SF CHRP (San Francisco Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines) is a San Francisco based human rights advocacy group. Latest news and views on human rights in the Philippines.
Southern Tagalog Exposure, an independent multimedia collective, video taped testimony of activist Franklin Barrera Jr.. Barrera was an activist for Kabataan Partylist and was abducted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines. However he managed to escape and he was interviewed by members of Karapatan-Quezon about his ordeal. Despite this the military is claiming he was a member of the New People’s Army and was never a youth organizer and have now put Barrera in a situation were he feels that he now must admit to being an NPA member.
Barrera categorically stated in the video interview that he believes his abductors were members of the 85th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army stationed in Lopez, Quezon.
Last June 7, 2012, Barrera was reported to have been abducted by unidentified armed men in Lopez town. According to a statement he made to KARAPATAN, he was tortured and interrogated but managed to escape the same day. At about 1:00 AM the next day, members of KARAPATAN-Quezon fetched Barrera in a hospital in Atimonan town and took him to the KABATAAN-Partylist office in Lucena City.
On June 10, Barrera left the office without notice and was later reported to be in the hands of the military again. The video interview was shot last June 8, two days before he left the KABATAAN-Partylist office.
Yesterday, Colonel Eduardo Año, commander of the Army’s 201st Brigade operating in Quezon, issued a statement claiming that members of the New People’s Army (NPA), not the military, were behind the abduction. He said Barrera feared for his life and sought help from the military. He also claimed that Barrera himself is a member of the NPA.
In the video, Barrera said he is the current coordinator of KABATAAN-Partylist in the fourth district of Quezon. He said he has stopped from schooling in order to “serve society.”
Malabanan stated though that should Barrera stick with the Col. Año’s story, they only see this as a possible result of the military’s coercion and intimidation tactics. She said the military uses such dirty psy-op tactics like they did in the case of the Morong 43.