academe call for release of detained cultural worker
April 15, 2011
Bienvenido Lumbera lead rallying cry: “Free the Artist, Free Ericson
Who is Ericson Acosta
and why is a National Artist calling for his immediate release from
detention? National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera today led artists,
journalists, members of the academe and human rights advocates in the
public launching of the Free Ericson Acosta Campaign.
Last February 13 in
San Jorge, Samar, members of the AFP’s 34th IB arrested cultural
worker Ericson Acosta on mere suspicion that he is a member of the New
People’s Army (NPA).
He 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. Handling his defense is a legal team
from the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL), led by Atty. Jun
Oliva and Atty. Rey Cortez.
Acosta is a former UP
activist. During the ‘90s, he served as editor of the Philippine
Collegian, UP’s official student publication. He was former
chairperson of the student cultural group Alay Sining, former chair of
the campus alliance STAND-UP and member of the UP Amnesty
Acosta edited the
Philippine Collegian’s groundbreaking F1 Literary Folio, where his
poem “And So Your Poetry Must” first appeared. He acted in several
theater productions in UP, including the UP Repertory Company’s “Sa
Sariling Bayan” directed by Soxy Topacio; Dulaang UP’s “Green Bird,”
directed by the late Ogie Juliano; and “Monumento,” which he wrote and
directed. He also played the lead role of Andres Bonifacio in this
multi-media production by the UP Alay Sining. Acosta also wrote
several patriotic songs for the activist cultural group.
He has worked in the
media as segment writer for ABS-CBN’s Wanted TV Patrol and assistant
entertainment section editor of the Manila Times. His works as a poet
and songwriter have remained relevant especially to the succeeding
generations of activists in and out of the university. He helped in
the reestablishment of the Concerned Artists of the Philippines (CAP)
during EDSA II, and has worked closely with the peasant sector. His
bias for the poor and oppressed dates back to his campus days.
Lumbera, who is
currently in Baguio for the 50th UP National Writers’ Workshop (UPNWW),
was with the Free Ericson Acosta Campaign launch in spirit, and
delivered his message via SMS: “He deserves to be released for his
continuing incarceration is a grievous loss to the growth of a truly
democratic art and culture of the Filipino people." Lumbera has known
Acosta since his activist days in the university and has published
favorable reviews for “Monumento.”
Panelists and fellows
of the 50th UPNWW, in an official statement, also expressed support
for Acosta’s immediate release: “As writers and artists some of us
have worked directly and in collaboration with Ericson Acosta who is
also a writer, poet, thespian, singer and songwriter.”
Acosta's plight is no
different from artists like Lumbera, Bonifacio Ilagan, Jun Cruz Reyes
and Axel Pinpin who were also incarcerated, persecuted and harassed
for their political beliefs.
The Free Ericson
Acosta Campaign is spearheaded by Acosta’s former colleagues from the
UP Philippine Collegian, UP Alay Sining and UP Amnesty International,
as well as his former schoolmates from St. Mary’s College, UST High
School, his family and friends.
The campaign started
when friends started posting personal testimonies about Acosta in
their blogs and Facebook accounts, immediately after they became aware
of his illegal arrest and detention in February. The campaign now
maintains the Facebook page “Free Ericson Acosta,” and a campaign blog
Supporters of the Free
Ericson Acosta Campaign also include veteran actors Fernando “Nanding”
Josef, Rody Vera, Pen Medina, and Bonifacio Ilagan; Dean Roland
Tolentino of the UP College of Mass Communications; Dr. Alice
Guillermo of the UP College of Arts and Letters; former Dean of the UP
College of Fine Arts Neil Doloricon, poets and literary critics Dr.
