Court frees suspected NPA commander


VIRAC, Catanduanes—A suspected New People’s Army (NPA) leader regained his freedom 10 months since his arrest in March last year after the Regional Trial Court (RTC) here dismissed for lack of evidence the three murder cases filed against him by the Army and police.

Judge Lelu Contreras of the Catanduanes RTC Branch 42 ordered the release of suspected NPA commander Daniel Frias after state prosecutors failed to prove Frias’ guilt.

Frias, who denied that he was a communist leader and said his real name was Romeo Madara based on his baptismal certificate and barangay clearance, was freed on Jan. 28, the same day Contreras issued her decision, a copy of which was received by the Inquirer on Friday.

Police arrested Frias, along with an Alicia Aguenza, in Cabuyao, Laguna, on March 26, 2012, while allegedly trying to rob a taxi driver.

Three criminal cases were filed against Frias for the death of two soldiers and a civilian in separate incidents in 2007 and 2008. Fernan Gianan, Inquirer Southern Luzon

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