BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
An Army soldier and a member of the New People’s Army who both died in an encounter on Aug. 20 in Brgy. Kapitan Ramon, Silay City, Negros Occidental, were simultaneously buried on Sept. 11.
While the late PFC Christopher Alada was accorded with a traditional 21-gun salute during his burial at a public cemetery in Badiangan, Iloilo, in honor of his ultimate sacrifice for the maintenance of peace and order in Negros, the unclaimed cadaver of a certain Ka Pabling, was also laid to rest by the 79th Infantry Battalion at a public cemetery in Silay City, Negros Occidental.
Lt. Col. J-Jay Javines, 79IB commander, yesterday said that they salute the patriotism and heroism of Alada, for his commitment and dedicated service to the Philippine Army, and the country as a whole. Rest assured that your sacrifices will never be put in vain as we vow to be more relentless in our effort to end the local armed conflict in Northern Negros,” Javines said.
On the other hand, Ka Pabling was given a decent burial by the 79IB, after no one among his family members came out, to claim his cadaver, which was abandoned by his fleeing comrades at the encounter site, Javines also said.
The other slain rebel identified as Kerima Lorena Tariman, alias Ella, who was tagged by the military as secretary of the Northern Negros Front of New People’s Army, however, was claimed by her father, Pablo.
Her cremated remains were brought by her father and son to Albay in Bicol region.
Brig. Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, revealed that Tariman and her husband, who is now occupying key position at the Komiteng Rehiyonal- Negros/Cebu/Bohol/Siquijor, were both deployed in Negros Island, to help rebuild the dismantled guerilla fronts.
Unlike the CPP-NPA who just leave their dead comrade behind, Javines said that the Philippine Army will always respect everybody’s right to a decent burial, stressing that Ka Pabling died fighting for a wrong cause.
Yet he is still a fellow Filipino that deserves respect and humane treatment, Javines further said, as he also thanked Silay City Mark Andrew Arthur Golez for his support in giving a decent burial to the slain rebel.
He reiterated his call for the rebel remnants in northern Negros to abandon the armed struggle, in order to avoid the fate of Ka Pabling, who was left behind and abandoned to his grave.*