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Burgos mom’s suspended state of yearning

/ 07:17 AM April 28, 2018

Family, friends and supporters of farmer-activist Jonas Burgos on Friday gathered for a Mass in the Parish of the Holy Sacrifice at the University of the Philippines in Diliman to mark the 11th year of his disappearance, even as they renewed calls to the military to heed the 2011 Supreme Court ruling to produce him.

Led by the Burgos matriarch, Edita, the gathering came a day before the exact date when he was taken by men from a Quezon City mall in 2007.

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Freedom fighter’s son

“Whenever [April 28] nears, the pain and the longing intensifies,” Edita told the Inquirer. “[But] we should not lose hope, because everything happens in God’s time.”

On that day in 2007, unidentified men dragged the then 37-year-old son of the late journalist and freedom fighter Jose Burgos Jr., from a restaurant in Ever Gotesco mall on Commonwealth Avenue.

In October last year, a Quezon City trial court acquitted Army Maj. Harry Baliaga, the lone accused soldier whom the Burgoses claimed was the mastermind behind the abduction.

Stolen life

“To be in a suspended state of yearning for the past 11 years is not easy … but a mother cannot stop and give up,” Edita said. “One objective of the perpetrators of enforced disappearances is for those left behind to forget about the stolen life of the disappeared.”

Among those present during the commemoration were Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chair Chito Gascon, National Democratic Front of the Philippines peace adviser Luis Jalandoni, former Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo and martial law survivor Bonifacio Ilagan.

“We at the CHR are one with the Burgos family and all other victims and families of human rights violations,” Gascon said.

It was on the investigation report submitted by the CHR in March 2011 that the high court based its ruling for the military to produce the missing activist.

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TAGS: Disappearance, Edita, Jonas Burgos, SC
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