Mark Dalan Meruenas, GMA News
The mother of missing political activist Jonas Burgos has appealed to Maj. Harry Baliaga Jr., who is implicated in the alleged kidnapping, to identify his superiors who ordered her son’s abduction in April 2007.
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR), which investigated Burgos’ disappearance, said in its March 15 report to the Supreme Court that it has found “overwhelming evidence” that Baliaga was “the principal abductor” of Burgos.
Edita Burgos, in an open letter sent in time for the upcoming fourth anniversary of her son’s disappearance, asked Baliaga to reveal the whereabouts of her son.
“Surely, logic tells me that you… would not have acted on your own. Isn’t that how your system works? A superior orders his subordinates and a good soldier follows the order even if it is against the highest principle of life and freedom,” she said.
“Tell me, who has ordered you to get my Jonas? Give those who ordered him taken the chance to correct their ways,” she added.
Baliaga, an Army First Lieutenant during the time of the alleged abduction, belongs to the 56th Infantry Battalion based in Bulacan province.
Mrs. Burgos advised Baliaga to spill the beans on Burgos’ abduction especially now that “there is a chance that soon you will be behind bars.” She also asked Baliaga not to wait for the “consequences of an evil act will have been felt not only by you but by the next generations.”
Mrs. Burgos said Baliaga should consider “telling the truth” in time for the feast of the Divine Mercy on Sunday. “May the Holy Spirit fill your heart and the hearts of the perpetrators of human rights violations,” she said.
Edita said she really wanted to personally meet with Baliaga and look him in the eye while asking for Jonas’ whereabouts. “I want to see if the look you give me will deny or affirm your answer.”
Among the CHR’s recommendations was for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to admit witnesses to the government’s Witness Protection Program. It also recommended that the DOJ file kidnapping charges against Baliaga, and obstruction of justice charges against those who gave false statements to authorities about the abduction.
Jonas Burgos was last seen being dragged by armed men from a shopping mall along Commonwealth in Quezon City into a vehicle on April 28, 2007. His father, the late journalist Jose Burgos, was a staunch anti-dictatorship fighter.
Mrs. Burgos and other human rights advocates are set to gather at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani Grounds in Quezon City on Thursday to commemorate the fourth anniversary of Jonas’ disappearance. — KBK, GMA News