Tag Archives: patricia evangelista

[From the web] Jonas Burgos, 42 -INQUIRER.net

Jonas Burgos, 42.

By Patricia Evangelista, Philippine Daily Inquirer
April 28, 2012

I never knew Jonas Burgos, but I know his mother. Every reporter on my beat does. It’s hard to miss her, the checkered shirt, the small folding umbrella, the black purse with the envelopes stuffed with court papers. Her story has been told in documentaries and theater plays, her face is the face of the search for the lost. She has stood at attention behind the revolving cast of activists howling into protest megaphones, holding posters of her lost boy. Although I have yet to see her throw a tomato at a cardboard cutout or set fire to a grinning effigy, it’s possible that she has. Edith Burgos will do what is necessary to find the son she lost five years ago, and it is the reason she stood by a monument along Edsa yesterday, reminding the world that for as long as she lives, so does Jonas Burgos.

She does not like spotlights, she says. She is happiest standing in the shadow, sharpening pencils for would-be heroes, patting the heads of her frightened sons while their father conducted his written assault on the dictator’s palace. She stands when she must, as she did on the day Marcos’ men came to arrest Jose Burgos, We Forum publisher and father of her five children.

There is more white in her hair now than there was on the day I met her under the trees of the Burgos farm in San Miguel, Bulacan, near the grave of the husband she calls Joe. She was going to be a nun before she met him, she says, but he wrote her long letters and she fell in love in spite of herself, and in falling in love signed on to a lifetime as a soldier in Joe Burgos’ long crusade for freedom.

She stands now, this time for her son and the sons and daughters of many other mothers. She is there at court hearings, quiet beside the families of the lost. She weeps with the weeping and laughs with the laughing, she holds out coffee cups and press releases and takes tricycles to the Department of Justice. She gets on her knees to unlock tripod legs and hoists boom mikes when there is nobody left who can, and has been known to invite in sheepish young journalists who skulk outside her door during interview breaks, pretending not to smoke.

All my sons smoke,” she says, smiling. “I used to.”

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[In the news] What Jollibee saw -INQUIRER.net

What Jollibee saw.

By: Patricia Evangelista, Philippine Daily Inquirer
March 25, 2012

On Dec. 20, 2011, five years after University of the Philippines students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño were abducted from Hagonoy, Bulacan, the Bulacan courts released a warrant for the arrest of retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr. and three other officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. They were charged with two counts of abduction and serious illegal detention. It is the first time in recent history that officers of the AFP are being hunted down for human rights violations.

Of the witnesses who have stepped forward to point a finger at the military, the youngest is a Bulacan native previously referred to as Jollibee. He was 14 at the time of the abduction, and testified to the abduction of Cadapan and Empeño in spite of his own father’s refusal to stand by his statements.

Late in 2011, at the resumption of the Palparan et al. hearings, the boy called Jollibee pointed a finger at a man who appeared in court as Palparan’s bodyguard. Palparan claimed it was the first time he had met the man. After much reluctance, the AFP introduced him to the court as Staff Sgt. Edgardo Osorio. He is now in custody, along with Lt. Col. Felipe G. Anotado.

Almost three months after warrants for their arrest were released, Palparan and retired Master Sgt. Rizal Hilario are still at large. Jollibee, born Wilfredo Ramos Jr., is now 19 years old, and is happy to inform the gentlemen who once called him a liar that he is still waiting.

* * *

This is Jollibee’s account as told to Patricia Evangelista.

They call me Jollibee, because my mother had me 19 years ago in the first Jollibee fast food restaurant opened in Bulacan.

At 2 in the morning of June 25, 2006, about 15 men from the AFP arrived at our village. They were in full uniform. They knocked on our door. They said if we didn’t let them in they would shoot us down. My father got scared. He opened the door fast, but they beat him anyway and shoved him to the ground. They hit him, behind the neck, and tied him down.

I was 14 when it happened. The girls were staying with us, researching the farmers in Hagonoy. As far as I know they were not members of the New People’s Army. I don’t think they were rebels. Activists, maybe. I knew them for years. They were almost family.

I saw the men bind my father. I went down the stairs. They grabbed me and hit me and shoved me down the hallway and tied me up, too. That’s when I heard the girls screaming for help. They were being forced out of our house and beaten. One of the farmers who lived with us, Manuel Merino, ran out to help Karen and Sherlyn. He was worried about them. They took him, too.

Read full article @ http://opinion.inquirer.net/25565/what-jollibee-saw

[In the news] Palparan friend complains of search – RAPPLER.com

Palparan friend complains of search
by Patricia  Evangelista
January 15, 2012

 MANILA, Philippines – At 7 a.m. on Friday, January 13, 2012, a group of more than 70 armed men hunting for retired Major General Jovito Palparan searched the Davao City home of former Bantay party list nominee Ramon Teodoro Garcia.

Palparan is at large on charges of abduction and serious illegal detention, along with former Master Sergeant Rizal Hilario. Garcia, 63, who claimed he is a friend of the retired general for almost a decade, said he was at home in Las Terrazas, Barangay Ma-a with his wife, daughter and 4-year-old grandson when men wearing bulletproof vests arrived riding about 15 vehicles. He was informed that there was a tip Palparan may be hiding in his home. He was quickly shown the warrant, but was unable to read it.

“They didn’t let me read the warrant nor did they give me a copy of such warrant,” said Garcia in an initial posting on his Facebook account.

The armed men allegedly inspected every room of his home, and found no one in hiding. Garcia admits the men were courteous in their search. However, in an interview with Rappler, Garcia said that he was overwhelmed by the show of strength. He said he did not demand a copy of the warrant.

Read full article www.rappler.com