April 28, 2017
Reference: Carol P. Araullo, Chairperson, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan
It has been a decade since the abduction of Jonas Burgos, and yet justice remains elusive for the Burgos family.
It was April 28, 2007, under the Arroyo Administration and the bloody reign of the counterinsurgency campaign Oplan Bantay Laya, when Jonas Burgos was abducted by military men in Quezon City.
Former President Benigno Aquino III did not deliver his promise to surface Jonas. Not one of the perpetrators of Jonas’ enforced disappearance has been made to account. Aquino only condoned and even promoted military officials responsible for human rights violations during his six-year term.
Now under the Duterte administration, Lt. General Eduardo Año is already appointed as the new Chief-of-Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Año headed the Army Intelligence Security Group in 2007, and is mainly responsible for the hunt-down operations that led to the enforced disappearance of Jonas. We deplore the appointment of Año, whose track record is lined with human rights violations in the course of his rise in the military ranks.
Ten years after, Jonas is still missing and his abductors are still scot-free.
Impunity reigns supreme in an unjust society that breeds abject poverty, landlessness, lack of jobs and dirt-poor wages for workers and leads to the people’s resistance against their exploiters and oppressors.
This is the context in which Jonas was targeted as an “enemy of the state”. This is the reason he was abducted by the military, and likely tortured and summarily executed as a revolutionary. This is why justice for him and his family remains elusive to this day.
Only when the Jonases of this country will have no reason to fight social injustice and thereby become victims of military brutality and terror, can justice be truly attained. #