SF CHRP (San Francisco Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines) is a San Francisco based human rights advocacy group. Latest news and views on human rights in the Philippines.
Despite the withdrawal of criminal charges against artist, poet, and national democratic activist Ericson Acosta Karapatan has called out the Aquino administration for not moving fast enough to formally release Acosta:
With the recent findings and resolution of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to withdraw information against detained poet-artist Ericson Acosta, “it is in incumbent upon the Aquino government to file charges against the members of the 34th IB for violations of RA 7438, rights of persons arrested, detained or under custodial investigation,” said Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan.
Karapatan said Ericson Acosta’s case shows the all-too-familiar violations committed by Aquino’s Armed Forces of the Philippines against activists and ordinary folks they encounter in the course of their “counterinsurgency” campaign: warrantless arrest; the right to be informed why he was arrested; denial of the right to counsel and to inform his family; prolonged interrogation and torture; planted evidence; detention in a military camp, among other violations.
“Acosta’s experience and plight showcase the situation of the 430 political prisoners in the country who were falsely accused of committing various criminal acts. In December 2012 alone, 28 people were arbitrarily arrested by the AFP based on trumped up criminal charges,” Palabay noted.
“Lies were concocted by the AFP to arrest Ericson and to keep him in jail for almost two years. The 430 political prisoners are on the same boat and should be released immediately. It was done in the case of Acosta, it could be done for the other political prisoners who went through the same harrowing experience as Acosta,” added Palabay.
She reiterated Karapatan’s observation that there is an uptrend in the cases of people who are falsely charged with criminal offenses “in the course of the implementation of Oplan Bayanihan”, adding that “Ericson Acosta was among the first victims of OpBay when he was illegally arrested and detained on the 2nd month of the implementation of the counter-insurgency policy.”
“The Aquino government should stop its malicious and dangerous policy of filing trumped up charges against persons they perceive as rebels,” said Palabay, stressing Karapatan’s call to junk OpBay.