SC orders AFP: Produce missing activist Jonas Burgos
MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court has ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines to surface missing activist Jonas Burgos, son of the late freedom fighter and anti-Marcos publisher Jose “Joe” Burgos, after his alleged abduction by soldiers in a Quezon City mall in 2007.
In an en banc ruling, the tribunal granted the writ of habeas corpus filed by the missing activist’s mother, Edita Burgos, who had accused the military of forcibly taking her son.
The high court also directed the Court of Appeals to conduct “further hearing” for the similar petition for a writ of habeas corpus, which the appellate court had previously dismissed in July 2008.
In issuing the 25-page resolution penned by Associate Justice Arturo Brion, the magistrates ordered the AFP chief of staff, Gen. Eduardo Oban; the Army chief, Major Gen. Arturo Ortiz; and Major Harry Baliaga Jr. to be impleaded in the habeas corpus case.
Baliaga was identified in a report by the Commission on Human Rights as the “principal abductor” of Jonas.
However, the tribunal cleared former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of any complicity in the case since she was then enjoying immunity from suit as sitting a president.
The high court issued the order on July 5, but was released to the media only on Thursday.
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