BY JUAN ANGELO A. HONGO AND MARIANNE B. MIRAMBEL
To mark the second year anniversary of his abduction, family members, friends and supporters of activist Jonas Burgos gathered today in a mass at Camp Agunaldo’s Gate 1.
Jonas, son of the late press freedom hero Jose Burgos, a farmer and an advocate of human rights, was abducted last April 28, 2007 by armed men while having lunch in a restaurant in Quezon City.
Even before the mass began, the soldiers played disco music using their loud amplifiers to drown out the protesters.
Rev. Father Robert Reyes tried to negotiate with the soldiers at the gate to turn off the music but to no avail. A soldier told the priest that the order came from their superiors. Reyes went on officiating the mass.
In an interview with Bulatlat, Edita Burgos, mother of Jonas, said, “Mga hindi sila Kristyano kaya hindi nila naiintindihan.Hindi ko alam kung anong klaseng paniniwala meron sila.” (They’re not Christians that’s why they don’t understand. I don’t even know what kind of belief they have.)
In her message, Mrs. Burgos stated that there is a need to speak up so the truth will come out.
“We have stated again and again… We shall not be cowed into silence, nor terrorized in paralysis. Though we be ‘ambassadors in chains’, we shall be given the courage and the words to speak the truth.”
JL, Jonas’ younger brother added that these actions are expected from those who try to conceal their true colors. “Disrespectful yung ginawa nila, pero expected ko na kasi hindi lang ito yung unang beses na ginawa nila. Noon nga, Jumbo Hotdog pa nga yung pinagtugtog nila eh,” (What they did were disrespectful although I already expected those things. This is not the first time they did this to us. They even played Jumbo Hotdog before.) JL related.
The protesters also voiced out their opposition to the assumption of Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr. as Bantay party-list representative.
The Burgos family asserted that Palparan is behind the abduction of Jonas. “He doesn’t deserve to be in Congress; he deserves to be in jail,” JL said. (Bulatlat.com)