SC orders AFP: Find soldiers in Jonas Burgos case


The Supreme Court has granted a temporary protection order (TPO) to Edita Burgos and members of her immediate family following her presentation of new evidence linking more soldiers to the 2007 disappearance of her farmer-activist son, Jonas.

In issuing the TPO, the justices took note of Ms Burgos’ claims that she fears for her own personal security because of the sensitive nature of the newly discovered evidence.

In its resolution, the high tribunal also ordered Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista to submit a confidential report on the whereabouts of the military personnel tagged by Ms Burgos and to “ensure that [they] can be located and served processes, if any would be issued by the tribunal.”

The soldiers, whose names the high court did not disclose, were identified by Ms Burgos in her urgent ex parte motion ex abundanti cautela (abundant caution) filed on April 1. The names were mentioned in the “After Apprehension Report” dated April 30, 2007, filed by two military groups identified as “Task Organization-72 MICO” and Task Organization-56IB.”

Ms Burgos has described the report and other documents attached to her ex parte motion as “newly discovered evidence” about her son’s abduction and disappearance.

Bautista said the AFP would cooperate with the court directive.

“The court has directed us to continue the investigation together with the Philippine National Police. And we will abide by the court directive and cooperate in the investigation,” Bautista told reporters at Fort Del Pilar in Baguio City, where he attended the installation of the new superintendent of the Philippine Military Academy on Thursday.

True story

Bautista said he had not seen the original report, which the AFP submitted to the Court of Appeals in the course of a joint investigation of Jonas’ disappearance.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin yesterday said the defense and military establishments will cooperate in finding the truth behind Jonas’ abduction.

“The defense department will cooperate and make sure that the people or personnel needed in the investigation will come out. We will help in coming out with the true story of the Jonas Burgos case,” Gazmin told reporters when asked about his reaction to the high court’s directive to the AFP.

Gazmin said the military was not hiding the soldiers implicated in the Jonas abduction. “They are just there, so we will make them available. We will cooperate with the legal system,” he added.

The court also ordered the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Bureau of Investigation to provide protection for Ms Burgos and her immediate family, and to furnish a confidential memorandum on such security arrangements within five days after receiving the court resolution.

The court instructed Bautista, Lt. Harry Baliaga Jr. and the incumbent commanding officers of the Army and its 7th Infantry Division, as well as Lt. Col. Melquiades Felicano, commanding officer of the division’s 56th Infantry Battalion at the time of Jonas’ disappearance, to comment on Ms Burgos’ motion within 10 days.

The NBI has already started its probe into the Burgos case, according to Virgilio Mendez, NBI deputy director for regional services.

After-arrest photo

Mendez, head of the task force investigating the disappearance of Jonas, added that the agency is now reviewing all reports and court documents related to the case.

“We have people in the field doing the job and we hope we can provide results,” Mendez said. “We have people assigned to the family and contact had been established,” he added.

Ms Burgos filed her ex parte motion shortly after her camp released to the media a picture of Jonas, believed to have been taken shortly after his abduction from a Quezon City mall six years ago.

The picture showed the young Burgos staring straight into the camera and looking dazed, with dark marks just below the eyes. A handkerchief tied around his neck was believed to have been used to blindfold or gag him.


Writ of amparo

Jonas’ disappearance is the subject of a writ of amparo case filed by his mother that was granted by the Supreme Court.

Bautista said Jonas’ disappearance took place before the AFP crafted what it described as a more humane rights-oriented counter-insurgency program called “Oplan Bayanihan.”

“Oplan Bayanihan was launched in January 2011 after [Jonas disappeared and was reportedly abducted on April 30, 2007],” Bautista said. “I can assure you that the AFP is very much respectful of human rights and the humanitarian rule of law. It is emphasized in our campaign plan and it is the only plan that is open to the public,” he added.

Military spokesperson Col. Arnulfo Burgos Jr. (no relation to the missing activist) said the AFP has yet to receive a copy of the Supreme Court directive.

“However, the chief of staff of the AFP has ordered the judge advocate general to coordinate directly with the solicitor general to secure a copy so the AFP would be able to act on it and appropriately comply with the directive,” Burgos said. With reports from Nikko Dizon, Nancy C. Carvajal and Desiree Caluza, Inquirer Northern Luzon

First posted 10:58 am | Friday, April 12th, 2013

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  • WeAry_Bat

    Cross fingers, no more flip flops and ping pongs for this case.

  • randyaltarejos

    There is a popular saying that if you knew how to get in, you must also knew how to get out. In this case, the AFP must face the consequences of its soldiers’ actions. But every Filipino is entitled to a due process. And it must have been accorded to Jonas Burgos, too.