Gemino Abad, Gelacio Guillermo, Prof. J. Neil Garcia, Jun Cruz Reyes;
poet Richard Gappi of the Neo-Angono Artists’ Collective and former
political detainee Axel Pinpin of the Tagaytay 5; visual artists Egai
Talusan Fernandez, Boy Dominguez, Mideo Cruz, and Julie Lluch;
filmmakers Sigfried Barros Sanchez, Kiri Dalena, Carlitos Siguion-Reyna
and Bibeth Orteza; poet and musician Jess Santiago, rock musicians
Chickoy Pura of The Jerks and Eric Cabrera of Datu’s Tribe, and
journalists Elizabeth Lolarga, Kenneth Guda, Norman Bordadora, K Alave
and Iris Pagsanjan.
Former Cultural Center
of the Philippines (CCP) Vice President and Artistic Director Nanding
Josef said: “This new administration is challenged to be different
from its predecessors. Free those whose only ‘crime’ is genuinely
serving the least served, and jail without delay those who have
greedily taken away ‘food on the table of the poor.’ Free Ericson
“I know him (Ericson
Acosta) personally as a cultural worker. I am humbled by his
sacrifices and his commitment to the poor. My accomplishments as an
artist and cultural worker are nothing compared to his," Josef added.
Even in detention,
Acosta struggles to make his voice heard. A raw recording dubbed
“Prison Sessions” uploaded by BAYAN Secretary General Renato Reyes,
Jr. – who on his April 6 visit to the Calbayog jail played acoustic
guitar while Acosta sang some of his original compositions for Alay
Sining – instantly generated thousands of hits on its first few days
on the web.
In a highly emotional
statement, Acosta expressed his willingness to become the campaign’s
“principal mass leader and propagandist.”
“My active engagement
through my writings naturally serves to effectively amplify the
campaign, as well as the general call to free all political
prisoners,” he said, despite having writing difficulties given
dreadful conditions in prison.
The Free Ericson
Acosta Campaign called on all concerned artists, freedom-fighters and
human rights advocates to unite against political repression and
attacks on human rights and civil liberties. Their rallying cry: “Free
the Artist! Free Ericson Acosta!”
Victims of EJK to
Aquino: Implement UN resolution now, prosecute Arroyo and other
April 16, 2011
MANILA, Philippines – Families and friends
of slain human rights workers Benjaline Hernandez (2002) and Eden
Marcellana, and peasant leader Eddie Gumanoy (both in 2003) gathered
today at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani to call on the Aquino government
to implement the United Nations Human Rights Committee resolutions
finding the Philippine government responsible for the killing of the
three activists under Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
friends and human rights advocate show the two UN resolutions on
the case of Benjaline Hernandez, Eden Marcellana and Eddie Gumanoy
during the gathering of families of victims at the Bantayog ng mga
Bayani today, April 16, 2011. Shown in photo from left is a
representative of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines,
Megace Hernandez, sister of Benjaline and Glendhyl Malabanan and
Secretary General of Karapatan Southern Tagalog.
“This gathering serves
as a renewal of our call for justice for Beng, Eden and Eddie, and to
assert that the Aquino government should act on the families’ plight
for justice to all the victims of extrajudicial killings,” Cristina
Guevarra, Hustisya secretary general said.
Gathered in the
activity were the children of
Eden and colleagues of Eddie, who were both abducted and
killed on April
22, 2003 with a team conducting a fact finding mission on reported
abuses by the military in Oriental Mindoro. Elements of the 204th
Infantry Brigade, then under Ret. Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan were the
alleged perpetrators of the murder. Eden was secretary general of
Karapatan-Southern Tagalog while Eddie was chairperson of Katipunan ng
mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (KASAMA-TK).
Also in the gathering
was Mary Grace Hernandez, younger sister of Beng, then secretary
general of Karapatan Southern Mindanao when she was massacred with
three others while also conducting a fact-finding mission on
militarized areas in Arakan Valley, North Cotabato.
