Activist Kerima Tariman, Ex-Collegian Editor, Dies in Army-NPA Clash

She was 42 years old.
Photo/s: Pablo Tariman/Facebook

Activist and poet Kerima Lorena Tariman, who served as managing editor of Philippine Collegian, died on Friday in an encounter between the military and communist rebels in Negros Occidental province, according to multiple sources.

Kerima was one of two New People's Army fighters who perished in the firefight in Hacienda Raymunda, Silay City, the Communist Party of the Philippines said on Facebook. Her father, poet Pablo Tariman, confirmed her death in a separate social media post. She was 42.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines released a report on the Silay encounter without naming the fatalities.

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"[Kerima] 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 CPP said in a statement.

Who is Kerima in the eyes of her father?

Pablo Tariman, in a Digicast Network report, said he was proud of his daughter and that she was consistent all the way.

"I like the way she lived her life. In poetry and commitment. I was ready for this death years back. When it happened, it was not surprising. I am proud of her," he said.

In recalling the life of his daughter, Pablo published Kerima's old quote from 2001 about how she found herself in the revolutionary movement.

"The first time I went to the countryside to integrate with farmers, government troopers tried to show me first-hand how fascism, counter-insurgency and psychological warfare work," he quoted Kerima as saying.

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"As if to make sure I don’t forget, they gave me a minor grenade shrapnel wound, and a major, lingering fear of any man with a golden wristwatch who’d seem to loiter in public places to watch me," he added.

Pablo also wrote a poem to give tribute to Kerima, reflecting on how he raised her daughter.

"It is futile telling her to live a ‘normal’ life when the newspapers are full of stories of corrupt politicians and cops in cahoots with big time drug lords," the poem read. "She will not accept what has fallen on her countrymen still reeling from the shenanigans of kingmakers and wily politicians."

Kerima was a member of Alay Sining, an organization of artists and cultural workers at the University of the Philippines Diliman, and also served as culture editor of Philippine Collegian.

She took up Philippine Studies at the same university where she met her husband, activist Ericson Acosta.

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