    • Handiong

      I doubt if the AFP accorded Jonas Burgos due process. What due process, do you think was accorded him? He was kidnapped. If the AFP had charges against Burgos, he should have been haled to court, not kidnapped.

  • durian

    For me, I sympathized with Mrs Editha Burgos, but please let the court deliver a fair & just decision. “NO RUMOR MONGERING PLEAS”…..

  • penoy2012

    Mrs. Burgos deserves justice for her son. But of course she knew the risks her son went into when he joined the NPA.

    • patriotic_act

      I agree.. being a communist is being an enemy of the democratic state.

      But justice and accountability must be served also.. two way

      • magiting78

        If the CPP-NPA/NDF made the killing of ordinary citizen who did not support and pay the revolutionary tax there is no justice, but when their supporter go missing they seek for justice is it fair?…My uncle was excuted by CPP-NPA in front of his 4 year old son…he left 3 children but they never got justice…

      • patriotic_act

        we should ask Etta Rosales about that

      • magiting78

        I knew Ka Etta… I used to be an activist..and I knew her stand on that…any killing done by the leftist are part of the revolutionary and justice… have been serve to nations…and she consider all civilians killed by this group were enemy of the revolutionary and by the nations…

      • doublecross

        long live ka etta, nasa kamay mo ang bagong sigla ng mga activista.

      • patriotic_act

        if what you say is true then I must admit that I will definitely support another Gen Jovito Palparan.

      • sagbotgamot

        if there is no justice for the killings made by the CPP-NPA/NDF/MILF/MNLF or whatever then what’s the use of the AFP?

      • Magsasaka

        eh di turuan mo din silang maging barbaro

      • kolambogan

        Correction, if you may, being a communist is no longer considered an enemy of any democratic states, wala na yan sa batas, maski nga ang America trade partner na ang mga communist countries inuutangan pa nila, ang Filipinas laging gustong maki pagtrade sa China. Galit ako at sa ginagawa ng Chinang pambu-bully sa South China Sea sa maliliit na bansang katulad ng Filipinas, pero it is quite incredulous to believe that one will curse and vilify another countries principles and beliefs and then court them for favors in terms of trade. Kung tunay na may sariling hiya ang isang tao at bansa, ang kanilang sisiraan ay hindi nila hihingan o tatanggapan ng kahit anong tulong maski katiting na bagay at haharapin nila ito sa lahat ng bagay at pangatawanan ang pagtutuligsa dito bilang kaaway.

      • patriotic_act

        correction, im not talking about a “communist state” if you may, please try to understand the point of the topic.

      • kolambogan

        Your original statement goes this way and I quote ” I agree being a communist is being an enemy of the democratic state” end of quote. You suggested to me to understand the point of the topic, and I believe that’s the only topic anyone can deduce from it, apart from justice and accountability to be served both ways, which I have no objections.

        Now for my follow-up comment, do you mean that an individual communist follower or sympathizer is different from the state, hence the individual could be an enemy but not the state where all communistic ideas emanates from? It seemed incongrous. Please clarify so that I might understand your point.

      • patriotic_act

        I dont need to clarify, its already clear.. its just you who dont understand (which I dont really care).. obviously not too many for me to effort and explain.

      • kolambogan

        Well, you said it clear enough, your are not a straight shooter, but one who just shoot from the hip, that you don’t care even for your own words you thought of and wrote for others, to read only but not to be understood. As for me, contrary to what you think of, I understood that your statement is false.I commented on it as inconsistent with facts and law to be considered as a strong statement that “being a cummunist is an enemy of democratic states”. Your statement will be trashed up in all forums up to any court of justice. I have expounded and explained the best I can about the fallacy of your statement, but you don’t want to defend it, so there’s really nothing to continue, it’s your preroragative, nobody is forcing you to do otherwise. Adios.

      • patriotic_act

        you dont need to explain yourself as I am not asking you.. dont be too affected, defensive and egotistical about my opinions, (it wont kill you anyway) and please dont literally shame yourself as it already shows even if you dont.

      • kolambogan

        I think I’m not the one shaming, but you for I will say it again and not be ashamed to say that your statement is false. If you don’t accept it, so be it as I said no one is forcing you. Others who will read this thread can judge who is really susceptible of being shamed from your statement I only commented for a minor correction.

      • patriotic_act

        where’s the “others”? I can only read your “corrective” (as you put it) comments.. dont ever try to put words for their behalf before they actually do.. let them come and say it themselves.

        it only tells about your flawed personality by doing so.. and I will also be not ashamed to say it.

      • kolambogan

        Don’t you worry, they will come as they please, and don’t pretend to be a psychoanalyst/psychiatrist, because I believe you are not one by the fact that that is not the way how real doctors do it, drawing your conclusions thru mere exchanges without actually seeing the subject, it’s not just the proper way to diagnose people’s personality. Don’t be ashame also to accept the fact that you are a pseudo analyst. A pretender at most.

