features from SOBRIETY for the PHILIPPINES:
(Without Fear or Favor)
Sunday, August 5, 2012
“I cannot but be distressed by the continuing prejudice of our justice system against my son and other political prisoners like him.”
By INA ALLECO R. SILVERIO
MANILA — The family of political detainee artist Ericson Acosta has issued a new appeal to human rights advocates and Acosta’s friends and supporters, this time regarding the detainee’s health problems.
Acosta’s father, Isaias, said his son is in immediate need of medical attention because of a worsening kidney problem. Isaias, 79, said Ericson, who has been detained for over a year since February 2011 in Calbayog, Samar on false charges, is suffering from painful kidney stones. He and his wife Liwayway, 80, are not in the peak of health either and have their own share of health issues.
“We are both physically suffering due to our respective conditions but nothing compares to the torment of knowing that our son continues to be unjustly imprisoned,” he said.
Isais said that in his last visit to Acosta, his son said he had been feeling persistent pain in his abdomen and lower back. The pain, Acosta said, intensifies whenever he urinates. Now he has also noticed spots of blood in his urine.
“My cousin, Ericson’s uncle, displayed similar symptoms before he succumbed to prostate cancer. Ericson rarely complains when he is sick. Even when he was arrested last year, his first words to me were, ‘Daddy don’t worry about me. He always tells his mother not to fuss over him. That’s how Ericson is. He suffers in silence. Once when he was still in grade school, he waited until a stomachache had become too unbearable before he finally told us to take him to the hospital. It turned out he immediately needed to undergo an appendectomy. The doctor said we got there in the nick of time,” Isaias said.
According to the detainee’s father, Acosta’s last check-up two years ago revealed a renal function abnormality and a possible prostate affliction.
“So as soon as we received word that he was in pain, we arranged for a visit and asked our lawyers to immediately file a motion before the court seeking urgent medical attention for my son. We had to skip the visit because of my condition. But after we filed the motion, we were told that the judge in charge of his case had just retired. How long would it take until a new judge is installed? It is as if our frustration with the slow resolution of Ericson’s case is not enough. We are once again left bereft of immediate legal options,” he said..... MORE
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