The continued disappearance of Jonas Burgos, who was abducted and disappeared eight years ago, is now the accountability of Pres. BS Aquino, said rights group Desaparecidos (Families of the Disappeared for Justice).
Other relatives of desaparecidos joined the Burgos family and handed over a letter today at the Aquino residence along Times Street, with a statement telling Pres. Aquino to “order your subordinates, the AFP-PA to follow the SC order and return Jonas to the family, at whatever state he is in.”
Almost 50 members of the Philippine National Police blocked some 15 members of the Burgos family and supporters. “Which is not allowed, handing over a letter and airing our demands, or abducting and disappearing people? Tell us which is not allowed?” said Lorena Santos, Desaparecidos secretary general.
In the letter signed by Edita Burgos, mother of Jonas, she said “We have won the battle and yet we are losing the war… Jonas has not been returned to his family and nobody has been held responsible for this noncompliance of the Supreme Court order dated February 2, 2014. Even the National Bureau of Investigation whom Your Excellency has ordered to investigate and to file the necessary cases as expeditiously as they can as warranted from the investigation, has not done anything after more than a year after your order was received.”
Santos said they have witnessed all the efforts of the Burgos family to seek justice for Jonas. According to Santos, “Together, we searched camps and elsewhere. We filed cases, appeals and demands before various agencies and bodies. The families of the disappeared have looked for justice, and their loved ones, since day one. Where is Jonas?”
“Like what happened to our kababayan Mary Jane Veloso, we hold the Aquino government accountable in the continued disappearance of Jonas. We are enraged of the negligence that Pres. Aquino has shown in the past five years on the lives of our people, while perpetuating a culture of impunity and implementing the same policy of repression including abductions and enforced disappearances,” said Santos.
Desaparecidos has documented 24 cases of enforced disappearances under Aquino.
Burgos, an agriculturist and activist, was abducted inside a mall in Quezon City on April 28, 2007, under the Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Desaparecidos secretary general