Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Free Ericson Acosta

by Butch Dalisay 
PENMAN, Philippine Star

Last Monday, I wrote about recalling the horrors of martial law, which had been declared 40 years earlier. That same day, I had a chance encounter with a young woman named Kerima Tariman Acosta, whose husband Ericson has now been languishing in a Samar jail for a year  a political prisoner under a new regime four decades after martial law.

My interest in the case was piqued not just because of the obvious irony, but because Ericson was a former editor of the Philippine Collegian and a poet  in other words, a brother-in-arms as a writer.

Ericson was arrested on Feb. 13, 2011 by soldiers of the Philippine Army near San Jorge in Samar, without a warrant; Kerima says that he was carrying only his laptop, a cellphone, and some money, having been conducting human rights research in that militarized community on behalf of a peasant group, Kapawa. Later, however, his captors produced a grenade, which they claimed Ericson had in his pocket; they would later charge him with illegal possession of explosives, which Ericson vehemently denies, saying that the grenade was planted to link him to the New People’s Army.

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