Group hits DOJ for clearing military on Burgos case
Dennis Carcamo (The Philippine Star) - September 6, 2013 - 2:26pm

MANILA, Philippines -Rights group Karapatan on Friday scored the Department of Justice for dropping the several military and police officials from the list of respondents from the criminal case filed by Editha Burgos, mother of missing activist Jonas Burgos.

The DOJ reportedly, in a resolution, dropped from the list of respondents from the   arbitrary detention, murder and obstruction of justice charges Brig. Gen. Eduardo Año, Lt. Col. Melquiades Feliciano, Lt. Gen. Romeo Tolentino,former Armed Forces of the Philippines chiefs of staff Gen. Hermogenes Esperon, Lt. Gen. Alexander Yano and ex-Philippine National Police Director General Avelino Razon Jr. 
 
Karapatan said the the resolution, reviewed and penned by Assistant Prosecutor Gerard Gaerlan, and approved by Prosecutor General Claro Arellano, only recommended the filing of charges in Court against Major Harry Baliaga Jr.
 
 The resolution, released on September 3, also dismissed charges of murder and obstruction of justice against all respondents.
 
The Burgos matriarch filed the criminal case of arbitrary detention against Baliaga, Feliciano and Año in June 2011. 
 
The initial resolution of the Assistant State Prosecutor George Yarte, who conducted the preliminary investigation, found probable cause to charge in court Baliaga, Feliciano, Año and four unidentified respondents, including a woman.
 
 Año was the head of the operating arm of the intelligence group of the Philippine Army when the abduction took place.
 
"While the DOJ found probable cause for the charges against foot soldiers like Major Harry Baliaga Jr., it has exonerated the military brains behind the abduction and disappearance of Jonas by finding no cause to charge Brig. Gen. Eduardo Año, Lt. Col. Melquiades Feliciano, Lt. Gen. Romeo Tolentino, Gen. Hermogenes Esperon, Lt. Gen. Alexander Yano and Dir. Gen. Avelino Razon Jr.," Karapatan secretary general  Cristina Palabay said. 
 
Jonas was abducted by unidentified gunmen, believed to be soldiers, on Apr. 28, 2007 in a shopping mall along Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City. 
 
 

ALEXANDER YANO EDUARDO A GEN HERMOGENES ESPERON KARAPATAN MAJOR HARRY BALIAGA JR. MELQUIADES FELICIANO ROMEO TOLENTINO
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