Photo from Free Jonas Burgos facebook page

Photo from Free Jonas Burgos facebook page

DAVAO CITY – The family of Jonas Burgos, a farmer-activist is hoping that the next ​P​resident can bring him back home six years after he was taken by suspected military men.

Jonas Burgos, son of press freedom icon Joe Burgos, was abducted at a ​shopping mall in Quezon City on April 28, 2007.

In a statement the Burgos family said President Benigno S. Aquino III gave his word to them “promising that Jonas will be surfaced and that justice will be served.”

The Burgos family lamented that Pres. Aquino’s term is almost over but Jonas remains a ​​desaparecido​, or missing person​.

“The President’s inaction on the case is the same inaction we saw from the former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. If we’ve found Arroyo guilty, then how can we say that President Aquino is not part of the state’s cover up of the crime?” JL Burgos, brother of Jonas, said.

In a copy of Pres. Aquino’s speech while he was still a senator in 2007, it mentioned the case of Jonas Burgos and called on the Senate to “guard civil liberties and the rule of law.”

“The attitude that this administration has adopted on the Jonas Burgos case, and indeed, on the entire issue of political killings and disappearances – compliant at worst, uncaring and incompetent at the very least, bears a chilling similarity to the authorities that stood by, watched, and did nothing as my father was murdered on August 21, 1983,” the President’s speech said.

“The circumstances surrounding his disappearance, his abduction in a restaurant inside a crowded mall in broad daylight, display the sense of impunity with which the perpetrators committed the crime,” it said.

However, under Pres. Aquino’s administration, one of the main suspects, Army chief Major General Eduardo Año, who was accused of being involved in the disappearance of Jonas was promoted.

Lorena Santos, secretary general of Pamilya ng Desaparecidos para sa Katarungan (Desaparecidos) said: “By promoting Gen. Año, (Pres. Aquino) not only insulted the Burgos family and other families of the disappeared; he also exonerated him and all the perpetrators in the military.”

“The families of the disappeared under Desaparecidos and other human rights organizations will hold (Pres. Aquino) criminally liable for these actions and continuing rights violations,” Santos said.

The Burgos family said they are challenging the next ​P​resident to bring the perpetrators to justice and will not be part of the continuing cover-up. (

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