‘Old news’: Jonas Burgos missing

Five years later, they ask the same question: Where is Jonas? His family believes -- and hopes -- he is still alive.

MANILA, Philippines – The quest for justice continues 5 years after suspected military agents abducted activist Jonas Burgos. Five years since Jonas’ disappearance, his brother laments the sluggish resolution of the case. Video by JL Burgos.


April 28, 2007: Jonas Burgos was abducted at about 1:30 pm by 4 armed men and a woman in civilian clothes while having lunch at the Hapag Kainan Restaurant in Ever Gotesco Mall, Quezon City.

May 5, 6 and 7, 2007: Jonas’s family files a complaint at the Commission on Human Rights alleging military involvement in the abduction of Jonas after tracing the license plate number of the vehicle used in the abduction to a vehicle impounded in the 56thInfantry Battalion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The Burgos family also filed a complaint with the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and Task Force-USIG – National Capital Region.

June 11, 2007: The Burgos family files a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the Philippine Court of Appeals asking that the government produce Jonas to the court which was denied, however, by the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

December 16, 2007: The Burgos family files for a Writ of Amparo seeking to obtain evidence in the custody of the military that could help locate Jonas.

December 24, 2007: The Court of Appeals issues a Writ of Amparo.

February 29 – March 19, 2008: Dr. Burgos was invited to and goes on an inter-state speaking tour in the United States of America to tell them of the case of Jonas and other victims of enforced disappearances. This is to gather more support for the search for Jonas and the other victims as well as their families.

July 21, 2008: The Court of Appeals dismissed the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed by Edita Burgos and ruled that she had failed to show that the military was behind the abduction of her son. But partially granted the Writ of Amparo and directed the military and police to provide the documents needed in pursuing the case.

August 2008: Edita Burgos filed an appeal to the Supreme Court to reverse the ruling of the appellate court on the petition for habeas corpus.

October 2009: Edita Burgos goes to the United Kingdom on a speaking tour about the case of her son and the desaparecidos of the Philippines. She also files a case and testifies before the United Nations Human Rights Council  in Geneva.

June 2010: The Supreme Court rules on the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus and directs the Commission on Human Rights to re-investigate the Jonas case because of serious lapses in the previous investigations of the the police.

March 15, 2011: The Commission on Human Rights submitted to the SC its report naming Maj. Harry Baliaga Jr. as Burgos’ principal abductor after a witness positively identified him. The commission likewise said that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has to answer for Burgos abduction.

June 2011: Edita Burgos filed a criminal case with the Department of Justice against Maj. Harry Baliaga Jr., Lt. Col. Melquiades Feliciano, Col. Eduardo Ano, and other members of the Army’s 56th Infantry Battalion, for the abduction of her son.

July 5, 2011: The Supreme Court unanimously upheld the findings of the Commission on Human Rights and directed the military to produce Jonas Burgos

August 2011:  The Court of Appeals resumed hearing the Jonas Burgos case.

April 12, 2012: Almost five years since the disappearance of Jonas Burgos, the Burgos family concluded their presentation of witnesses and evidences for the Habeas Corpus Petition. The defense shall start presenting their witnesses in May 2012. – Rappler.com