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It is the agony the family of Jonas Burgos continues to endure: The fate and whereabouts of this young man remain unknown despite the tireless search and determined efforts of his mother, Edita T. Burgos, to locate him. Jonas was abducted on May 28, 2007, in a Quezon City mall reportedly by military men.
By Conrado de Quiros
The good news is that Edita Burgos is determined to see justice done. She has been indefatigable in the pursuit of it despite the humongous obstacles that have been put in her path.
By Solita Collas-Monsod
Don’t tangle with mothers, particularly mothers protecting or looking for their young. Those who do will live to regret it—if they live, that is.
The human rights group Karapatan and its affiliates have hailed the Court of Appeals decision on the Jonas Burgos case stating that the military was behind the abduction of Burgos. According to the Court of Appeals, its decision is based on evidence and testimonies. Karapatan says that it expects full disclosure on other cases of [...]
By Conrado de Quiros
Suddenly, you realize how much we owe the Burgoses. First, there was Joe Burgos. His contributions weren’t just to this country, they were to the world, a thing recognized by the International Press Institute when it named him one of the 50 “World Press Freedom Heroes of the 20th Century” in 2000. The honor was [...]
By Juan L. Mercado
“You can seal truth in a grave. But it will always break free.” Easter hammered that truth over the last 2,000 years. Before Easter 2013, did the entombed truth about journalist Jonas Burgos’ abduction start to emerge in a Court of Appeals decision?
For some reason, the Court of Appeals ruling dated March 18 was not made public until March 27—in the middle of Holy Week. That made a Lenten interpretation of the decision finding an Army major responsible and the Philippine Army itself accountable for the abduction of activist Jonas Burgos all but inevitable.
President Aquino sent mixed signals to victims of human rights violations in promoting Army colonel Eduardo Año to brigadier general and appointing him head of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (Isafp). Año, along with 45 other military officials, is facing charges in connection with the 2007 abduction of activist Jonas Burgos. The case is still undergoing preliminary investigation at the Department of Justice after more than a year, and Burgos remains missing.
My son Jonas is still missing, as so many others are. He was forcibly abducted during the Arroyo administration, and until now we have yet to get a categorical statement from the authorities on his fate. And my family has admittedly become vocal in our plea that the military “produce” my Jonas.
The mother of desaperacido Jonas Burgos marked over the weekend the fifth anniversary of his disappearance, but with scaled-down expectation of finding him still alive. In terms both poignant and bitter, Edita Burgos has virtually admitted that prospects have dimmed for her ever finding her son alive, so she has braced herself for the truth. “My standards have gone down through the years,” she said. “Whereas before, I’d say ‘Give him back to me alive and well, and let justice be served,’ now I just want to find out what really happened. Because if I find out the truth, I’ll also find him.”
By Patricia Evangelista
I never knew Jonas Burgos, but I know his mother. Every reporter on my beat does. It’s hard to miss her, the checkered shirt, the small folding umbrella, the black purse with the envelopes stuffed with court papers. Her story has been told in documentaries and theater plays, her face is the face of the search for the lost. She has stood at attention behind the revolving cast of activists howling into protest megaphones, holding posters of her lost boy. Although I have yet to see her throw a tomato at a cardboard cutout or set fire to a grinning effigy, it’s possible that she has. Edith Burgos will do what is necessary to find the son she lost five years ago, and it is the reason she stood by a monument along Edsa yesterday, reminding the world that for as long as she lives, so does Jonas Burgos.
By Patricia Evangelista
Edita Burgos was a teacher who wanted to be a nun when she met the man who would become free speech icon Joe Burgos. Joe Burgos died at 62. His son Jonas Burgos was abducted on April 28, 2007 at Ever Gotesco Mall in Quezon City. He was 37, had a daughter and wife, and, according to the military, was an intelligence officer of the New People’s Army working under the alias of “Ka Ramon.”