BACOLOD CITY – The Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) described as “notorious terrorists” the two Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) rebels killed during a clash with government troops in Silay City, Negros Occidental on Aug. 20.
They were identified as Kerima Lorena Tariman (alias Ella/Em-em), 42, and a certain Pabling, who both belonged to the Northern Negros Front (NNF) of the NPA’s Komite Rehiyon-Negros, Cebu, Bohol, and Siquijor.
“[They] are not just headaches of the people. They are responsible for the fear and terror that ordinary people are experiencing in Negros,” said Maj. Cenon Pancito III, 3ID public affairs chief, in a statement on Sunday.
“No matter who they are in their personal capacity, they are enemies of the state. They are notorious terrorists operating in northern Negros,” he added.
Pancito said the duo were part of the group “responsible for a series of extortion and intimidation activities” in the area, including the burning of construction equipment in a community between Silay City and E.B. Magalona in April.
The 79th Infantry Battalion (79IB) also lost Pfc. Christopher Alada during the encounter.
Pancito said Tariman “came to Negros with the mindset of reviving (NNF’s) influence”.
“The said front has been categorized by no less than their own leadership as dismantled for failing to meet party standards,” he added. “She was there to sow terror and chaos, and exploit the Negrenses. She was never a people’s hero. She was the cause of people’s hardships in the area.”
He said the success of government troops in preventing communist-terrorists from regaining their forces is “the victory of every Negrense whose desire is to end the local communist armed conflict in the whole island”.
“With this, we vow to continue our efforts also as our way of honoring the sacrifice of our comrade Alada who even in his young age (31), has made significant efforts for Negros to achieve that genuine and lasting peace,” Pancito said.
Lt. Col. J-jay Javines, commanding officer of 79IB, said he is “deeply saddened that lives were wasted and unnecessarily lost” to a “senseless revolutionary armed struggle”.
“This incident should serve as a forewarning for those who are lured and tempted to join the NPA. There is absolutely nothing in store for you there,” he added.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)