SF CHRP (San Francisco Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines) is a San Francisco based human rights advocacy group. Latest news and views on human rights in the Philippines.
The Court of Appeals has ruled that the Armed Forces of the Philippines is responsible for the abduction of national democratic activists, Jonas Burgos, back on April 28, 2007:
In a report capping a nearly three-year inquiry, the CA ruled to recognize “the abduction of Jonas Burgos” as an enforced disappearance covered by the Rule on the Writ of Amparo”—the most damning official confirmation yet that the Armed Forces of the Philippines had seized Burgos on April 28, 2007 as he lunched in a Quezon City mall. His family had insisted on this right from the start, but the AFP repeatedly denied it.
The ruling, signed by CA Associate Justice Rosalinda Asuncion-Vicente, was concurred in byAssociate Justices Francisco Diamante and Remedios Salazar-Fernando, the former chair of the special Former 7th Division that was first tasked by the high tribunal to conduct the investigation when the Burgos family, led by Jonas’s mother Edita, first sought a writ of amparo.
The CA ruled to grant the writ of amparo, and said that, “with regard to authorship” of what it officially declared as a state-sponsored abduction, it holds “ACCOUNTABLE [capitals by the CA]” the Armed Forces of the Philippines “and elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, particularly the Philippine Army” for this.
It named former Army Major Harry A. Baliaga Jr. “responsible” for the “enforced disappearance” even as it noted that several abductors are still “at large.”
The court ordered the AFP and the PNP to extend full assistance to the CHR inquiry.
It noted that during the pendency of the SC-directed investigation at the CA, petitioner Edita Burgos had filed, on June 9, 2011 before the Department of Justice an affidavit-complaint against several persons led by Baliaga, for violation of Article 124 of the Revised Penal Code, “or possibly murder.” The accused in that complaint at the DOJ are, besides Baliaga: Lt. Col.Melquiades Feliciano, [then] Col. Eduardo Ano, several John Does and/or a May Doe(s).
Ano has since been promoted general and was named chief of the Intelligence Service of the AFP (ISAFP) by President Aquino but was bypassed by the Commission on Appointments owing to the complaint of Mrs. Burgos.
Also accused before the DOJ, but for another charge (violation of PD 1829) were Lt. Gen. Romeo Tolentino, Gen. Hermogenes Esperon, Lt. Gen. Alexander Yano, and PNP director general Avelino Razon.
The CA directed petitioner Edita T. Burgos, represented by lawyer Ricardo N. Ferrer, to immediately apprise it of the latest developments with regard to the DOJ complaint that they filed.