The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process is targeting the signing of a closure agreement between the government and the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Mangagawa-Pilipinas-Revolutionary Proletarian Army- Alex Boncayao Brigade (Tabara Paduano Group) before President Aquino's term ends on June 30.
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles said the closure agreement, which had been worked out by OPAPP and the former rebel group since President Benigno Aquino III came into power in 2010, will lead to the dismantling or decommissioning of the RPA-ABB Tabara Paduano Group, based in Western Visayas.
The RPA-ABB has about 700 armed members in Negros and Panay.
In a statement, Deles said she recognized the efforts of two women OPAPP officials – Undersecretary for Programs Gettie Sandoval and Director Marj Ibañez – for overseeing the closure processes, as well as RPM-P chairwoman Veronica Tabara.
The issue on resettlement areas for the families of the RPA-ABB members has finally been settled, with the identification of sites in the cities of San Carlos, Kabankalan and Cadiz, Negros Occidental.
In the last six years, Deles said, OPAPP managed to bring completion to decades-old peace agreements with splinter groups of the CPP-NPA-NDF, including the Cordillera People's Liberation Army, aside from the RPA-ABB Tabara Paduano Group.
As a result, the country is less one rebel army, with CPLA no longer existing. Some of its members have been integrated into the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the National Police, Deles said.
Members of the defunct RPA-ABB, now known as Kapatiran, have been employed as forest guards by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Negros and Panay, since 2014.*GPB
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