AFP vows cooperation in Jonas Burgos caseBy Frances Mangosing
MANILA, Philippines—The Armed Forces of the Philippines will cooperate to higher authorities should their service be needed as the family of missing activist Jonas Burgos asked the Supreme Court to re-open the case surrounding his disappearance in 2007.
“It is well within their constitutional rights to file such motion in the proper court. Rest assured that we will continue to monitor the developments of the case, and we will remain open shall the higher civilian authority requires our cooperation and service,” military spokesman Colonel Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr. said in a statement Monday.
The spokesman also reiterated that the AFP “does not tolerate” unlawful acts.
“The AFP submits to the legal processes, adheres to the rule of law and continues to uphold and respect human rights,” he added.
Meanwhile, the military has also yet to receive a copy of the Court of Appeals ruling on March 18, confirming that it was an enforced disappearance and government security forces were held accountable.
“The AFP condemns any act of violation of the basic and constitutional rights of individuals. We are doing every necessary step to ensure that all our personnel strictly follow the AFP rules, regulations and policy which are consistent with the internationally accepted agreements and laws,” the AFP said in a statement.
Edita Burgos, mother of Jonas, said in her petition Monday that she received new documentary evidence showing that an intelligence unit of the Army’s 7th Infantry Division and the 56th Infantry Battalion operating together abducted him on April 28, 2007, along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City.
“The newly discovered evidence will prove that the officers and enlisted personnel of the particular unit of the 7th Infantry Division and the 56th Infantry Brigade are responsible for the enforced disappearance of Jonas Burgos; that these units captured and interrogated him and based on the same evidence, could probably continue to detain him or God forbid, had disposed of him in the manner that only they could explain,” part of the petition stated.