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SC orders CHR to probe Jonas Burgos' disappearance

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to conduct an extensive investigation into the disappearance of political activist Jonas Burgos three years ago. In a 16-page resolution, the high court also expressed dissatisfaction with the findings of the military and police regarding Burgos’ disappearance, saying this was the reason why it cannot rule yet on the petition for amparo filed by Jonas’ mother, Edita. Edita was asking the court to reverse the July 17, 2008 ruling of the Court of Appeals dismissing the case against soldiers believed to be behind the kidnapping. “Considering the findings of the CA and our review of the records of the present case, we conclude that the [Philippine National Police] and the [Armed Forces of the Philippines] have so far failed to conduct an exhaustive and meaningful investigation into the disappearance of Jonas Burgos; and to exercise the extra ordinary diligence (in the performance of their duties) that the Rule on the Writ Amparo requires," the Supreme Court ruled. Burgos, son of the late freedom fighter Jose Burgos, was abducted April 28, 2007 allegedly by military personnel while he was having lunch at a restaurant inside Ever Gotesco Mall in Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City. 90 days The court gave the CHR 90 days within which to submit its report and recommendations to the Court. It also directed the commission to provide Mrs. Burgos and the respondents a copy of its report. Being an independent agency under the Constitution, the Supreme Court said the CHR has the power to conduct appropriate proceedings pertaining to the investigation of all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights. The court required the incumbent chiefs of the military and police organizations to extend full cooperation with the CHR investigation. It also directed the PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group to submit to the CHR the records and results of its investigation it claimed to have forwarded to the Department of Justice (DOJ), which were not included in their previous submissions to the CHR. - KBK, GMANews.TV
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