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Family marks 8th year of Jonas Burgos’ disappearance

MANILA: Bring Jonas back home “in whatever state he’s in.”

Edita Burgos, mother of farmer-activist Jonas Burgos, reiterated Monday her plea to President Aquino to help her find out the truth about her son’s disappearance, as the family marked the eighth anniversary of Jonas’ abduction.

Jonas has been missing since he was forcibly taken by a group of men and a woman from the Ever Gotesco Mall in Quezon City on April 28, 2007.

Edita reminded the President of the Supreme Court order to the military to produce Jonas, son of the late journalist and freedom fighter Joe Burgos.

“We have won the (legal) battle and yet we are losing the war,” Edita Burgos said in a letter to Aquino.

“Jonas has not been returned to his family and nobody has been held responsible for this noncompliance of the Supreme Court order of Feb. 2, 2014,” she said.

The Burgos family and their supporters will deliver the letter to Aquino’s residence on Times Street, Quezon City, today.

“The family has not left any stone unturned … taking legal steps, pursuing all available avenues, both private and government. However, we very strongly believe that you, as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, can shorten the long drawn-out painful process of the search,” Edita said in her letter.

“It is in this view that we prayerfully plead that Your Excellency order your subordinates, the AFP-PA (Philippine Army), to follow the Supreme Court order and return Jonas to the family, in whatever state he is in,” she said.

The Supreme Court had affirmed the findings of the Court of Appeals holding the Philippine Army accountable for the enforced disappearance of Jonas.

An arbitrary detention case is pending in the Quezon City Regional Trial Court against Maj. Harry Baliaga Jr., who had been identified by a witness as the one who took Burgos from the Hapag Kainan restaurant at the mall.

Baliaga was then a first lieutenant in the 56th Infantry Battalion in Bulacan. The vehicle used to abduct Jonas was found in the impound lot of the 56th IB camp.

“As a mother, I personally appeal to you to end this suffering of the family of not knowing the truth about what happened to Jonas. Surely you who have held your own mother dear and revered would listen to this poor mother who is looking for her son,” Edita said.

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