Bukas na Liham kay Pang. Noynoy Aquino sa kanyang Ikalimang SONA

FILE PHOTO: Simbolikong inaresto nina Connie Empeno at Linda Cadapan si Jovito Palparan, ang dating heneral ng militar na itinuturong dumukot sa dalawang aktibista noong Hunyo 26, 2006. (Macky Macaspac)

FILE PHOTO: Simbolikong inaresto nina Connie Empeno at Linda Cadapan si Jovito Palparan, ang dating heneral ng militar na itinuturong dumukot sa dalawang aktibista noong Hunyo 26, 2006. (Macky Macaspac)

​OPEN LETTER
July 24, 2014
 

KAMI, sina Erlinda Cadapan at Concepcion Empeño, mga ina nina Sherlyn Cadapan at Karen Empeño na mga estudyante ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas na sapilitang iwinala kasama ang magsasakang si Manuel Merino noong  Hunyo 26, 2006 sa Hagonoy, Bulacan.

Kaming mga ina, kasama ang iba pang kaanak ng mga biktima ng sapilitang pagkawala, ay muling nananawagan at naggigiit ng katarungan para sa mga mahal naming hanggang sa kasalukuyan ay hindi pa nakikita.

Walong taon na kaming walang tigil sa paghahanap sa kanila sa tama o legal na pamamaraan. Kami ay nananawagan sa inyo sa pamamagitan ng media para sa agarang pagpapalitaw sa kanila.  Ayon sa Court of Appeals, Korte Suprema, at Department of Justice, sila ay kinidnap at iligal na idinitine ng yunit ng 24th Infantry Batallion ng AFP sa pamumuno ni Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan.

Alam naming hindi lingid sa inyong kaalaman ang kasong ito. Sa aming pananaw, tila mailap ang hustisya at hindi pinagtutuunan ng pansin ang aming mga panawagan. Kami ay nagdaranas ng hirap sa paghahanap ng aming mga mahal sa buhay. Dagdag pa rito ang hindi pag-aresto sa mga tinukoy na ng korte na mga opisyal ng militar na nanguna sa pagdukot kina Karen at Sherlyn.

Samantalang nananatiling malaya si Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan at M/Sgt. Rizal Hilario na utak ng pagkawala nina Karen at Sherlyn, pinatatagal naman ng mga kapwa nila akusado na sina Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado at Staff Sgt. Edgar Osorio ang pagtakbo ng kasong Kidnapping at Illegal Serious Detention na dinidinig sa Malolos Regional Trial Court. Sa halip na magpresinta ng kanilang mga sinasabing saksi ang mga akusado mula pa noong Nobyembre 2013, kung ano-anong mga dahilan ang parating inihahapag sa tuwing may pagdinig: naka-deploy sa malayo, hindi pinapayagang dumalo sa pagdinig, walang budget para sa pamasahe. Pagpapakita ito ng kawalang respeto sa karapatang pantao at sa mismong korte.

Sa tulong ng mga tagasuporta at sariling rekurso, naghanap kami sa mga ospital, presinto’t kampo ng militar na ang aming pinuntahan na umaasang mayakap muli ang aming mga anak; ilang morge na ang pinagtanungan at maging paghuhukay sa mga libingan upang kilalanin ang mga bangkay na walang umaako ay nagawa na namin sa pagbabakasakaling mabigyan ng marangal na burol at libing ang kanilang katawan pero kahit sa mga ito, walang mga Sherlyn o Karen o kahit sinong desaparecido.

Kahit ang kasong kriminal na isinampa laban kay Maj. Harry Baliaga na isa sa mga dumukot kay Jonas Burgos ay napakupad ng pag-usad. Malalayo ang pagitan ng mga petsa ng pagdinig at pinahintulutan pang makapagpiyansa si Baliaga. Sa dinami-rami ng mga opisyal na sinampahan ng kaso ng pamilya ni Jonas, lahat naabswelto maliban kay Baliaga kahit ang mga nakalap na ebidensya sa sariling pag-iimbestiga ay nakaturo at nagsasabing militar ang dumukot kay Jonas.

