CA nixes Burgos’ bid for AFP brass testimony
BAGUIO CITY, Philippines—The Court of Appeals nixed the bid of Edita Burgos, mother of missing political activist Jonas Burgos to compel the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the commanding general of the Philippine Army to testify and present evidence on the continuing inquiry surrounding the disappearance of her son five years ago.
In a five-page decision, the appeals court’s Special Former Seventh Division through Associate Justice Rosalinda Asuncion-Vicente said the documents sought to be produced by Burgos’ mother are confidential in nature.
“To the mind of this Court, the documents that [Burgos’ lawyer] Atty. Ricardo Fernandez requests to be produced belongs to the same category of confidential documents which the Supreme Court has reserved for its exclusive cognizance and appreciation,” the appeals court said.
The appeals court added that AFP Chief of Staff Jessie Dellosa and Army chief Lieutenant General Emmanuel Bautista are not competent to testify in the writ of habeas and writ of amparo filed by Burgos’ camp for lack of personal knowledge.
Burgos was abducted in Hapag Kainan restaurant, Ever Gotesco Mall at Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City on April 28, 2007.
The appeals court said based on the Supreme Court’s resolutions dated Sept. 6, 2011 and Nov. 29, 2011, it has reserved to itself the exclusive right to receive and examine documents which are considered confidential in nature.
The appeals court added that while Burgos’ camp is asking for documents from the military, it however, failed to identify the specific documents they want the court to summon pursuant to Section 14 (c) of the Rule on the Writ of Amparo.
On March 9, 2012, Fernandez filed a motion alleging that former Chief of Staff Hermogenes Esperon, Jr., had submitted a letter dated May 14, 2007 to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), together with the summary of information (SOI) on Jonas Burgos, stating that the AFP was conducting continuing investigation of abduction and disappearance of Burgos.
However, the AFP has not yet submitted a result of such investigation nor any data gathered in the continuing investigation.
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