Wednesday, August 27, 2008

SEARCH FOR JONAS BURGOS CONTINUES siblings join art show at Batasan

The search for the missing farmer-leader Jonas Burgos has taken on a new tack as his siblings mount their works at the House of Representatives to dramatize their anguish at the disappearance of their brother, who was abducted by armed men at the Ever Gotesco Mall in Quezon City on April 28, 2008.

Dr. Edith Burgos, Jonas’ mother and widow of the press freedom icon Jose Burgos Jr., said the exhibit, to be mounted by Desaparecidos, an organization of relatives and friends of the victims of involuntary disappearances, would dramatize the anguish of the family members who have not stopped their search.

The show was launched at 1 p.m. at the North Wing of the Batasang Pambansa and will run until Wednesday, September 3.
Dr. Burgos said the exhibit would bring to the Lower House the plight of Jonas and other missing activists, workers, peasants, students and professionals.

The exhibit will deliver the message for the state to respect human rights and abide by the provisions of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and other covenants banning torture, kidnapping, illegal arrest and unfair trial.

Recently, the Court of Appeals (CA) threw out the complaint of the Burgos family against retired and current officials the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine Army (PA) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) for their involvement in the abduction of the protesting Jonas Burgos, who was dragged out of the mall by burly armed men and driven off on a car bearing the plate number of a vehicle held by the military in Bulacan.

The CA ruled bluntly that there was no clear showing that the military was behind the disappearance of Jonas Burgos and denied the issuance of the writ of amparo even as the Burgos counsel argued that there was clear evidence that the abduction was done in consonance with the campaign to arrest and neutralize suspected revolutionary elements in Bulacan.

Unfazed by the legal setback in spite of documentary and testimonial evidence presented in open court, the Burgos family is elevating its case to the Supreme Court (SC).