Ericson Acosta, modern-day Bonifacio – CPP Negros
Ericson Acosta was a champion of the cause of peasants and farm workers on Negros Island, according to the tribute statement released recently by the Negros Island Regional Party Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines (NIRPC/CPP Negros).
CPP Negros called Acosta a modern-day Bonifacio.
“We regard him in high esteem as he joins the roster of martyrs and heroes of the new democratic revolution like his beloved wife, Kerima “Ka Ella” Tariman-Acosta, succeeding the great heroes of the first Philippine Revolution,” it said.
Ericson “Ka Fredo” Acosta was “ruthlessly butchered by fascist soldiers of the Philippine Army’s 94th and 47th Infantry Battalion” with local peasant organizer Joseph Jimenez in Sitio Makilo, Barangay Camansi, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental on November 30, 2022, the commemoration of the birth anniversary of Katipunan founder Andres Bonifacio.
CPP Negros said that Acosta and wife Kerima Tariman “arrived in Negros resolved to take part in the people’s war on the island” in 2018.
According to its statement, Acosta was a member of the Secretariat and Executive Committee of the NIRPC who “earnestly promoted the Third Rectification Movement in the NIRPC’s five-year program and played a vital role in its ideological, political and organizational invigoration amid heightened enemy offensives and counterrevolutionary campaigns.”
As regional cadre and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) consultant on the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER), he worked with other Party cadres and local mass organizations in intensifying antifeudal mass struggles on the island and the anti-fascist campaigns, as well, it stated.
“The peasants’ struggle for land is an intense conflict with landlord-hacienderos that has resulted to serious cases of peasant killings and state-sponsored crimes aimed at repressing the resistance of Negrosanon peasants,” it said.
CPP Negros further remarked that Acosta and Tariman’s deployment to Negros Island was “coincident with the escalation of Rodrigo Duterte’s tyranny in Negros worsened by Memorandum Order 32 and the National Task Force-Elcac.”
“We are gladdened by messages and memories shared by Ka Fredo’s closest friends and colleagues recounting his early years in the University of the Philippines-Diliman, his awakening as activist and cultural worker amidst the crucial struggle in the national democratic movement and his ripening into a full-time revolutionary,” CPP Negros said, “the unifying message is the legitimacy of the struggles of the Filipino people borne out of the rottenness of a semifeudal and semicolonial society that impelled a poet and artist like Comrade Ericson Acosta to tread the path of revolution.”
Hero, not “terrorist”
Meanwhile, Negros-based NDFP allied organizations Pabansang Katipunan ng Magbubukid (PKM) – Negros, Malayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan (MAKIBAKA) – Negros and Kabataang Makabayan (KM) – Negros also released tribute statements hailing Ericson Acosta as hero of the Filipino masses and condemning state forces for labelling Acosta as “terrorist”.
PKM-Negros held the 94th and 47th IB responsible for the murder of Acosta and Jimenez and the illegal detention of the Francisco family who owned the house where the two were arrested.
MAKIBAKA-Negros, on the other hand, condemned the “overused” fake encounter narrative of then 3rd Infantry Division head MGen. Benedict Arevalo that was aimed at whitewashing the truth that Acosta and Jimenez were “captured, tortured, and stabbed” before they were killed by state forces.
Meantime, KM-Negros denied Philippine Army’s claim that Acosta’s death signals the waning of the revolutionary movement in Negros.
It said that Acosta’s death “has become a fertile ground for more young revolutionaries to grow.”