BATU, Indonesia. Photo by Jes Aznar

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


By Edita T. Bugos, OCDS
Message: Commemoration of the 2nd anniversary of the abduction of Jonas

The last two years has been like an eternity of uncertainty. We were able to proceed only because in these two years of affliction, the family has been blessed with relatives, friends and unnamed supporters especially artists and those in media who have provided all kinds of assistance. We have commended them in a special way to Him who will thank them. In my dialect “Ang Diyos ang mabalos.” (God will thank them.)

Jonas was taken by armed men and a woman last April 28, 2007 at the Hapag Kainan Restaurant, Ever Gotesco Mall in Quezon City at broad daylight in the view of hundreds of mall goers. Since then we have been praying, appealing, filing cases, searching, yet nothing is known of Jonas’ fate. What is certain is that the perpetrators used a car with car plate TAB 194 which at the time of abduction was in the custody of the 56th Infantry Batallion. And what is more certain is that the state actors have all participated in the cover up so that I would not find out what truly happened.

Jonas remains to be missing, two years after. We, the family and friends of Jonas have not given up. We have been constant and consistent in our efforts to locate him. We shall not forget. Though the forces of evil, now present in the very institutions that are vowed to protect the people, shroud the truth about what befell Jonas, we believe that in His time and our perfect time, the truth will be known and justice will be served.

Jonas like the palay (rice grain) remains to be the symbol of the most basic aspiration of the true-blooded Filipino, to be able to serve one’s country . . . and to a farmer, like Jonas, service would be to produce food for the ordinary Filipino. . . and more than just to produce food, when it was asked of him, to be planted so that he would grow to produce more grains to feed more and to serve more. Did Jesus not say “Unless the grain falls to the ground and dies he cannot live again’?

Jonas continues to live in our hearts. The Burgos family is one with Jonas in his aspirations to serve the Philippines. At this time, this is spelled out as fighting against human rights violations, which also means opposing the perpetrators of disappearances and extra judicial killings.

In his lifetime. Jose Burgos Jr., Jonas’ father, gave everything to fight for press freedom and the freedom of each one to express what he believes in. After his death, Jonas, his son, is deprived of the very same freedom Joe successfully obtained with so many others when democracy was restored to the Philippines after the dictatorship.

We have stated again and again… we shall not be cowed into silence, nor terrorized into paralysis. Though we be ‘ambassadors in chains’, we shall be given the courage and the words to speak the truth.

We now ask all who read and hear this message to pray for those who participated in the abduction, the detention, the torture, and all that Jonas suffered in their hands. Please pray that they the perpetrators would be touched by the Spirit and come out to clean their hands of the blood it is stained with. Our Lord is the God of mercy. If they seek forgiveness they will be forgiven and they shall obtain peace in their hearts. They must come out and say where we can find Jonas.