Tuesday, February 22, 2011

CamSur Firefight Wounds an NPA ‘Amazon’

TAMED AMAZON. Darlene Palomas who is also known as "Ka Brenda" among her comrades, answers questions fielded by the local media after her treatment in a government hospital in Naga City. Palomas was wounded in a firefight with government troops in a hinterland village in Lagonoy town at 2:30am yesterday (Feb 22). (Photo by PFC Marlon San Esteban/ 9th Division Public Affairs Office)

PILI, CamSur – A young NPA ‘amazon’ was captured by military authorities after a brief firefight in Lagonoy town of this province at 2:30pm yesterday (Feb 22), a military report said.

Lieutenant Colonel Ernesto Cruz, Commanding Officer of the 42nd Infantry Battalion, said that he received a text message about the extortion activity of armed communist rebels in Dahat village at around 2:00pm.

“I sent two of my soldiers to verify the said report which was sent through text message. Upon reaching the village, they immediately spotted the two suspected rebels who were riding in tandem on board a Rusi motorcycle,” said Cruz.

“While trying to stop the motorcycle, the rebel who was the driver suddenly screeched to a sudden halt and fired his weapon at the soldiers. The soldiers traded gunfire with the rebels for about 5 minutes, hitting the woman who was left behind by her male comrade,” added Cruz in a statement.

After giving the wounded rebel first-aid treatment, Cruz immediately directed his soldiers to evacuate the NPA ‘amazon’ who identified herself as Ka Brenda.

She was treated by military doctors in the infirmary of Camp Elias Angeles upon her arrival at around 4:00pm. She was transferred to a larger hospital in Naga City for further medical examinations thirty minutes later.

Looking strong despite her leg wound, Ka Brenda readily agreed to be interviewed by the local media who were accompanied by some military officials.

She identified herself as Darlene Palomas, 22, a single mother from Pasay City.

“I joined the communist rebel movement because of my financial difficulties. I don’t have a way to support my three year old son,” said Palomas in an interview.

“I received ‘donations’ among our supporters in Goa and Lagonoy town where I work as a ‘community organizer’. I sent some of my money to my mother who is taking care of my son,” she said.

She expressed her gratefulness for the kindness of her captors.

“I am thankful that they respected my basic rights and for bringing me to the hospital,” she said.

“I want to return back to the folds of the law. I call on the soldiers to give me fair treatment”.

Seeing that her X-ray result revealed that no bones were fractured, she gamely requested for her favorite fried chicken from one of the military officer.

Her wish was immediately granted and she grinned upon seeing her favorite food delivered to her bedside a few minutes later.

Major General Ruperto Pabustan, the Commander of the 9th Infantry Division, has directed Colonel Teodoro Cirilo Torralba of the 902nd Brigade to look into the possibility of including Palomas in the list of beneficiaries of the free housing facilities provided by the local government of Camarines Sur and Gawad Kalinga Foundation.

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