PILI, Camarines Sur, Philippines—The military on Wednesday said soldiers captured what authorities described as a female communist guerrilla tax collector after a gunfight in a town here.
The alleged guerrilla, Darleen Palomas alias Ka Brenda, 22, of Pasay City, was captured hours after ground-breaking rites for a model community for surrendered rebels attended by President Aquino, said Maj. Harold Cabunoc, 9th Infantry Division spokesperson.
Lt. Col. Ernesto Cruz, head of the 42nd Infantry Battalion, was informed during the ceremony about the presence of Palomas in Lagonoy town. Cruz, according to Cabunoc, quietly ordered his men to check the report.
Soldiers caught up with Palomas and a companion, known only as Ka Abe, in Lagonoy.
The couple, riding a motorcycle, drew their weapons and opened fire. Ka Abe fled, leaving a wounded Palomas behind. Palomas suffered a bullet wound in the leg and was taken to a hospital in Naga City.
Among the things seized from her were a .45-caliber pistol, a mobile phone, a handbag and various SIM cards, said Cabunoc.
Palomas, interviewed by reporters in the hospital, admitted she was a member of the New People’s Army involved in organizing activities for the guerrillas.
She, however, denied involvement in rebel taxation or forcing villagers to cough up money for the guerrillas.
Palomas, a single mother to a three-year-old child, said she and Ka Abe were in Lagonoy collecting a chicken promised to them by a resident.
She said she joined the NPA in 2009 after she was abandoned by the soldier-father of her child, and out of poverty. She was assigned to Camarines Sur by the Communist Party of the Philippines’ central command.
Palomas refused to answer questions on her group’s operations in Lagonoy and Goa towns.