Mayo 9, 2007

Burgos kin to Arroyo: Probe Army's 56th IB officers, men

The Burgos family said on Wednesday that it already considers soldiers of the Philippine Army’s 56th Infantry Battalion as “prime suspects" in the April abduction of Jonas Joseph at a mall in Quezon City.

JL Burgos, the victim’s younger brother told GMANews.TV that Army men of the 56th IB headed by Lt. Col. Meliciadez Feliciano should be immediately investigated by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) “because all evidence so far gathered by our family give clear clues that the 56th IB could be behind the abduction of Jonas."

“We consider them now as suspects. The plate of the car used in the abduction of my brother clearly points to the fact that the crime emanated from the 56th IB’s turf," said JL.

JL said “it is now the time for" President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and the officials of the AFP to prove their “sincerity in helping our family and put an end to these disappearances."

He said his family talked on Tuesday with Brigadier General Delfin Bangit, deputy chief of staff for intelligence of the AFP. JL said Bangit promised that he will help the Burgos family look for Jonas and those who perpetrated his abduction.

“Our family is counting on their promises. They said they will immediately solve this case. We now have a suspect. Now is the time," said JL.

It was earlier reported that the plate number of the vehicle used in Jonas' abduction inside a restaurant at the Ever Gotesco Mall was the same plate number – TAB 194 - earlier attached to a vehicle parked at the 56th IB’s camp in Norzagaray, Bulacan.

The Burgos family owns a one hectare farm in San Miguel, Bulacan, supervised by Jonas who is an agriculturist and promotes the practice of organic farming. JL said his brother also helps small farmers in their area under the Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Bulacan, learn farming technologies that are more sustainable and environment-friendly.

JL said that his brother’s abduction “adds to the pattern of involuntary disappearances" in the province.

“We can call it a penchant for abducting persons who are being critical of the government and suspected of being communists. This is the paranoia in Bulacan that has triggered the unexplained disappearances of several people in the area. My brother Jonas is among the victims of this military paranoia," JL said.

Last November, workers from the Metal Ore Mining Company in Doña Remedios Trinidad, Bulacan were allegedly detained by members of the 56th IB. The International Labor Solidarity mission said the workers were released after the barangay captain filed a police blotter and negotiated for their release.

Also in June, University of the Philippines students Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan and their peasant companion Manuel Merino were abducted in Hagonoy, Bulacan. Some believed that the same battalion was involved in their disappearance. - GMANews.TV

Posted by marga at Mayo 9, 2007 4:55 PM | TrackBack
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