Philippines military delaying probe on Burgos abduction?

May. 22, 2007

Militant farmers mulling to file charges against 56th IB

MANILA — The militant Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) hit the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for delaying the investigation on the abduction of KMP member Jonas Burgos and not fully cooperating with the Burgos family.

According to Danilo Ka Daning Ramos, secretary general of KMP, in cases of forced disappearances and abductions time is of the essence and every second counts but it seems that the AFP and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) are dragging their feet on this case. It has been more than three weeks since Jonas was abducted by the 56th Infantry Battalion (IB) but up until now, the AFP is at a snails pace to get the culprits,

It is this type of action that strengthens our contention that it is the AFPs policy to abduct and kill critics of the Macapagal-Arroyo regime. Truth be told it is the Burgos family as well as the peoples and human rights organization who have done the investigating and have done the rounds of the military camps, said Ramos.

All the military did was to deny everything we ask them concerning Jonas and the other activists they abducted. Now they are saying that the Provost Marshall has finished its preliminary report on why the plate number of an AFP impounded vehicle was used on Jonas abduction, but as early as now we can say that they would spin another yarn to exonerate the 56th IB from any accountability and point at somebody else to blame, added the peasant leader.

In this entire alibi making phase of the AFP, Jonas is still missing, so we are now mulling to file kidnapping as well as arbitrary detention charges against the 56th IB, including Private First Class Jose Villena, Corporal Castro Bugalon, Lieutenant Colonel Melquiades Feliciano, Lietenant Colonel Clemen and even AFP Chief of staff Hermogenes Esperon, for them to be hauled in court and answer for their crimes. We will also file a motion for habeas corpus, ended Ramos. # # #

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