      • patriotic_act

        then lets wait for them..

        oh im sorry but im not pretending because you just kept showing it, Im just merely describing it back, just like what you are “trying” to do (which is is really way “off”).

        problem is that you assume too much, just like when you quoted me the first time, you could’ve asked me first in a civilized manner before concluding and “correcting” (as you put it) but you did not, you immediately displayed arrogance which I dont really pass for intelligence.. well I cant blame you for it, if your parents raised you like that then I should blame them instead.


  • durian

    This is the irony of WAR..,unexplained dis-appearance of people.., the Communist Party of the Philippines are doing this also as frequent as they suspect of military spies from their ranks…,

  • $46804224

    …slowly..justice will be served…

  • tra6Gpeche

    Very good news for those seeking justice for all desaparecidos! I salute the Philippine Supreme Court.

  • Natx Bacalzo

    Let justice be served and those responsible jailed.

  • Ric Apacible

    Edith’s steadfast and unwavering pursuit for justice for her son, Jonas, is inspiring. And I believe justice wil be served soon. And Edith’s dedication and commitment as a loving mother will be amply blessed and vindicated.

  • ArmchairGeek

    I hope they apply the same justice to those forcibly abducted by the NPA

  • Hey_Dudes

    At the rate the supreme court is ordering things around, I’m wondering if they should abolish executive and legislative branches? Pati pa ba naman ito sila pa rin ang maguutus?

  • Billy Reyes

    that’s the price we pay for democracy if its in Iran or Syria you just disappear without a trace.
    Philippines needs completely reform in our justice system. We have our Municipal court, regional trial court, Court of Appeals & Supreme Court. All of this takes a lot of time before you get your final justice, in some cases the waiting list is even longer than the time punishment, that is completely wrong.
    I don’t understand why there is Court of Appeals when the decision is not final you can always refer to the SC after that. Its always mix up & waist so much time.

  • guest

    I think the supreme court is confuse with its job. Now they are acting as if they are the executive branch. Maybe its time to amend the constitution and correct the deficiencies of this court.

  • zandro santos

    Good news sa mga komunista-terroristang NPA na nagdiriwang ngayon! Dahil dito, wala nang mga sundalong magiging seryoso sa pagsugpo ng terroristang NPA dahil mismo ang batas ng demokrasya, pinoprotektahan sila. Sino na ngayon ang magiging kagaya ni Palparan na naglumpo sa mga NPA sa Samar at Southern Tagalog. Sana wala nalang tayong sundalo at hayaan nalang ang mga komunista na mamuno sa Pilipinas kung ganyan ang sistema (too much democracy).

    • sagbotgamot

      Oo nga… baligtarin kaya natin ang AFP ang mamundok at ang NPA naman ang syang magpatakbo ng gobyerno. Gusto mo?

    • kolambogan

      Kaya lang ang hero mong si Palparan, bakit kaya hanggang ngayon nagtatago at hindi magpakita? Bakit ganyan ang idol mo?

      • zandro santos

        Yung diyos mong si Jose Maria Sison, bakit nasa Netherlands sya at nagpapasarap samantalang ang mga laipores nya nagugutom sa bundok at nagpapagod magrally sa lansangan na konti lang ang sumasama? Hindi ba komunista ang ipinaglalaban nya? Bakit hindi sya manirahan sa North Korea? Bakit ganyang ang diyos mo?

      • kolambogan

        Sino ang binabanggit mong Diyos? Bakit hindi ka magdasal sa kaniya, Hindi ko na kailangan ipaalam pa sa iyo kung sino ang aking. Diyos, kung naaawa ka sa mga alipores niya dahil nagugutom at nagpapagod, bakit hindi mo pakainin at sumama sa kanilang magrally, ako wala akong pakialam sa kanila. Ok?

      • zandro santos

        ikinahihiya mo ba si jose maria sison? ang jonas burgos mo, nasa netherlands lang yun. siya daw ang papalit kay ka joma.

