3 retired generals charged in Burgos case
MANILA, Philippines - Three former generals and an army major appeared before the Department of Justice on Friday for the first preliminary investigation hearing of a case that involves the abduction of disappeared activist Jonas Burgos.
Former Armed Forces chief Hermogenes Esperon, former police chief Avelino Razon Jr, and former Army commanding general Romeo Tolentino were charged with obstruction of apprehension and prosecution of criminal offenders. The 3 filed a joint counter-affidavit before assistant state prosecutor George Yarte Jr.
Burgos was abducted 5 years ago from the Ever Gotesco mall in Quezon City. His family holds the AFP responsible. The complaint, filed a year ago by the Burgos family with the DOJ, was based on a Commission on Human Rights investigation that identified Maj Harry Baliaga as one of the abductors.
Baliaga, who was positively identified as one of Burgos’ abductors by witness Jeffrey Cabintoy, also appeared before the DOJ. He filed his counter-affidavit on the case of arbitrary detention filed against him.
Jonas Burgos’ mother Edita claimed that the 3 generals, along with Lt Gen Alexander Yano, actively withheld information vital to finding the activist. This is the 8th case filed by the Burgos family, and the first time the courts have found probable cause to try the abduction case.
Video by Patricia Evangelista, Kiri Dalena and John Javellana, with Aiah Fernandez.