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Charlie V. Manalo, for the Daily Tribune, highlights Anakpawis Partylist’s call for the removal of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) officials involved in the abduction of national democratic activist Jonas Burgos:
Anakpawis party-list yesterday called on President Aquino to relieve from current post all military officials that have been implicated to the abduction and disappearance of activist Jonas Burgos to prevent any partiality. The group is wary that if the president will not order the suspension of military officials involved in the Burgos abduction, the probe may turn out as farcical to shut critics and the Burgos family on their quest for truth.
In a statement, Anakpawis party-list vice chairman Fernando Hicap welcomed the president’s pronouncement ordering the probe of the Jonas Burgos abduction case but advised the chief executive to show sincerity and goodwill by relieving military officials involved in the case.
“If the President doesn’t order the suspension of these officials, there would never be a credible and impartial investigation,” said Hicap.
“The president must provide all the necessary help to the Burgos family. As Commander-in-Chief, he can order the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) leadership the suspension of those who are involved in the Burgos case. The Burgos family and human rights advocates want to resolve the six-year old abduction case.” Hicap added.
Anakpawis also challenged the AFP to give its full cooperation on the investigation. “Their press releases are not assurance of their willingness to put closure to the case. The military must show concrete action like initiate an order compelling the military suspects to leave post and return to barracks before the new probe starts.”
“The AFP must immediately hold the suspects into custody to prevent them escaping justice like what former Army General Jovito Palparan did,” the Anakpawis leader said.
Until today, Palparan is still at large and continues to evade the law. The government offered a P2-million bounty for his capture.
“The president must exert all efforts to bring the perpetrators of Jonas Burgos abduction and disappearance to justice. The Burgos case symbolizes the continuing human rights violations in the country under the Aquino administration. As long as no justice is served to the Burgos family, there will be no light at the end of the tunnel for all victims of enforced disappearances and their relatives,” Hicap said.