“We hope that the UN
resolution on the killing of Beng, Eden and Eddie shall serve as
precedent on the possible filing of charges against Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
and other perpetrators like Jovito Palparan,” Guevarra said.
supporters also condemned the recent killings of Keneth Reyes, a
barangay captain and member of Bayan Muna in Batangas and anti-mining
activist and Anakpawis Partylist member Ricky Manrique in
“The death toll
under Aquino has risen to 45 in less than a year of power, the two
recent killings not yet included. What is the message that these
killings tell us? The injustice continues, and despite resolutions
such as those issued by the UN, the state continues with its policy of
extrajudicial killings. We demand justice, but at the same time, we
demand to stop the killings,” Guevarra said.
DILG-8 announces LTIA
winners in Eastern Visayas
By MYLES JOSEPH E. COLASITO
April 13, 2011
TACLOBAN CITY – The
region’s nominees for the Lupong Tagapamayapa Incentives Award (LTIA)
has been announced by the Department of the Interior and Local
Asst Div. Chief Johannes Dorado & ARD Aida Laruda talks with Lupon of Brgy. San JUan, San Isidro, Northern Samar.
This, after the LTIA
Regional Awards Committee (RAC) held their meeting held last April 11,
2011 at the DILG Regional Office in
City. According to DILG-8 Director Francisco C. Jose, the top lupons
in Eastern Visayas who will be contending for the top prizes in the
national LTIA search are:
Brgy. 88, San Jose,
Tacloban City (Highly Urbanized City category);
Brgy. Liloan, Ormoc
City (Independent Component City/Component City category);
Gandara, Samar (1st to 3rd class municipality category); and
Silago, Southern Leyte (4th - 6th class municipality category).
Brgy. 88 in San Jose
district topped the evaluation of top performing Lupong Tagapamayapa
in the region's only HUC, Tacloban City.
Liloan in Ormoc City
bested Brgy. Bato in Borongan City (which was competing as a component
city barangay after having been the regional nominee in 2009 for 1st
to 3rd class towns); and Brgy. Combado in Maasin City.
In the 1st to 3rd
class municipalities, the other regional finalists were: Brgy. Biasong
in Hinunangan, Southern Leyte; and Brgy. Dalakit in Catarman,
Among 4th to 6th class
towns, the other finalists were: Brgy. Bulalacao in Kawayan, Biliran;
Brgy. Nena in San Julian, Eastern Samar; Brgy. 4-Poblacion in
and Brgy. San Juan in San Isidro, Northern Samar.
The LTIA aims to
provide recognition to performing Lupons, which are barangay
conflict-resolution bodies under the Katarungang Pambarangay Law in
1978 and strengthened by the Local Government Code of 1991.
The RAC is led by DILG
with the participation of the RTC Executive Judge, Regional State
Prosecutor, Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges,
private schools, among others.
The RAC assessed the
submitted documentation of regional finalists together with the
results of the regional evaluation team which conducted onsite
validation of the coverage period, from 2nd semester 2009 and the
whole of 2010.
The lupons were
evaluated by committees organized at the regional, provincial and
municipal levels on the basis of a) efficiency of operations; b)
effectiveness in securing the katarungang pambarangay objectives and
c) creativity and resourcefulness of mediators.
Baybay City, 5 other
LGUs sign MOA on co-management of natural resources
By MYLES JOSEPH E. COLASITO
April 11, 2011
TACLOBAN CITY – The
City of Baybay and five other municipalities signed a Memorandum of
Agreement (MOA) on
April 7, 2011
with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR),
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to firm up
their roles on co-management of natural resources in the area.
left Leyte Board Member Hon. Cayunda, Vice President Guarte of VSU,
Mayor Cari of Baybay City, Reg. Dir. Jose of DILG signing the MOA
on Co-Management of Mangrove and Foreshore Area of the 5th
District of Leyte (Baybay, Inopacan, Hindang, Hilongos, Bato
and Matalom) as witnessed by City Agriculturist Elena Siddiqui and
Sangguniang Panglungsod of Baybay City.
