Artists welcome DOJ
order to dismiss charges vs. Ericson Acosta
By Concerned Artists of the
January 31, 2013
QUEZON CITY – The Concerned
Artists of the Philippines welcomes the Department of Justice's (DOJ)
new resolution to withdraw charges filed against Ericson Acosta, a
poet, activist and former editor of the Philippine Collegian of the
University of the Philippines.
Acosta was arrested on
February 13, 2011 in San Jorge, Samar by the military. He was
subsequently interrogated, tortured, jailed, and falsely charged of
illegally possessing explosives. Acosta spent 23 months in the
Calbayog sub-provincial jail and was recently allowed to be confined
at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute in Quezon City.
Earlier today, the DOJ
issued a resolution granting Acosta's petition for review, reversing
probable cause and dismissing the military's trumped-up chages against
“We welcome the DOJ's move
to free the artist. This victory is the result of a long and
persistent struggle by Acosta's family, friends, fellow activists,
artists and human rights advocates against such political persecution
and suppression. It affirms that the military has erred in bringing on
false charges and violated basic human rights,” said visual artist
Renan Ortiz, spokesperson for CAP.
Despite the good news, Ortiz
added, many other political prisoners who have met the same fate as
Acosta continue to languish in jail. Human rights groups have listed
over 300 political detainees suffering under the Aquino
“We must also note that many
other cultural workers and artist-activists remain imprisoned for
years already under the current administration. These include Alan
Jazmines, an activist, poet, and painter; UP film student Maricon
Montajes; union organizer and writer Randy Vegas – who like Acosta are
all detained based on trumped up charges, harassed and persecuted
because of their activism,” Ortiz added.
In support of the call to
free the artist and free all political prisoners, CAP will be
organizing a global event for people's rights entitled Artists Break
the Chains: Global Action to Defend People's Culture on February 20,
2013 at the Freedom Bar in Anonas, Quezon City.