Baliaga, 6 other military men implicated in Jonas Burgos’ abduction to face DOJ today

MILITARY men allegedly implicated in the abduction of missing activist Jonas Burgos are expected to appear before the Department of Justice during the first hearing of the preliminary investigation of the case filed against them.

“We hope that this case against Major Harry Baliaga. Lt. Col. Melquiades and Col. Eduardo Año while Gen. Hermogenes Esperon, Gen. Romeo Tolentino, Lt. Gen. Alexander Yano and Gen. Avelino Razon  will proceed to trial given the rigorous and tedious process the Burgos family had patiently gone through,” according to Mary Guy Portajada, secretary general of Families of Desaparecidos for Justic.

On June 9, 2011, Mrs. Edita Burgos, mother of missing farmer- activist Jonas Burgos, filed a criminal case of Arbitrary Detention against Baliaga, Melquiades and Año while  Esperon, Tolentino, Yano and Razon were charged with Obstruction of Apprehension and Prosecution of Criminal Offenders. These cases were filed when the Burgos family got hold of the Commission of Human Rights Investigative Report on the disappearance of Jonas, where Maj. Baliaga was positively identified by key witness Jeffrey Cabintoy, as one of the abductors.

“The prosecution panel of the DOJ should not waste any time in pursuing this case for the Burgos family has waited long enough for justice and for Jonas,” Portajada said. “The AFP has been covering up the truth about Jonas and all other desaparecidos.  Baliaga and other respondents should answer to the allegations and tell the truth.” Portajada continued.

Furthermore, the human rights group urged the rest of the Filipinos to join them in vigilance in monitoring the progress of the case. “We will not allow our efforts in pinning down these perpetrators be put to waste. We will see through this case until we achieve justice,” Portajada said.

“Families of victims of human rights violations under the Gloria Arroyo regime will always give a negative rating to Pres. Noynoy Aquino as long as Mrs. Arroyo and his military minions are not convicted of their crimes against us and against the Filipino people,” Portajada said.

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