“Hearing about the recent developments on the case of disappearance of Jonas Burgos reminded me that the person involved in his disappearance is the same person that kept my mother incommunicado for three days in the Intelligence Service Group-Philippine Army,” Lorena P. Santos, secretary general of Families of Desaparecidos for Justice said referring to Brig. Gen. Eduardo Año, who was then the chief of the ISG-PA. Año is currently the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) chief.
Santos’ mother, Elizabeth Principe, is a peace consultant for the National Democratic Front of the Philippines who became a political prisoner when she was abducted by elements of the ISG-PA on Nov. 28, 2007. She was just coming out from a clinic in Cubao, Quezon City when she was forced into a van by armed men in plain clothes. This happened eight months after the disappearance of her husband, Leo Velasco, Santos’ father.
“Principe was blindfolded while earphones playing loud music were plugged in her ears, was deprived of sleep, and was continuously interrogated for three straight days,” Santos recalled. It was only on December 1, 2007 that she was surfaced through a press conference at Fort Bonifacio, Taguig. The said press conference was jointly held by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police claiming they have seized a “high ranking officer of the New People’s Army.”
“So I stand with the Burgos family in their call to relieve Brig. Gen. Año as chief of the ISAFP and make him face his accountabilities,” Santos said. “Just like in the case of Jonas, six years after my mother’s abduction, justice is yet to be achieved,” Santos added. Principe faced seven different trumped-up charges and had to languish in jail for almost two years. “But human rights violators need not face any criminal court, spent not one day in jail and worse, are even being promoted to higher ranks,” Santos said.
Reacting on the AFP’s recent statement on the Jonas case, “The AFP does not want ‘closure’, it wants this case and other cases of human rights violations to be a ‘case closed’ matter – never to be dug up again so that stench of blood will not smell,” Santos concluded. ###
Reference: Lorena P. Santos, Secretary General Contact Number: 09229393824