Philippines: Military spinning lies on Burgos abduction — Bayan

May. 10, 2007

MANILA — The umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan slammed the Armed Forces of the Philippines for spinning blatant lies about the disappearances of Jonas Burgos despite circumstantial evidence pointing the Armys involvement.

The plate number of the vehicle used to abduct Burgos was supposedly impounded at the headquarters of the 56th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army stationed in Norzagaray, Bulacan.

Yesterday, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita denied that the military was involved in the abduction and instead blamed either alleged communist rebels or members of a local urban poor group for stealing the plate number.

The reaction of the military is absurd. Instead of investigating the involvement of the Army, they are saying that it was the communists or local activists who stole the plate number. Whats their next alibi, that Burgos was abducted by his fellow activists? said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

It appears that we cannot really expect the cooperation of the military in the search for Jonas Burgos. All the AFP ever does is to deny allegations that it is involved in the incident. The AFP chief of staff does not even care to investigate his own men and probe deeper into the case. He seems to have an alibi ready for any occasion, Reyes added.

Reyes said that the AFP theory that the plate number was stolen by leftists does not make sense unless the AFP thinks that leftists groups abducted Burgos.

We fear that this may be another version of the AFPs discredited purge theory. The AFP conveniently blames the murder and abduction of activists on the NPA. This theory has already been discredited by the UNs Philip Alston and the governments own Melo Commission, Reyes said.

From the looks of it, the AFP leadership and the Arroyo government is all set to blame the Left for the abduction of Burgos, he added.

We call on the Commission on Human Rights to conduct its own parallel or independent investigation of the 56th IB in Bulacan. The CHR can proceed with its own probe even if there is an ongoing police investigation. This has been done before by the CHR, Reyes said.

****** INBOX is an archive of press releases, statements, announcements, letters to the editors, and manifestos sent to Davao Today for publication. Please email your materials to Davao Today reserves the right to edit or refuse material for publication. *****

comments powered by Disqus