Detained poet welcomes DOJ action, thanks supporters

Detained poet Ericson Acosta today welcomed DOJ Sec. Leila de Lima’s directive for the “immediate disposition” of the petition for review of his case.

The Justice chief promised immediate action in response to Acosta’s personal letter inviting her to a dialogue.

Until last Friday, Acosta has been detained at the Calbayog Sub-Provincial Jail while his petition for review at the DOJ has been pending for more than a year. Acosta was recently granted temporary release by the Gandara RTC in Samar on humanitarian grounds. He is currently confined at the National Kidney Transplant Institute (NKTI) in Quezon City while undergoing tests and treatment for a kidney ailment.

“I welcome Sec. Leila de Lima’s directive. The resolution of my petition for review is awaited not only by myself but by my family, friends and supporters all over the world. My invitation to a dialogue with her still stands,” Acosta said.

Acosta also thanked his supporters for their sustained campaigning and vigilance. “This latest development in my legal case is mainly due to the untiring support of my supporters. If not for them, the DOJ would not have taken notice.”

He also thanked his supporters for their alertness amid attempts by his BJMP guards to employ irrational and repressive measures during his confinement at the NKTI. Yesterday, his BJMP guards threatened to handcuff him to his bed but were stopped by quick action from his supporters and legal counsels.

According to the Free Ericson Acosta Campaign, the BJMP’s failure to further repress Acosta and terrorize visitors was an “initial victory”. “Still, the BJMP remains overzealous in restricting his privacy and rights. Visitors confirmed that the armed guards are the same ones that guarded Morong 43. These are not mere guards but professional bullies, our vigilance must be increased tenfold,” the group said.

The FEAC called on the DOJ to also immediately address and set parameters on the BJMP’s role at the NKTI. “They are tasked to guard and secure Acosta but they are the ones posing a threat to his security.”

Yesterday, at 6:00 in the afternoon, a certain Dr. Col. Mundin who introduced himself as a doctor of the BJMP unceremoniously barged into Acosta’s room and started asking about his medical condition. He was accompanied by two BJMP guards. He then showed a document and informed Acosta and his companions that other members of the “BJMP Health Team” are set to “do a series of tests” on him. Mundin again attempted to enter Acosta’s room today but was stopped by NKTI security.

“The BJMP has no business meddling into Acosta’s medical procedures. We expect the DOJ to put the BJMP in its place. The added stress and obvious ploys to harass him will only aggravate Acosta’s medical condition,” the FEAC said.

The FEAC, led by various artists, cultural workers and supporters, will stage a picket-rally at the DOJ tomorrow to call for the dismissal of Acosta’s case. ###