Detainee’s father pleads for medical tests for sonBy Nestor P. Burgos Jr.
ILOILO CITY—The father of an alleged communist rebel leader detained in Calbayog City, Samar has asked the government to allow his son to seek medical treatment for a kidney ailment.
In an open letter to concerned government agencies, the 79-year-old father of Ericson Acosta also appealed for the speedy resolution of his son’s case.
“I write this letter of appeal to the jail warden, to the Department of Justice, to (Justice) Secretary Leila de Lima, and to all other concerned branches of government,” said Isaias Acosta, the detainee’s father.
“I am an old man with no shortage of illnesses as expected of anyone my age, but I would gladly forfeit any trip to the doctor if it could only be traded for much-needed medical treatment for my son,” said the letter.
Ericson, 37, a former editor of the Philippine Collegian, has been detained at a jail in Calbayog City since Feb. 16, 2011, three days after he was arrested by soldiers in Barangay Bay-ang in San Jorge town, Samar.
He is facing a charge of illegal possession of explosive at the Regional Trial Court Branch 41 in Gandara town, Samar.
The Army claimed that Acosta tried to draw a hand grenade from his pocket when soldiers intercepted him as he was about to board a motorboat to the Gandara town proper.
The Army alleged that Ericson was the deputy secretary of the Samar Provincial Party Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and a former member of the instructors’ bureau of the National Education Department of the CPP.
But his family and lawyers said Ericson was carrying only a laptop and personal belongings when he was arrested. They said he was in the area as a volunteer researcher of a local farmers’ group.
Ericson’s lawyers on July 19 filed a motion asking the court to allow him to undergo medical tests.
In the motion, his lawyers said Ericson was diagnosed in 2010 to be suffering a kidney ailment that could lead to prostate cancer.
They said he was suffering from acute pain in the lower back and abdomen and urinates blood sometimes.
The motion, however, remains pending when the judge handling Ericson’s case retired shortly after Ericson was charged.
Isaias said he was not asking for special treatment for his son Ericson.
“What we demand is that Ericson and all other political prisoners who are ailing precisely because of dismal prison conditions also be accorded the right to medical attention as necessary,” he said in his letter.