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WATCH | ‘We will find Jonas … justice will be served’ – Edita Burgos

InterAksyon logo InterAksyon 10/12/2017 InterAksyon

MANILA, Philippines — The mother of enforced disappearance victim Jonas Burgos vowed to continue searching for him and said she is sure “justice will be served.”

“We will find Jonas,” Edita Burgos told supporters outside the Quezon City Hall of Justice on Thursday, October 12, where a trial court acquitted Army Major Harry Baliaga Jr. of arbitrary detention charges over her son’s disappearance.

Edita Burgos speaks outside the Quezon City Hall of Justice after a court acquitted an Army officer charged with the disappearance of her son Jonas. (image from video by JL Burgos): Edita Burgos post-verdict_image from video by JL Burogs © InterAksyon Edita Burgos post-verdict_image from video by JL Burogs

A video of Edita’s address was posted on social media by her son, flim-maker JL Burgos.

“Jonas, wherever you are, you know we’ll not give up, you know we will continue looking for you,” said Edita, the widow of press freedom icon Jose Burgos.

Jonas was seized as he lunched at the Ever Gotesco mall along Commonwealth Avenue on April 28, 2007 and has been missing since.

His abduction, along with those of University of the Philippines students Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan, who also remain missing, are among the more notable of the scores of enforced disappearance documented by human rights groups in the country.

Of the military and police officers against whom complaints were filed — among them now Armed Forces chief General Eduardo Ano — over Jonas’ disappearance, the Department of Justice recommended only Baliaga be charged in court.

However, Quezon City Regional Trial Branch 216 Judge Alfonso Ruiz II, in his verdict, said “no eyewitness testified to identify the accused Baliaga as one of those responsible for the disappearance of Burgos. In fact, none of the witnesses identified him in court.”

Army officer acquitted for Jonas Burgos abduction

Despite this, Edita said they continued to draw hope from a Supreme Court decision naming the AFP and the accused officers responsible for Jonas’ disappearance and ordering them to surface him, even if four years after, that order has yet to be complied with.

“To the perpetrators, know that justice will be served,” she said. “Maybe not now, but it will surely be served because God is not sleeping.”

Hindi tayo natalo, mga kasama (We did not lose, comrades),” she said.


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