BACOLOD CITY, (PNA) — Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process is set to meet with Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. to discuss details on the signing of the closure agreement between the national government and Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa-Pilipinas (RPM-P) and its armed group.
Deles made the announcement over a radio interview here after the governor aired his complaint regarding the delayed signing of the final agreement. She has not yet finalized the schedule of her visit here.
RPM-P’s armed wing, the Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Bongcayao Brigade (RPA-ABB), based mainly in Negros Occidental, signed a peace agreement with the national government in 2000, in rites held at Don Salvador Benedicto town witnessed by former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada.
In April this year, the RPA-ABB changed its name to Kapatiran para sa Progresong Panlipunan (Brotherhood for Social Progress) as part of their compliance with the provisions of the peace agreement.
Deles said President Benigno Aquino III is making sure that all the provisions of the closure agreement can be met and will no longer be a problem for the succeeding administration.
The OPAPP chief said due diligence was carried out on the settlement sites of the RPA-ABB rebels, and tenure arrangements for them are also being studied by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
She added that President Aquino is making certain that assistance will be in place for the former rebels during their reintegration to the society.
According to the OPAPP, the peace agreement seeks to transform the RPA-ABB into a civilian, socio-economic organization, and to mainstream its members into their communities by providing them with livelihood and employment, and move them towards disarmament and the dismantling of their military structure.
Its records show that 716 members of the RPA-ABB under the Tabara-Paduano Group have been profiled, including 607 in Negros Occidental, 58 in Negros Oriental, and those in Panay and some areas in Luzon and Mindanao. The group has more than 400 firearms and 300 explosives.