Ang sulat sa baba ay sinulat ni Ericson Acosta, isang bilanggong pulitikal na nakapiit ngayon sa isang provincial jail sa Samar.
# 1 PRISON DIARY: Press Statement Debacle…
This is miserable writing. This can’t be the comprehensive press statement that I’ve tasked myself to write two days earlier. It’s 1:00 am and a few minutes ago I’ve just completely abandoned pursuing my original outline. Now I’m trying, groping, cramming to come up with an alternative. I’m quite confident though that the papers which the campaign organizers have prepared and the messages of the speakers would more than suffice in providing the media with the general political context of my case, the circumstances of my illegal arrest and detention, as well as some basic details regarding my person. Just the same, my apologies. In the meantime, bear with me as I ramble on.
I suppose I’m still basically ill-adjusted with my present prison set-up. I find it almost impossible to write during the day. The heat inside the cell is simply oppressive – there is no ceiling here, the lone window is less than a square foot, and my tarima is just beside two charcoal stoves that burn non-stop. The noise outside and the frenzied – sometimes juvenile, sometimes zombie-like goings on among my 12 kakosas inside a stifling, cramped-up space are just too distracting, disorienting.
But it is at night, when the heat, noise and fuss have all supposed to have subsided, that I am actually assailed by more pressing writing issues. There would always be this heavy strain that seems to balance itself upon my bobbed head, and as though from a ravine’s edge, I’d be looking down my writing pad waiting for vertigo to set in. Then this intermittent heaving motion in the chest. And, especially during the first month, I would, even without tears, just suddenly notice myself sobbing. This is pretty intense. I could never have imagined myself writing in such a wrenching, emotional state.
This is trauma of some sort I guess. But one, I think, that I’m compelled less to subvert than to temper. It is not necessarily the feeling of having been vanquished or the sense of utter helplessness that usually creeps in. No. More often, it is that surge of righteous vindication that overwhelms me.
It’s not writer’s block that has been nagging me. I call it writer’s burst. I’ve actually written a great deal already in the last two months as I tried to sum up and make sense of my ordeal. All of which, however, except for a few, amount to nothing more than disjointed rambling notes or a series of incoherent digressions.
The past week though has seen some modest breakthrough. It helped that my legal counsel had asked me to personally write my counter affidavit. I was able to finish it on time, glaring lapses in grammar notwithstanding. I was also able to complete a draft of a regional human rights situationer that focused on the cases of human rights violations in Barangay Bay-ang in San Jorge, Samar. I was in Bay-ang at the time of my arrest precisely to follow-up on these cases.
A friend of mine has sent me some samples of Ka Allan Jasminez’ Prison Diary entries. I realized that I would have to really step up on my writing and maximize relatively less restrictive conditions here as compared to those in Ka Allan’s place of detention. Already, I have started reviewing my jumbled notes and have come up with a design that would piece them together into several essays with different themes.
I am optimistic, despite this press statement debacle, that I would finally be able to handle my writer’s burst. It is very important that I do. My active engagement through my writings naturally serves to effectively amplify the campaign, as well as the general call to free all political prisoners. While I am in fact the principal subject of the Free Ericson Acosta campaign, it’s time that I enlisted myself as its principal mass leader and propagandist as well. So let’s just keep the pressure on – FREE ME! FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS!
Ericson L. Acosta
April 13, 2011
Calbayog sub-provincial jail