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Burgos v.

Macapagal-Arroyo
July 5, 2011
Facts:
At around 1:00 in the afternoon of April 28, 2007, Jonas Joseph T. Burgos a farmer advocate
and a member of Kilusang Magbubukid sa Bulacan was forcibly taken and abducted by a group
of four (4) men and a woman from the extension portion of Hapag Kainan Restaurant, located at
the ground floor of Ever Gotesco Mall, Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City. On April 30, 2007,
the petitioner, Edita Burgos, held a press conference and announced that her son Jonas was
missing. That same day, the petitioner sought confirmation from the guard if the person abducted
was her son Jonas.
She eventually filed for the three aforementioned petitions one for the issuance of the Writ of
Habeas Corpus (G.R.183711), another for the motion to declare the respondents in contempt
(G.R. 183712), and another for the Writ of Amparo in her favor (G.R. 183713).
On July 17, 2008, the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition for the Issuance of the Writ of
Habeas Corpus, denied the petitioners motion to declare the respondents in contempt;
and partially granted the privilege of the Writ of Amparo in favor of the petitioner. The CA
found that the evidence the petitioner presented failed to establish her claimed direct
connection between the abductors of Jonas and the military. It also found that the Armed
Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the PNP did not fully exert their effort in the conduct of
investigation.
On June 22, 2010, a resolution was issued by the Supreme Court which referred the present
case/s to the Commission on Human Rights for the continuation of the investigation and the
gathering of evidence. The Court, in that resolution, held that they could not rule on the case
until a more meaningful investigation, using extraordinary diligence, was undertaken.
The Court also affirmed the CAs dismissal of the petitions for Contempt and for the issuance of a
writ.
Issues and Ruling:
WON the CHR report on the disappearance of Jonas Burgos is sufficient enough for the SC to
issue a final ruling and to:
1) Issue a writ of Habeas corpus -- YES
The CAs dismissal of the habeas corpus petition is set aside and a writ of habeas corpus is
issued returnable to the Presiding Justice of the CA who shall immediately refer the writ to the
same CA division that decided the habeas corpus petition. It is also required that Lt. Harry
Baliaga be impleaded as a party to the habeas corpus petition and require him together with the
incumbent Chief of Staff, AFP; the incumbent Commanding General, Philippine Army; and the
Commanding Officer of the 56th IB at the time of the disappearance of Jonas, Lt. Col. Feliciano
to produce the person of Jonas and to show cause why he should not be released from
detention. It was established in the CHRs investigation that Baliaga was positively identified as
among those who abducted Burgos.
2) Declare respondents in contempt NO
CAs dismissal of the petition to declare respondents in contempt is affirmed, albeit provisional.
Petitioner, before the CHR report was posted failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that
respondents had custody of Jonas. Pieces of evidence were only circumstantial. However, with
the findings connecting Baliaga to the abduction, the affirmation of the dismissal of the
contempt charge against the respondents is only provisional, without prejudice to future
charges of contempt. Former President Gloria Macapagal- Arroyos name is also ordered to
be dropped from the list of respondents because of the unconditional dismissal of the

contempt charge against her. As then President at the time of the filingof the petition, she
was immune from suit.
3) Issue a Writ of Amparo NO
Court holds back in issuing a Writ of Amparo and instead refers the case back to the CA so that
Baliaga and the other respondents can file their respective comments and replies to the case. It is
also ordered by the SC that Baliaga be impleaded as a party to the Amparo petition of which the
CA will continue with the hearing. The Office of the Judge Advocate General is also ordered to
explain why he should not be held for contempt of court for not complying with the orders of the
investigative body when he failed to provide copies of documents requested by the CHR.