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Update on Luisa Dominado, Nilo Arado & JJ Burgos

So far there seems to be no new encouraging developments regarding the abduction of Maria Luisa Posa-Dominado and Nilo Arado. It’s a small province for crying out loud, what are the authorities doing?

Through an email communication from Luisa's daugther I was informed that they have set up an official site to help find Luisa and Nilo where people following up on the developments can check for updates.

While people are frantic looking for Luisa and Nilo “witnesses account” on the abduction of Jonas Burgos is now being muddled with different versions and liepapers are having a field day confusing the people.

Forget about that conflicting "witnesses" account and let's focus on more important and relevant information as opposed to what these liepapers dissed out. Now what exactly are armed men riding in tandem in motorcycles doing keeping a close watch on the residence of the family of the late Jose Burgos, Jr.? If they are the police or military people I don’t think they will find the missing Jonas there and what’s the deal with these burly men on board motorcycles tailing close friends of Jonas Burgos since Monday, April 30? Maybe if they start looking elsewhere instead of the residence of the father of the missing person they may turn out with positive results. Instead of tailing close friends of Jonas they may want to follow hot leads rather than issuing denials or innuendoes on those "other parties” responsible to start doing their job for a change. How about looking at the vehicle described as Toyota Revo van with plate number TAB-194 and go from there and not hound Jonas friends? Oh, please foolish errr police people stop issuing dumb statements and just do your job and maybe something will get done rather than all sound and fury signifying nothing. After all the world does not revolve around you and no one really cares how these "officers of the law feeling hurt" on a personal level but would rather see the case resolve expediently.

It appears that initial investigation points out that the license plate of the Toyota Revo van was reportedly issued to a different vehicle, a 1990 Isuzu sport utility vehicle in Norzagaray, Bulacan. I am not in the habit of speculating and this is probably not related to the missing Burgos case but there seems to be some eerie coincidence in the Bulacan incident reported by ABS-CBN News, to quote:

Gomez said his men had just come from Meycauayan to inspect the town after receiving reports of sightings of New People Army members in the area.

Gomez said the soldiers were on their way back to their base in Hagonoy when they chanced upon a group of men.

Police have confiscated two motorcycles, a pick-up vehicle, a van and three vehicle license plates, including a red plate (SDE 652) from the soldiers, three M16 and a .38 pistol, the report said.

The soldiers are allegedly campaigning for BANTAY a party list where Palaparan is reportedly the nominee were said to have removed the streamer of Jon Jon Villanueva a mayoral candidate, the son of Jesus is Lord Movement leader Eduardo "Brother Eddie" Villanueva. In the said incident where a gun battle ensued involving bodyguards of Jon Jon and at least 10 Philippine Army soldiers, one soldier died in the shoot out that is now the object of the investigation by local authorities and AFP.

If the report is true that they were involved in tearing down a Mayoral candidates’ streamer, why are active duty soldiers who are supposed to be in their barracks out in Bulacan doing this? The 3 license plates that were seized posed a very serious concern, why are they carrying said license plates? Maybe the investigators instead of exculpating themselves from responsibility should follow this lead; to think that these soldiers are in the location where Jonas Burgos happens to live may not be just coincidental. The license plates are also a concern especially when the reported license plate of Burgos abductors does not match, so what is the purpose these extra license plates? I am not into conspiracy theories but Palparan has been implicated in several political activist repression and disappearance, maybe the "authorities" should look into this angle. The timing of the abduction also makes me leery at a time when election is just a few days away and the target of the abduction is a person that will generate so much attention truly posed more questions that needs to be answered.

Bloggers should really get involve and use their blogs to at least post the pictures of the missing persons so as to discourage criminal elements especially those state sanctioned kidnappings under the guise of police work when the “crime” supposedly committed are really having a different mindset amenable to arrogant people in power.

It is ironic and sad that after all these years someone like Gloria Macapagal to come along thrashing whatever democratic space we have gained all because of her mad cling to her questionable tenure.

Statements of support are now pouring in and we need to see the international community raising a howl on this dastardly inhuman act to the attention of international policy makers to urge and demand a stop to these uncivilized acts of violence. Pressure should be mounted to encourage and inform policy makers especially those in charge of aid to the Philippines. This government are squandering them anyway so what’s the point of giving them aid when they can’t even handle the contribution of OFWs to better use in terms of development and job generation within the country.

Former President Corazon C. Aquino in her May 2, 2007 Press Statement:

I view with the deepest concern the disappearance and apparent abduction by unknown forces of the farmer-activist Jonas Joseph Burgos, son of the late world press freedom fighter Jose Burgos Jr. who lit our paths in the dark, long years of martial rule.

I appeal to the highest authorities of the land to send the clear signal to the field, that Jonas Burgos must be surfaced immediately by whoever is holding him, and that no harm must come to him. If any organs of the state has a case whatsoever against him, we believe that Jonas must be allowed to defend himself in court, and not become part of the statistics of the disappeared and others who have fallen victim to extrajudicial punishment in these troubled times.