Ginoong Aquino, hindi lingid sa amin na naglaan kayo ng mahigit 400 milyong pisong pabuya sa mga kumakalaban sa pamahalaan. Bukod pa rito, nitong ngang huli, sumambulat sa amin ang pagkakamal ng inyong administrasyon ng bilyon-bilyong pisong pondo ng bayan sa pamamagitan ng DAP. Sa kabila ng pagdedeklara ng Korte Suprema na labag sa ating konstitusyon ang DAP, ipinagtanggol pa ninyo ito at ipinagmalaki ang mga pinaglaanang proyekto ng iligal na DAP.

Magkano ang inilaang pondo ng gobyerno para dukutin ang aming mga anak? Ilang porsyento ng DAP ang inilaan ninyo para makapagbigay katarungan sa mga biktima ng paglabag sa karapatang pantao? Sapat na ba ang dalawang milyong pisong pabuya sa ikakaaresto ni Palparan? Kailangang makita ang aksyon sa pagtugis kina Hilario at Palparan.

Nadidismaya kami sa inyong pagkanlong at pagbibigay ng espesyal na pagtrato sa mga nakinabang sa kriminal na DAP. Malaking insulto ito sa tinamo naming sugat na idinulot ng pagkawala ng aming mga kaanak. Ipinapaalala ng inyong pagkanlong sa mga magnanakaw sa kaban ng bayan ang pagtataas ng posisyon at pagbibigay karangalan sa mga opisyal ng militar na pangunahing may pananagutan sa mga paglabag ng karapatang pantao.

Nananatiling nasa papel lamang ang Anti-Torture at Anti-Enforced Disappearance Law na magpaparusa sana sa mga dumukot at nag-torture sa aming mga anak. Subalit umabot na sa dalawampu (20) ang nagiging biktima ng sapilitang pagkawala sa ilalim ng inyong administrasyon sa kabila ng pagkakapasa ng mga batas na ito. Ginoong Aquino, kahit ilang batas ang inyong pirmahan, hindi matitigil ang pagdami ng mga desaparecidos kung hindi naman ito ipapatupad at kung sa halip ay patuloy ninyong ipapatupad ang kontra-insurhensyang programang Oplan Bayanihan na nagnanakaw ng buhay sa maraming biktima.

Ginoong Aquino, ninakaw ng pamahalaan ang aming mga anak.  Ang iginigiit naming hustisya para sa aming mga anak at iba pang mga biktima ng paglabag sa karapatang pantao ay alingawngaw ng aming isinisigaw na katarungan mula pa noong dukutin ang aming mga anak. Nagawa na namin ang lahat na dapat naming magawa. Panahon na para gawin mo naman ang iyong bahagi na agarang ilitaw sina Karen at Sherlyn at maaresto sina Rizal Hilario at Jovito Palparan para panagutin sa kanilang paglabag sa aming karapatan.

Iminumungkahi namin ang inyong pagbibitiw sa pwesto kung hindi ninyo ito kayang tugunan.

 

Naghahanap ng Katarungan,

(sgd) Erlinda Cadapan

(sgd) Concepcion Empeño

 

Reference:       Concepcion Empeño, Chairperson (0928-2884623)
                 Erlinda Cadapan (0908-7136291)

Aquino should remove ISAFP chief from post

Press Release | Karapatan
April 2, 2013

After CA decision and new evidence on military involvement in Burgos disappearance

“We challenge Pres. Aquino to remove ISAFP Chief Brig. Gen. Eduardo Año from his post and hold him accountable for the enforced disappearance of Jonas and other human rights violations,” Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan said.
jonas after abduction

The Burgos family yesterday submitted new evidence to the Supreme Court including the picture of Jonas allegedly under military detention. Two weeks ago, the Court of Appeals ruled on the writ of Amparo on the case of Jonas. “All of these point to one incontrovertible truth: that the enforced disappearance of Jonas and other desaparecidos are perpetrated by the AFP,” Palabay said.

“The higher-ups involved with the disappearance of Jonas and its cover up such as Brig. Gen. Año were not only absolved by Arroyo administration but were also promoted to higher position by Pres. Noynoy Aquino,” Palabay added.

“The glaring fact is that Aquino, after almost three years in office and empty air about his administration’s ‘daang matuwid’, has not filed a single case to prosecute Arroyo and her generals on the basis of grave human rights violations. Instead, Aquino promoted these Arroyo generals under his AFP command,” Palabay said. “This is among the stark features of Aquino’s brand of ‘justice’, one that truly reveals his administration’s perversion of the words ‘human rights,'” Palabay said.

