MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court on Tuesday, February 4, ordered the Department of Justice to look into new information linking state agents to the abduction and disappearance of activist Jonas Burgos 7 years ago.
Saying the case is already out of its hands, the High Tribunal dismissed the plea of Burgos’ mother Edita for justices to again intervene in the case by issuing another writ of amparo to fast-track the ongoing probe into the Burgos disappearance.
But the Court said the DOJ, through the National Bureau of Investigation, as well as the Commission on Human Rights, should look into Mrs Burgos’ claim that one of the alleged abductors of her son was also involved in the reported arrest of supporters of former President Joseph Estrada in 2006 – a year before Burgos’ abduction.
Burgos submitted cartographic sketches to the Court to show striking similarities between the two. The Court said this piece of evidence should be looked into by agencies. The Ombudsman may also step in if it sees any basis for doing so, the Court added.
Jonas Burgos – who is turning 44 on March 29 – was abducted by suspected members of the military in Hapag Kainan restaurant at Ever Gotesco mall in Quezon City 6 years ago, on April 28, 2007.
A son of the late press freedom icon Joe Burgos, Jonas studied agricutlure before going full time as an activist. He’s caught between a society’s respect for fundamental rights and its institutions’ belief that every rebel, in or out of the battlefield, is fair game. (READ: Jonas Burgos: Trapped in a web of lives)
No other case of enforced disappearance in recent history has come this close to identifying key players, producing documents, and establishing the motive for such crime. (READ: Why would the Army abduct Jonas Burgos?) – Rappler.com