Ex-NPA rebel kidnapped by former comrades escapes, presses charges
MANILA, Philippines – A former New People’s Army (NPA) rebel, who allegedly escaped after being kidnapped and tortured by his former comrades, said Wednesday that he was intending to press charges against those responsible for his abduction.
Facing the media to detail his ordeal, Franklin Gruta Barrera Jr., 19, said he was resolute in pursuing charges of physical injuries, kidnapping and frustrated murder against the rebels who posed as military personnel.
“We were thinking of consulting our lawyers to possibly file conspiracy to commit kidnapping for his abduction and attempted murder for when he was beaten and tortured by the NPA,” Eduardo Del Rosario, Commander of the 2nd Infantry Division, said.
Barrera said that he was abducted by fellow NPA members pretending to be military personnel. He said they tortured him on suspicion he is a military informant.
He said he managed to escape after pretending to have lost consciousness and rode a bus to get to the nearest hospital for treatment of his injuries. He was picked up by members of human rights group Karapatan later, only to escape again later because he realized they were part of the plot to kidnap him.
He then sought help from the Lucena Police which turned him over to the military.
Karapatan had earlier issued a statement saying that it was the members of the military who abducted and tortured Barrera in Lopez town, Quezon.
Barrera said that he wanted to return to mainstream society so he can study and become a teacher.
Barrera is currently under protective custody of the 85th Infantry Battalion under Del Rosario.
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