“For us, and for victims of human rights violations, as long as military officials such as ISAFP Chief  Año, Ret. Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr., Maj. Harry Baliaga, and others involved in the act of enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations continue to go unpunished, that is NOT JUSTICE,” Palabay said.

“After all these years of denying their dirty deeds, the AFP until now has never had the credibility when it comes to holding its men accountable for the human rights violations caused by the counter-insurgency programs that denied countless mothers, fathers, sons and daughters of their loves ones,” Palabay concluded.

‘Indisputable evidence’: Burgos family releases picture of Jonas in military captivity

‘The picture’. A photo identified by the Burgos family as that of Jonas Burgos, the missing activist abducted by military agents in April 28, 2007. Edita Burgos, Jonas’ mother, positively identified Jonas and the white shirt he was supposedly wearing when he was kidnapped in a mall in Quezon City. (photo from the Free Jonas Burgos Movement)

‘The picture’. A photo identified by the Burgos family as that of Jonas Burgos, the missing activist abducted by military agents in April 28, 2007. Edita Burgos, Jonas’ mother, positively identified Jonas and the white shirt he was supposedly wearing when he was kidnapped in a mall in Quezon City. (photo from the Free Jonas Burgos Movement)

Kenneth Roland A. Guda | Pinoy Weekly
April 1, 2013

The family of missing activist Jonas Burgos released a picture of Jonas taken by his military captors, again proving that state security agents were behind the abduction in April 28, 2007.

The picture (above) shows a man, with deep circles around his eyes, in white shirt and a scarf around his neck, photographed against a cement wall. The Burgos family positively identified the man in the picture as Jonas.

“While the family and friends of Jonas unwaveringly pursued the truth (about the disappearance of Jonas), confident in God’s mercy, never before throughout the search has been this kind of evidence been uncovered,” stated Edita Burgos, mother of Jonas.

The Burgos family released the picture as part of a special urgent motion filed before the Supreme Court to compel the Armed Forces of the Philippines, as well as the Aquino government, to reveal the whereabouts of Jonas and bring to justice the military perpetrators.

When asked about the source of the picture, Edita Burgos said it was given by a “friend of a friend, who is very reliable.” She also revealed that they are in possession of other documents that would further implicate military officials directly responsible for Jonas’ abduction.

Included in the documents — all of which are said to be classified Army documents — are an “After Apprehension Report”, as well as a “Psycho Social Processing Report” and a supposed “autobiography” of Jonas.

She said the picture and the other documents were passed on to them “a few weeks ago.” Edita Burgos refused to elaborate on the nature of the source of the documents, saying that doing so would endanger the life  of the source.

The release of the picture comes on the heels of a Court of Appeals decision publicized on March 27 that said the abduction of Jonas Burgos was a case of enforced disappearance, with the Philippine Army as culprit.

The release of the photo is also only the latest in a series of revelations of evidences pinpointing the Philippine Army. Most of these evidences, submitted before the Court of Appeals, came from the Burgos family. The family has long lamented the lack of support from government agencies in investigating leads of the case.

Edita Burgos, meanwhile, said that the new evidence is a “special gift” to Jonas, who had his 43rd birthday last March 29.

“We offer prayers for those involved that they may be enlightened and they would have the courage to say the truth,” said Edita, who is also chair of Desaparecidos, organization of relatives of victims of enforced disappearances, and wife of Philippine press freedom icon Jose Burgos Jr.

On April 28, 2007, witnesses saw Jonas abducted by armed men in a mall in Quezon City. They heard Jonas shout “Aktibista lang ako!” (I’m just an activist!), while being dragged away. Police and independent investigation, which traced the car plates of the vehicle used in the abduction, also revealed that the vehicle was a military-issued one.

It was revealed that the vehicle was seen in a military camp in Central Luzon.

The human rights organization, Karapatan, asked the Aquino government to punish the military officers and soldiers identified to be involved in the disappearance of Jonas.

Among them is Major Harry Baliaga, who was under the 56th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army. 56th IB was once under the command of the notorious Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr.

Palparan is also accused of various human rights violations, and is currently in hiding after a court ordered his arrest for involvement in the disappearance of student activists Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño in Central Luzon.

Karapatan also called for a full disclosure of other cases of enforced disappearances that involved military officers, including the current AFP chief of staff, Gen. Eduardo Año.

“We stand by the Burgos family in this battle. Their strength and courage is an inspiration to us and families of victims of human rights violations,” said Aya Santos of Desaparecidos.

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