Mayor Carman Cari of
Baybay headed the mayors of six local government units – Baybay City,
and the towns of Bato, Hilongos, Hindang, Inopacan and Matalom in
forming an Integrated Municipal Fisheries and Aquatic Resources
Management Council (IMFARMC) to help administer laws in proper
management of natural resources within their boundaries.
The MOA signing was
held at the city Legislative Building which saw the mayors of the
concerned municipalities, and the representatives of the Visayas State
University, DENR, BFAR, PNP and other offies declare their pledges of
commitment for the undertaking. DILG -8 Regional Director Francisco
Jose was also on hand to lend his support.
The MOA sought to
harness support from the above-mentioned offices in order to fully
implement the provisions of joint memorandum circular 98-01 of DENR
and DILG, as well as DENR Department Order No 92-30 which provided
guidelines on transfer and Implementation of DENR functions devolved
to LGUs as mandated in the Local Government Code. LGUs now share with
the DENR the responsibility in sustainable management and development
of the environment and natural resources within their territories.
Among those present in
the event were BFAR Reg. Dir. Juan Albaladejo; Dr. Roberto Guarte, VSU
Vice President; PNP Provincial Director PSSupt. Pio Manito, PENRO
Robin Tumolva, Atty. Dan Suarez, OIC-CMMD of DENR; Board Member
Florante Cayunda, Mayor Silvestre Lumarda of Inopacan, and Mayor
Nathaniel Gertos of Bato.
The MOA signing is
expected to spur efforts of LGUs and the national government to
protect natural resources even while allowing for sustainable
development in these areas.
SP moves for schools'
involvement in environmental education
By LAIMINH S. MABULAY & ADOR L. HURTADO
April 10, 2011
CATBALOGAN CITY – The Sangguniang Panlungsod recently passed a resolution urging the
Department of Education to take the lead in conducting school-based
Information, Education and Communication campaigns about Ecological
Solid Waste Management.
The resolution, which
was passed through the motion of City Councilor Stephany Uy-Tan last
March 30, 2011, urged the Department of Education-Samar through
Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Alfredo D. Dacuro to include
Ecological Solid Waste Management discussions in the school curricula
and take the lead in the Information, Education and Communication
campaign by reactivating the Youth for Environment in School
It was in September
01, 2003 when DepEd Order No. 72 series of 2003 was first issued
ordering the establishment of the Youth for Environment in Schools
Organization (YES-O) in every public and private elementary and
secondary schools. This move by the SP gets legal backing from RA 9512
or the "National Environmental Awareness and Education Act of 2008",
explicitly mandates the Department of Education to conduct
environmental awareness campaigns, programs and projects.
resolution has yet to be personally handed over by Councilor Uy-Tan to
Dr. Alfredo D. Dacuro, the City Government of Catbalogan believes that
environmental preservation and solid waste management concerns must be
dealt with on various fronts and that educating young students on
these through activities like a regular ten (10) minute discussion in
science subjects, trainings, symposia and others can be an effective
environmental awareness campaigns would be very much similar to the
ones conducted by the Catbalogan I District Elementary School last
March 25, 2011 at the New Life Christian Center. Under the theme, "Sagip
Kalikasan, Sagip Buhay", Catbalogan I conducted a symposium on climate
change along with a video presentation and was participated in by
nearly a hundred students from the said school's Special Education
Class. The activity was conducted in cooperation with the City
Government and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
In behalf of the
City Mayor Coefredo T. Uy, City Councilor and City Council Committee
on Environment and Natural Resources Chair Stephany Uy-Tan urged her
student audiences to do their own part in protecting the environment.
"We need to protect our environment because we only have one earth.
Not for ourselves but for our children and their future", she said.
The highlight of the event was the lecture given by DENR Forester Mr.
Baldomero Nunez who gave a comprehensive discussion on environmental
preservation and protection. At the end of the event, pupils from
Catbalogan I were informed and motivated on the immediate need to
protect and preserve our environment.
legislators push approval and implementation of the new solid waste
By GINA DEAN-RAGUDO, Samar News.com
April 9, 2011
CALBAYOG CITY –
While the Sanggunian is working on the immediate approval and
implementation of the Comprehensive and Integrated Solid Waste
Management System of the City, the first batch of “Trainors’ Training
on Waste Analysis and Characterization Survey” (WACS) was conducted on
April 6, 2011 at the Sports Center.
