Fernandez also asked Coronel why the latter omitted the information on the vehicle’s plate number when he sent a letter to State Prosecutor Jovencito Zuno regarding the case on July 31, 2008.
“At that time, I did not consider the information relevant. Col. Feliciano told us that TAB 194 (plate number) was already missing,” Coronel replied. Col. Melquiades Feliciano was the commander of the 56th IB at the time of the incident.
Coronel said with the appearance of Emerito Lipio, the CIDG considered the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army responsible for the abduction.
Coronel said Lipio, an alleged member of the CPP, told them that it was Jonas’s comrades in the movement who took him.
“Did you come to know that Lipio was abducted by the 56th IB?” Fernandez asked Coronel. Lipio was reportedly taken by soldiers on July 3, 2006 and was only surfaced when he was presented as a witness of the CIDG to the abduction of Jonas.
Coronel submitted a complaint against a certain Delfin de Guzman, the alleged CPP provincial chairman in Bulacan, for the abduction of Jonas. The Department of Justice (DOJ) dismissed the complaint on April 23, 2007, citing judicial courtesy as the CA was then conducting hearings on the case.
Asked what had been done by the PNP since the dismissal of the case before the DOJ, Coronel said the CIDG is assisting the CHR in its investigation pursuant to the order of the high court.
In yesterday’s hearing, Gen. Nicanor Bartolome, PNP chief, said, “The PNP has not stopped its investigation,” saying that the suspects were Delfin de Guzman and other alleged NPA members.
It was only during yesterday’s hearing, Oct. 11, that the PNP submitted a compliance report to the CA. In its earlier decision dismissing the habeas corpus petition, the CA instructed then National Police chief Dir. Gen. Avelino Razon to pursue its investigation and file appropriate charges against those who will be found involved in the abduction.
Bartolome said they still consider the case of Jonas Burgos an active case and there is still an ongoing investigation.
Fernandez also asked Bartolome if the PNP considers suspects from the military. Bartolome replied, “This is a continuing investigation. If in the process, names will come out, we will include them.”
Asked who would be in charge of the investigation, Bartolome said it is the CIDG.
CIDG Director Samuel Pagdilao was sent a subpoena to appear at the court but he was out of the country. CIDG deputy director Senior Supt. Benito Estipona attended the hearing on Pagdilao’s behalf. When Fernandez asked Estipona about the progress of the investigation, Estipona said their records show that the Criminal Investigation and Detection Division (CIDD) of the PNP referred the case to the DOJ.