Edith Burgos asks Robredo to include disappeared in electoral agenda

It’s been 15 years since Jonas was abducted

The mother of missing activist Jonas Burgos appealed to Vice President Leni Robredo to be the voice of the forcibly disappeared who are the “poorest among the poor because they are voiceless.”

On the 15th anniversary of the abduction of Jonas today, Mrs. Edita Burgos published an open letter asking the presidential candidate to put the issue of the forcibly disappeared in her electoral agenda.

“[A]nd most of all knowing that above all you are a caring and loving mother to your children, I take courage in asking you to please be the voice of the voiceless. The victims of enforced disappearance were taken away from the protection of the law, their whereabouts are kept unknown to their families,” Mrs. Burgos wrote.

 “At this critical point of history in our country, the Philippines, I believe that each Filipino parent has that God-given opportunity to act concretely to secure a better future for their children,” Mrs. Burgos added.

Mrs. Burgos said she chose to write to Robredo based on what she has heard about the Vice President’s track record, her values from her speeches and interviews and seeing how she is drawn to the least served people in the country.

Mrs. Burgos said that she is confident Robredo will open her mother’s heart to a fellow mother and all relatives of victims of enforced disappearance, giving her confidence to ask the candidate to put the issue of enforced disappearance and their search for justice.

A video commemorating the 15th anniversary of Jonas Burgos’ abduction.

Jonas, a peasant rights activist, was abducted while having lunch at a Quezon City mall on April 28, 2007 his family believes were Armed Forces of the Philippines personnel under the command of Gen. Jovito Palparan.

The Burgoses filed arbitrary detention charges against then Philippine Army Major Harry Baliaga Jr. but was acquitted by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 216 in October 2017.

Baliaga was an officer assigned to the 5th Infantry Battalion based in Norzagaray, Bulacan were the vehicle used in Jonas’ abduction was reported to have been seen.

The Court said testimonies of the witnesses were “hearsay.”

Mrs. Burgos has repeatedly said she is confident they will still find Jonas.

In this interview immediately after the promulgation of the case, Burgos’ prosecuting attorney Edre Olalia said the setback is not end of their quest for justice.

“We commemorate his 15th anniversary of abduction with the same vigor and determination. Yet, though with sadness, in the spirit of joining our will to God’s will and accepting reality as it is, we look at this year’s commemoration in the context of the present socio-political situation in our country and endeavor to open new doors,” Mrs. Burgos wrote to Robredo.

“This perspective has given us hope,” she added. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

Families commemorate International Day of the Disappeared

Members of Desaparecidos (Families of the Disappeared for Justice) and other progressive groups commemorated the International Day of the Disappeared in a gathering at the Plaridel Hall, College of Mass Communications of University of the Philippines Diliman in Quezon City Thursday, August 30.

They paid tribute to the families and friends of the Desaparecidos from the Marcos era up to the present who are until now looking for their loved ones.

Mrs. Editha Burgos, mother of the missing activist Jonas Burgos, said that enforced disappearances, aside from being politically motivated and state sponsored, are now being used by the Duterte government on its so-called war on drugs.

There are many cases of disappearances especially the poor under Oplan Tokhang of the Philippine National Police, Mrs. Burgos said.

She added that the effect of enforced disappearance is rampant because it is a continuing crime not only at the time when person was disappeared but, more importantly, on its impact to the victim’s family, friends and even to society.


Mrs. Concepcion Empeño, mother of missing UP student Karen, cast doubt on the upcoming verdict of the court against Jovito Palparan, primary accused on her daughter’s abduction and disappearance, along with Sherlyn Cadapan and Manuel Merino.

Mrs. Empeño said that the supposed promulgation was set on May but has been delayed for several months already.

The event was also the launching of UP RISE! (UP Against Tyranny and Dictatorship), a multi-sectoral alliance based in UP committed to unite against the tyrannical rule and fascist dictatorship of the Duterte regime.

The group denounced the recent visit of Imee Marcos, daughter of the late dictator, to the University last August 25 in a reunion with Kabataang Barangay colleagues.

It said the Filipino people will never move on and never forget the atrocities of the Marcos family.

Isaac Punzalan, RISE UP convenor, said that the unholy alliance of the Marcoses, Arroyos and Duterte will intensify the attacks against the Filipino people.

“We are ready to embrace the historic role of being the forefront of the struggle for genuine change”, Punzalan declared. (Report and video by Joseph Cuevas)