Bring back raps vs generals, kin of Burgos ask

By Jerome Aning, Philippine Daily Inquirer –

29 September 2013

Philippines – The lawyers of the family of missing farmer-activist Jonas
Burgos has asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to reconsider its
decision dismissing arbitrary detention charges against military
intelligence chief Gen. Eduardo Año and another Philippine Army officer.

In a 20-page motion for reconsideration dated Sept. 23, a copy of which
was provided the media on Friday, lawyers Edre Olalia and Ricardo
Fernandez, on behalf of Jonas’ mother Edita Burgos also asked the DOJ to
reinstate charges of obstruction of justice against retired Armed Forces
of the Philippines chiefs of staff Hermogenes Esperon Jr. and Alexander
Yano, retired Philippine National Police Director General Avelino Razon
Jr. and former Philippine Army commanding general Romeo Tolentino.

Edita Burgos said there was enough circumstantial evidence to link Año,
along with Col. Melquiades Feliciano and Maj. Harry Baliaga Jr., to her
son’s abduction more than six years ago. The lawyers said that all three
military officers had knowledge of Jonas’ abduction because they were
involved in the investigation of a soldier who had ties to communist
leaders, one of whom was a certain Ramon whom the military believed was
Jonas. In a decision issued on Sept. 3, the DOJ recommended that only
Baliaga be indicted for arbitrary detention. Feliciano and Año were
exonerated due to lack of probable cause. No murder case was filed
because the activist’s body has yet to be found.

A witness earlier identified Baliaga as one of the abductors of Jonas
from a restaurant inside a mall in Quezon City on April 28, 2007.
Esperon, Yano, Tolentino and Razon were also cleared of covering up
Jonas’ disappearance. However, Edita Burgos’ lawyers called for the
reinstatement of the charges of obstruction of justice against the
retired generals, noting that the Court of Appeals, in its decision of
March 18, declared the AFP, the Army and the PNP accountable for the
enforced disappearance. As the heads of the military and police at the
time of Jonas’ disappearance, the four generals were liable via the
principle of command responsibility, the lawyers said.