      • kolambogan

        Hindi ka ba marunong umintindi o katulad ka lang ng mga robotic rightest at leftist reactionary na walang alam kundi sumunod ng utos dahil hindi marunong mag-isip para sa sarili. Si idol mong Palparan at si Joma ay pareho lang nagtatago sa hustisya, hindi ko na kailangan silang ikahiya, sila mismo nahihiya na sa sarili nila, dahil kung hindi, bakit sila nagtatago? Yung info mo kay Jonas, huwag mo ng ilayo pa sa issue, patay na yata yung tao, pinasasama mo pa, kung ano man ang alam mo sa kaniya, bakit hindi mo ilabas at ng mga kapanalig mong taong inaakusahan sa kaniyang pagkawala para naman malaman kung ang sinasabi mo ay katotohanan at hindi blinders. O baka naman isa lang eto sa mga palusot ng handlers mo na i tsini tsismis mo para kagatin naman ng mga hindi marunong mag-isip na katulad mo. Uulitin ko wala akong pakialam sa kanila ang sa akin ay katotohanan at idea ng tama at mali, yun lang, kung hindi mo pa rin maintindihan, sayang lang ang mga sasabihin mo pa kasi kahit kailan hindi mo ako mapapasang-ayun sa mga pinagsusulat mo. OK? For your info sa ganang akin ang mga katulad ni Joma at Palparan ay mga exploiters at alam mo kung sino ang nag e-exploit sa iyo at sa ngayon ay in denial ka pa, si Palparan ay consider ng isang hit-man ala Mafia at si Joma in the same league katulad ng Triad parehong mga selfish manipulators hiding in some convuluted principles of annihilation of those against their own. Gets mo?

    • Hockiard Babor Carriaga

    A mother will always be a if this was happen only yesterday,i admire Mrs Burgos!Involved militaty should poit out where they buried Jonas Burgos..all this time they were quiet not blamimg its time now to prove their innocence

  • farmerpo

    Ask Palparan where the sub base is, the TRA, temporary rest area.

  • Juan Relaciones

    Kahit duda akong buhay pa si Jonas, sana maawa naman ang may kasalanan at bigyan naman ng katapusan ang paghahanap ng kanyang ina. Ilabas nyo na si Jonas kahit ano pa man ang kanyang kalagayan. May mga nanay din po kayo na may kagagawan nito. Kung ang pusa nga hinahanap ang kuting pag nawawala, ang tao pa kaya.

  • kalikasanipagtanggol

    Tignan natin kung ibigay ng mga military ang hinihingi ng SC baka magmatigas na naman sila!

  • virgoyap

    To Gazmin and the AFP Chief of Staff no cover-up please!! Let the truth takes its course.

  • wakats

    The AFP/police have been at war, although undeclared, with the NPAs since the time of Ramon Magsaysay Sr and no quarter has been asked – nor given – except during the traditional christmas truce, to allow the rebels to be with their families during the yuletide season.

    Both sides suffered fatalities and many countryside development programs remain on-hold due to the continuing hostilities.

    It so happened that Jonas was on the AFP’s Order of Battle in 2007 and became the focus of attention by the anti-insurgency units of the AFP.

  • doublecross

    bantayan ko eto, burgos, a hero in his time…damn the AFP!

    • zandro santos

      hero ba ang maging kabilang sa mga fronts ng terroristang NPA?

    • doublecross

      ibon kaman lumilipad, ang tanging alay ko sa iyo, katarungan para taong inapi. mabuhay ka, isa kang danagl na ipaglaban.

  • doublecross

    thank u lord, jailed those person involve in this case…..

    • zandro santos

      yang mga taong gusto mong makulong, sila ang dahilan kung bakit konti nalang ang mga terroristang NPA sa southern luzon at samar.

  • zandro santos

    Hinahanap ninyo si Jonas Burgos? Nasa Netherlands na yun kasama ni Jose Maria Sison, ang founder ang terroristang New People’s Army. Sya ang papalit kay Ka Joma pag namatay na ito.

  • $46804224

    natakot ang bulok (rogues) na kasapi ng militar sa isang JONAS BURGOS
    ..linisin ang AFP ng mga duwag….

    • zandro santos

      mas duwag ang mga NPA.

  • doublecross

    let the justice rolls to the unknown people who cares for the truth and justice…RIP po, ka burgos…pray for you.

  • kolambogan

    To: Patriotic_ act:

    From: Kolambogan,

    Well, now who is assuming too much? I just said that being a communist is not an enemy of any democratic state anymore, contrary to your belief, but you are the one who answered in a very arrogant manner, telling me that I don’t understand. I just reacted the way you reacted. I only stated the truth. I can’t ask you anymore about things you have already stated for everybody to read and react, that’s why, I deem it proper to state what I believe is the proper law at present, I quoted you because it was what you wanted read and known by everybody including myself when you posted it, which I believe was not the truth, I knew the falsity of your statement and it hurts for you to know it, but don’t blame me for telling the truth.

    I just stick to my original comment but in stead of answering squarely you derided me every time you answered, who has no manners then?
    I don’t pretend to be intelligent, and don’t even think for a moment as one. also If you don’t know anything about a subject, about my parents and how I was raised, aside from being out of the topic don’t start another one, because it might add to your embarassment, should you know another truth, again contrary to your opinions.

    I am tempted to add some unsavory remarks, but not this time, and will not include your parents or any of your nearest relative just to get back at you, in my diatribe because they know not what you have been up to and that’s to show you what manners are.

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