Conduct impartial probe on death of NDFP resource person Ericson Acosta | Inquirer Opinion

Conduct impartial probe on death of NDFP resource person Ericson Acosta

/ 05:01 AM December 02, 2022

Pilgrims for Peace mourns the death of Ericson Acosta, poet, journalist, and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) resource person. He worked on and contributed to the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (Caser). The details surrounding his death need to be thoroughly and impartially investigated due to possible violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.

It has been reported that Acosta and his companion, a peasant organizer, were captured alive by the 94th and 47th Infantry Battalions at around 2 a.m. on Nov. 30, 2022, at Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental. However, a few hours later, the Armed Forces of the Philippines declared them as casualties of a supposed armed encounter.

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In light of this information, as well as the numerous cases in the past of such fabricated stories to cover up acts of summary execution, Pilgrims for Peace calls for the implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law signed by both the government of the Republic of the Philippines and the NDFP, so that an impartial investigation may be conducted.

We also call on the Commission on Human Rights to undertake the same. If found that the reports of the extrajudicial killing of Acosta and his companion by the military are true, the AFP must be taken to task for this abomination, which is part and parcel of a militaristic, “take no prisoners” approach to the long-running armed conflict with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army.

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Acosta’s death is all the more lamentable due to his untiring efforts as an NDFP peace resource person. In fact, he had been working at Kabankalan to share developments regarding the Caser, a landmark document that seeks to address the root causes of the armed struggle.

Acosta died on the day the country honors Andres Bonifacio. Both poets and patriots in the service of the people, their revolutionary fervor to attain a just and lasting peace shall not be forgotten.

Most Rev. Gerardo Alminaza, D.D.,

bishop, Diocese of San Carlos, Roman Catholic Church;

Most Revd Rhee M. Timbang, obispo maximo,

Iglesia Filipina Independiente;

Rev. Frank Hernando, United Church of Christ in the Philippines;

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Rev. Ritchie Masegman, Episcopal Church of the Philippines;

Rev. Irma Balaba, Promotion of Church People’s Response;

Deaconess Norma Dollaga, Kapatiran Simbahan Para sa Bayan;

Kej Andres, Student Christan Movement Philippines;

Mike Pante, Ph.D., Act for Peace;

Dr. Carol Araullo, BAYAN;

Tinay Palabay, Karapatan;

Gertrudes R. Libang, chair,

Gabriela;

Atty. Ephraim B. Cortez, National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers

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