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Help find my son: a mother's plea

Activist was abducted four years ago by military, say rights groups

Help find my son: a mother's plea
Edita Burgos, mother of missing activist Jonas Burgos (Courtesy of Desaparacidos)
D’Jay Lazaro, Manila

April 28, 2011

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The mother of missing activist Filipino Jonas Burgos marked the Feast of Divine Mercy today by asking authorities to help find her son, who she believed was abducted by military agents four years ago. Edita Burgos, mother of Jonas, joined human rights groups, friends and supporters in a gathering at the Heroes Monument grounds in the suburbs of Quezon City to mark the fourth year of Jonas’ disappearance. On March 16, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) submitted a report to the Supreme Court, saying it had identified one of the abductors of Burgos as Army Major Harry Baliaga Jr. The CHR asked the Supreme Court to direct the Department of Justice (DOJ) to immediately put witnesses under the protection program and file kidnapping charges against Baliaga. The human rights body also recommended filing obstruction of justice charges against three witnesses for giving false or fabricated information to police. The rights body asked the court to direct Baliaga and two army battalions to produce the living body of Jonas Burgos before the Supreme Court. In a letter to Baliaga, Mrs. Burgos said: "On Sunday, the feast of the Divine Mercy, I shall pray that you will be enlightened to tell the truth so that I can finally find Jonas.” She also thanked the CHR for its investigation. “While we seem to have won this battle, the real measure of success is the recovery of my son. We shall continue the fight until Jonas is returned to us alive and well and justice is served,” she said. She urged people who had a hand in the abduction of her son to come clean and face the consequences of their actions. “It is better to make right a wrong that has been done while one still has the capacity to do it.” PM14024
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