I pray for the safety of Jonas and that of the rest of the family of Joe Burgos.

May Our Lord have mercy on them!

From Senator Joker Arroyo:

The government and its law enforcement agencies must double-up efforts to surface urgently Jonas Burgos.

It should also seek out the abductors of Jonas without let-up, lest the inaction taint the reputation of the uniformed services most of whom are good people.

A mailed-fist policy against peaceful reformers like Jonas who are valiant crusaders to uplift the farmers is unacceptable.

Jonas could by choice live a comfortable life, but he prefers to challenge conventions and norms that perpetuate the poverty of the marginalized sectors, such as the farmers. Truly in the mould of his father, he comes from the fine breed of crusaders and freedom fighters, the son of Joe Burgos, an internationally awarded journalist who was imprisoned during the martial law years for espousing press freedom through the “We Forum.” Joe revived it as Malaya after we won his case in the Supreme Court, one of the few cases we won during those dark days. Jonas was then just reaching his teens in those years.

Enforced disappearances are anathema to a democracy.

Senator Nene Pimentel urge AFP to thoroughly probe Burgos' abduction before clearing itself.

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today rebuked the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for its instant denial that soldiers have nothing to do with the disappearance of agriculturist and activist Jonas Joseph Burgos even before it could thoroughly investigate the matter.

Pimentel said the AFP’s official statement clearing itself of involvement in the abduction suffers from credibility in the face of available information, including testimonies of witnesses, that he was snatched by eight military-looking men while having lunch inside the Ever Gotesco mall in Commonwealth Avenue April 28.

He criticized the AFP for giving the standard reply that soldiers are not involved in the involuntary disappearance and summary killings of political activists even if available circumstantial and direct evidence points to the military as the perpetrators of these atrocities.

Pimentel said this has happened in many cases of abductions and disappearances of activists and leaders of militant leftist groups such as Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan both students of the University of the Philippines who were taken away by armed men in a boarding house in Hagonoy, Bulacan last November.

He said the abduction of Jonas Joseph Burgos, son of the late journalist and freedom-fighter Burgos, Jr. illustrate once more the cruel and despicable acts that the powers-that-be and its armed enforcers are capable of doing against their perceived enemies or threats to their privileged positions.

Pimentel called on President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to launch a no-nonsense effort to look for Jonas Joseph Burgos and save his life if she does not want to further alienate and disappoint the members of the media who have been deeply disturbed about this abduction case.

“I ask President Arroyo, the National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine National Police, Department of Justice and Department of National Defense to help rescue Jonas Joseph Burgos, son of Jose and Edith Burgos from his captors. Jonas is a law abiding farmer. There is absolutely no reason why he should be abducted,” he said.

Pimentel also bemoaned that the lackluster efforts of the Arroyo government and law enforcement agencies in solving the spate of political and media killings has only emboldened the death squads and their handlers to carry on their evil business.

The Commission on Human Rights is now on the case of Jonas Burgos as reported by Inquirer to quote:

During a meeting Thursday, the Commission on Human Rights ordered officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to find Jonas within five days or at the very least submit an in-depth report of their investigation.

“We know you will be able to locate him, whether he is with the NPA (communist New People’s Army) now or with some (military) intelligence units,” said CHR Commissioner Dominador Calamba II during a conference dialogue with the AFP and PNP officials.

“You have all the resources, you have all the personnel to gather information and to do these things ... this will be a blot on your badge if you cannot find Burgos,” Calamba said.

CHR Chair Purificacion Quisumbing also asked the officials to include in their search the two persons who allegedly went missing the same day Jonas was abducted -- one Melissa Reyes and another still unidentified man.

Indeed what a shame while we commemorate World Press Freedom Day the son of a world press icon is missing and feared abducted by military men. It came at a time when the European Commission has just given a grant of P58million to the Philippines for the promotion of human rights.

Ambassador Allistair MacDonald Head of the European Commission delegation in Manila has expressed shock over the disappearance of the son of press freedom icon Joe Burgos citing an almost daily occurrence of human rights abuse in the Philippines. While he is pleased with the CHR looking into the case regarding the disappearance of Burgos he stressed that investigation is not enough. He urges a stop to these politically motivated crimes that suggest a culture of impunity in the country.

It is sad that disappearances and extra-judicial killings to this day are still happening, when will we ever learn to respect the sacredness of human life. I feel the pain, anguish and suffering of the relatives who are left in the dark on their missing kin whose fate is left hanging and maybe decided by some morons who has no ability to think or even conscience to speak of.

Related Article:
Where is Ma. Luisa Posa-Dominado & Nilo Arado?
Jonas Joseph “Jay Jay” Burgos son of late Freedom Fighter Jose Burgos, Jr. Missing


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