“Dear Lord, when will all this injustice end?” Edita Burgos, mother of missing activist Jonas Burgos said.
More than two years into the disappearance of her son Jonas, the Arroyo government promoted Noel Clement, Melquiades Feliciano and Edison Caga to full colonels. The three officers are implicated in the abduction of farmer/activist Jonas Burgos.
“The promotion of these men only confirms the truth in our (the families of victims/desaparecidos) claim that the government, the state forces are behind the disappearances,” Mrs. Burgos laments.
Lt. Col. Clement was commanding officer of the 56th Infantry Battalion when a vehicle with plate number TAB 194 was impounded. The same plate number was used in the abduction of Jonas in 2007. Lt. Col. Feliciano was the commanding officer of the 56th IB when Jonas disappeared. Clement and Feliciano along with the other respondents in the Habeas Corpus case of Jonas were ordered by the Supreme Court to release Jonas and to explain the basis for his detention.
“The government can no longer deny that it is a state policy that abduction is a means that they use to further their ends no matter if this means violating the rights of the people they have sworn to protect,” Mrs. Burgos said.
The Burgoses also found the claim of AFP civil relations service chief Brig. Gen. Gaudencio Pangilinan that “the accusations against them were merely based on allegations” absurd.
“The evidences are pointing in their directions already. They are pissing on their own heads and convincing themselves it’s rain,” JL Burgos said.
The Burgos family can not but see that this promotion is a reward. “I am truly scared because of the message this promotion delivers, Mrs Burgos said. “Will there be more enforced disappearances so that those who aim to be promoted will gain favor in the eyes of the superiors? The commander-in-chief maybe?” Mrs. Burgos added.
Reports quoted Pangilinan saying that “the promotions in the military go through “a lot of tedious process" and that one could not be promoted if he has a pending case.”
The Burgos Family filed a petition to cite Col. Clement and Col. Felicano for contempt for offering no proof of the lost of the license plate; no explanation when it was lost, how it was lost, who lost it and where it was lost. The case is still pending in the Supreme Court.