Acosta and to the Filipino people whom he has chosen to serve through his courageous and creative involvement in the people’s struggle for their economic, political and cultural rights.

Thank you and we hope for your immediate attention and action on this case.

Sincerely yours,


SGD. Orval K. Chapman
Founding Member
Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights


Copy furnished:
Mr. Jose Arthur P. Ampeso, Consul General 
700 West Pender, Suite 1405 Philippine Consulate, Vancouver BC

Hon. Leila M. De Lima Secretary, Department of Justice (DOJ)
Padre Faura Street, Ermita, Manila, 1000 
Email: lmdelima@doj.gov.ph / doj.delima@gmail.com

Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin Secretary, Department of National Defense (DND) 
Camp Gen. Emilio F. Aguinaldo Quezon City 1110 
Fax: +63 2 982 5640; Tel: +63 2 982 5638 
Email webmaster@dnd.gov.ph

Chairperson Loretta Ann P. Rosales Commission on Human Rights (CHR) 
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue U.P. Complex, Diliman Quezon City 
Tel: +63 2 928 5655, +63 2 926 6188; Fax: +63 2929 0102 
Email: rosales.chr@gmail.com

General Eduardo SL Oban Jr. Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) 
DND Building, Camp Gen Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City 1110 
Tel: +63 2 911 6001 local 8414; Fax: +63 2 421 3531 
Email: bacsecretariat@dnd.gov.ph