Jonas Burgos case: 1 officer indicted, chiefs absolved
MANILA - The Department of Justice (DOJ) has found one military officer liable for the arbitrary detention of activist Jonas Burgos on April 28, 2007, but dismissed the charges against several ranking military and police officials for lack of probable cause.
A resolution dated Sept. 3 found Major Harry Baliaga, Jr. liable for Burgos' arbitrary detention, and absolved then Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Gen. Hermogenes Esperon, then Philippine Army (PA) Commanding General Lt. Gen. Romeo Tolentino, Lt. Gen. Alexander Yano, and then Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Avelino Razon, Jr. of the charge of obstruction of justice.
Charges for arbitrary detention were also dismissed against Col. Melquiades Feliciano and Col. Eduardo Ano for insufficiency of evidence.
As far as Baliaga is concerned, a witness claimed he saw this military officer with Jonas in the Quezon City restaurant where Burgos was last seen.
Charges for murder against all respondents have been dismissed since complainant Edita Burgos, Jonas' mother, was unable to prove her son's death.
Burgos remains missing up to now.