Since the law mandates
that the segregation and collection of solid wastes (specifically
biodegradable, compostable and reusable wastes) shall be conducted at
the barangay level, and the non-recyclable materials and special
wastes shall be the obligation of the city through its private garbage
collector; the Solid Waste and Management Office (SWMO) required the
barangay officials or its representatives to undergo WACS training.
From among the 22
service areas, the city has an existing 8 Material Recovery Facilities
(MRF) that are operational – receive, separate, and prepare recyclable
materials for marketing to end-user manufacturers.
On the other hand,
WACS is the process to determine the total weight and volume of wastes
and verify the composition of waste materials being disposed per day,
assess the actual value of the 30% required diversion and identifies
the kind of waste for diversion from the disposal facility.
According to 2006
study on Characterization and Quantification of Residuals from
Material Recovery Facilities, the purpose of the material recovery
facilities (MRF) residual characterization was to obtain a complete
picture of the disposal and recovery potential for MRF residuals in
order to allow evaluation of potentially applicable recovery
strategies including processing and conversion technologies.
CSWM Chair Ronald P.
Aquino said that in the new solid waste management system, the city
will implement color coded and numbered sacks, impose schedules of
bulky garden wastes collection, no use of plastic bags and will
enforce stricter penalties for non-compliant or violators.
He warned the people
not to burn household garbage like recyclable items, yard or garden
wastes. Said human activities are contributing to global warming by
adding excessive amounts of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere;
Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide accumulate in the atmosphere
and trap heat that normally would exit into outer space, he added.
He also said that
dumping of garbage in non-designated areas and pick-up points are also
prohibited as it becomes a breeding ground for disease causing
believed that achieving a hundred percent compliance involves a
laborious task considering that Calbayog is composed of 157 barangays
and considered the third largest city in the
But as head or architects of their respective territories, it needs
“If you fail to plan,
you plan to fail”, he said. He encouraged the people to begin with a
single step and rectify previous mistakes.
DENR, DILG ink MOA
with six Leyte LGUs on co-management of natural resources
By MYLES JOSEPH E. COLASITO
April 6, 2011
TACLOBAN CITY – A
Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) will be signed on April 7, 2011
(Thursday) between the Department of Environment and Natural Resources
(DENR), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and six
coastal local government units in the western side of Leyte on
co-management of natural resources in the area.
It was learned that
the six LGUs – Baybay City, and the towns of Bato, Hilongos, Hindang,
Inopacan and Matalom had formed an Integrated Municipal Fisheries and
Aquatic Resources Management Council (IMFARMC) to administer laws in
proper management of natural resources within their boundaries.
They sought to harness
support from the above-mentioned offices in order to fully implement
the provisions of Joint Memorandum Circular 98-01 of DENR and DILG, as
well as DENR Department Order No 92-30 which provided guidelines on
transfer and Implementation of DENR functions devolved to LGUs as
mandated in the Local Government Code. LGUs now share with the DENR
the responsibility in sustainable management and development of the
environment and natural resources within their territories.
Baybay City Mayor
Carmen Cari will host the gathering to be held at the city Legislative
Building at 8 o’clock in the morning, which will feature pledges of
commitment from the mayors of the concerned municipalities and the
Visayas State University,
Dr. Jose L. Bacusmo.
Messages of support
are expected from Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho L. Petilla, DENR
Regional Executive Director Primitivo Galinato Jr. and DILG Regional
Director Francisco C. Jose.
Leyte 5th district congressman Jose Carlos L. Cari is likewise
slated to address the activity.
The MOA signing is
expected to give impetus to efforts of LGUs and the national
government to protect natural resources even while allowing for
sustainable development in these areas.