Missing activist's mom asks PNoy for help

Posted at 04/29/14 5:28 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The mother of missing activist Jonas Burgos has written to President Aquino to follow up on his directive to conduct a probe on the case of her son.

“In the light of the new evidence I submitted to the SC (Supreme Court) on April 1, 2013, on April 4, 2013 you issued a directive to the Department of Justice (DOJ) to order the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct a ‘focused, dedicated and exhaustive investigation on the Jonas Burgos case’ … to ferret out the truth,” Edita Burgos said in her letter dated April 27, eve of the 7th anniversary of her son’s disappearance.

“Mr. President, more than a year has passed since this order was given, may I know if this order elicited any result?” she added.

Mrs. Burgos is also wondering whether she will know what happened to her son while Aquino is still president.

“It has been four years that you have been Commander-in-Chief, yet we do not know the truth about Jonas. Mr. President, is there hope that the truth will finally be revealed while you are still in the position to make this happen?” she asked.

Burgos said she is praying that Aquino will be determined to resolve the case of her son and other victims of human rights violations.

“God have mercy on us not only because we have sinned but because we have failed to do the good that we could have done,” she said.

“I pray that compassion, courage and determination to resolve our cases would embrace your whole being as you glance at us,” she said in her letter.

Armed Forces public affairs chief Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said Burgos has the right to bring her concerns to the President.

He said the military is ready to cooperate with authorities to find out the truth about the case.

“The AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) has always been open and participative in the legal processes involving the disappearance of Jonas Burgos. The case is now in the hands of the justice system and we hope that all parties will arrive to just closure,” Zagala said.

“As part of our adherence to the justice system, we have made available officers and personnel implicated in the case. However, we find it unreasonable to continue to dishonor officers who were already vindicated by the DOJ,” he added.

Armed men kidnapped Jonas in a mall in Quezon City on April 28, 2007. He was dragged to a Toyota Revo van whose license plates were traced to another vehicle earlier impounded by the military in Bulacan.

State prosecutors said a witness had positively identified an Army officer, Maj. Harry Baliaga, as among those who kidnapped Burgos.