Military respects court ruling on Balagia, hopes 10-year-old case will be laid to rest


THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will abide by the decision of a Quezon City court that acquitted one of its officers from an abduction charge involving an activist 10 years ago, a spokesman said on Thursday.

Judge Alfonso Ruiz 2nd of Branch 216 of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court acquitted Maj. Harry Baliaga, the lone accused in the abduction of Jonas Burgos in 2007, because the evidence against him was “hearsay.”

READ: ‘Hearsay’ testimony leads to acquittal of Jonas Burgos abductor

“We submit to the wise discretion of the court in ascertaining the guilt or innocence of the accused charged before it in a deliberate and impartial  proceedings,” Col. Edgard Arevalo said in a statement on Thursday.

Arevalo said that with the ruling, the military was hoping that the decade-old case would be put to rest.

Aside from Balagia, also accused of were AFP Chief Eduardo Año, who was then chief of the Philippine Army’s Intelligence Security Group. His case, however, was dismissed.

Burgos was abducted at the Ever Gotesco Mall in Quezon City on April 2007. He has neither been seen nor heard from since. DEMPSEY REYES



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