MANILA, Philippines – An arrest warrant has been issued by a Quezon City court for Major Harry Baliaga Jr, who is accused in the 2007 abduction of activist Jonas Burgos.
Presiding Judge Alfonso Ruiz II of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 216 said that “after personally evaluating the evidence,” he found that “probable cause exists against the accused Major Harry Baliaga.”
The judge said “there is a necessity of placing him under immediate custody in order not to frustrate the ends of justice.”
Baliaga is being charged with violation of Article 124 of the Revised Penal Code, which pertains to arbitrary detention and penalizing the detention of any person without legal grounds by any public officer or employee.
Witnesses claim Baliaga, along with 3 unidentified men and a woman, abducted Burgos from a restaurant in the Ever Gotesco Mall in Quezon City on April 28, 2007. (READ: Court pins down army in Burgos case)
Bail for Baliaga’s release is set for P40,000.
Burgos’ family claims it was Jonas’ activist links that made him a target for the the Philippine military. Earlier investigation showed Burgos was tagged by the armed forces as a New People’s Army intelligence. (WATCH: Six years on, Jonas Burgos’ wife finally speaks) – Rappler