DOJ junks case vs poet-activist

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 31 2013 03:01 PM | Updated as of Feb 01 2013 12:30 AM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - The Department of Justice (DoJ) has granted the request of detained poet-activist Ericson Acosta for the junking of the criminal case against him for illegal possession of explosives.

Prosecutor General Claro Arellano bared that Acosta's 2-year old petition for review was granted by the department.

Acosta was arrested in Samar in 2011 upon suspicion of being a member of the New People's Army. He cried foul over his "warrantless arrest" and alleged torture in the hands of state forces.

He also claimed he was merely doing volunteer research work at that time.

"[W]e find that numerous irregularities have transpired in the arrest, detention and turn-over of respondent Acosta to the police authorities, which leads us to seriously doubt the validity of the charges against him.

"[T]he instant petition for review is hereby granted. The Provincial Prosecutor of Samar is hereby directed to file the appropriate motion to withdraw the information against Ericson Acosta..." read the 15-page petition for review resolution signed by Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan III.

Acosta, who has been detained at the Calbayog jail, is now being treated for nephritis at the  National Kidney and Transplant Institute in Quezon City following a court grant for his plea for medical furlough.

In his petition for review, Acosta cited "irregularities and human rights violations in the conduct of his arrest and detention," namely, 1) he was arrested without warrant while not committing any crime or doing any illegal act; 2) he was not informed of the reason for his arrest at the time of his arrest; 3) he was denied the right to counsel; 4) he was denied a phone call and prevented from contacting his family or lawyer; 5) he was subjected to prolonged interrogation for 44 hours; 6) he was physically and psychologically tortured during tactical interrogation; 7) he was deprived of sleep, threatened, intimidated, coerced and forced to admit membership in the NPA; 8) the grenade subject of the case was planted; 9) the complaint against him was filed in court only after 72 hours and 30 minutes; and, 10) he was detained in a military camp, which is not of civilian jurisdiction.