BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
One of the two New People’s Army rebels killed in an encounter with the 79th Infantry Battalion soldiers in Brgy. Kapitan Ramon, Silay City, Negros Occidental Friday, was the secretary of the newly-dismantled Northern Negros Front, a high ranking military official said yesterday.
Lt. Col. J-Jay Javines, 79IB commander, said that Ka Ella, whom the Apolinario Gatmaitan Command identified as Kerima Lorena Tariman, and a certain Ka Pabling, were linked to a series of extortion and intimidation activities in northern Negros, including the recent burning of three heavy equipment in Brgy. San Isidro, EB Magalona.
The encounter between 79IB soldiers and the group of Tariman in Hacienda Raymunda, Brgy. Kapitan Ramon, also claimed the life of PFC Christopher Alada of Badiangan town in Iloilo.
Ka Juanito Magbanua, spokesman of the Apolinario Gatmaitan Command, said in a statement that Ka Ella, from Legaspi City in Albay, served as a leading Party cadre of the Roselyn Jean Pelle Command in northern Negros.
Magbanua said the entire revolutionary movement rendered its highest tribute to revolutionary martyrs Ka Ella and Ka Pabling, who offered their lives to the life and death struggle of the masses in Negros Island.
Maj. Cenon Pancito, 3rd Infantry Division spokesman, however, said that Ka Ella was never a people’s hero, citing her involvement in terrorizing people in northern Negros.
While they were saddened by the death of Ka Ella and Pabling, and mourning the loss of Alada, Pancito said the rebels are not just headaches of the people, but also responsible for the fear and terror that Negrenses are experiencing.
Ka Ella came to Negros, with the aim of reviving the influence of the Northern Negros Front, that had been categorized by no less than their own leadership as dismantled for failing to meet party standards, Pancito said.
Javines said that Ka Ella was the wife of Eric Acosta, a political prisoner, who was recently released from jail.
The NPA statement, meanwhile, said that Tariman, 42, was once a managing editor of The Philippine Collegian of the University of the Philippines.
“She was a renowned poet, writer, and revolutionary artist, who chose to share the life-and-death struggle of the masses of Negros Island. She gave up her life to serve the people and the revolution,” the NPA said.
The Communist Party of the Philippines also issued a statement describing Ka Ella as an artist and an intellectual, who endeared herself to the peasant masses of Negros, and embraced their cause.*