Sunday, April 10, 2011

Filipino Father pays $1,000 for Information to his missing son


Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - Has anyone seen Nilo “Jun” Olegario Jr?
His father, retired Air Force Col. Nilo L. Olegario Sr., has been looking for him for the past 26 years.
Last month, Olegario received on Jun’s behalf the US$1,000 compensation that a United States court had ordered distributed to rights abuse victims of the Marcos dictatorship.
He is offering the money as a reward to anyone who can give him information about his missing son.
In August 1983, the young Olegario, newly graduated from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), had joined the August Twenty-One Movement (Atom), one of the protest groups to have emerged in the wake of the brutal killing of opposition leader Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. He was 26 years old at the time.
Two years later, on Dec. 13, 1985, Jun called up his father in Chicago. “He told me ‘Dad, we are going to the hills. We are being arrested,'" recalled Olegario.
That was the last time he would hear Jun’s voice, the father said.
“My son disappeared without a trace. If he’s dead, where is the body?" Olegario said in a recent interview.
“I’m 81 years old, I want justice for my son," he said.
2 factions
Olegario began searching for Jun after the first Edsa People Power uprising in 1986 that brought down the dictator Ferdinand Marcos and installed in power Corazon Aquino, Ninoy’s widow and the mother of the present-day President Aquino.
His inquiries with the Atom group and through his connections in the military have yielded nothing.
He said he had sought out former Sen. Agapito “Butz” Aquino, Ninoy’s brother and a founding member of Atom.
“Butz told me that Atom had split into two factions, the hardliners and the moderates. He said it became difficult to control the group," Olegario said.
He said Butz’s explanation tended to jibe with the statements that Jun had made in the last telephone conversation with his father.
“My son said that the military and Philippine Constabulary soldiers were arresting Atom members and activists, that’s why they had to go into hiding," Olegario said.
Revenge on the son
Olegario, who is a lawyer, believes his son was abducted by agents of Marcos’ Armed Forces chief, Gen. Fabian Ver, in retaliation for an interview that he (the father) had given a US journalist on what he knew about the Aquino assassination.
“I learned from my contacts in the AFP that Ver was out to get me. They could not get me because I was in the US, so they took their revenge on my son," said Olegario, a former deputy commander of the 1st Air Division at the Villamor Air Base.
Disgusted by the corruption and the military’s involvement in the Aquino assassination, Olegario took early retirement in December 1983. In 1984, he migrated with his family to the US for a “better life." But Jun, the third child, opted to return to the Philippines after only a few months in the US, to work in the anti-Marcos movement.
In the US, Olegario linked up with the Movement for a Free Philippines (MFP), the anti-Marcos group led by Raul Manglapus and another ex-colonel, Bonifacio Gillego.
According to Olegario, he gave the MFP some information he had about the Aquino assassination. The MFP contacted journalist Phil Bronstein of the San Francisco Examiner.
Ver plan for Ninoy
In July 1985, Bronstein wrote a story about Ver’s plan to divert the plane that would carry Ninoy Aquino, who had decided to end his US exile and return to Manila, to a military airbase. The plot included the dispatch of two Air Force fighter jets to intercept the China Air Lines plane carrying Ninoy and the takeover by Philippine Air Force officers of the US Air Force radar scopes at Clark Airbase.
The story, which was also published by the alternative press in Manila, strengthened the public’s suspicion that the Marcos regime was behind the assassination of Ninoy as he stepped out of the CAL plane at the Manila International Airport on Aug. 21, 1983.

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