Presidential Adviser on Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles said in a report of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process that the peace agenda of the administration of President Benigno Aquino III hinges on two peace tracks.
These include negotiated political settlement of all armed conflicts, notably the completion and implementation of signed closure agreement with the RPM-P/RPA-ABB, and address the causes of conflict and issues, through a focused development in conflict-affected areas, under its PAMANA (Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan) program.
The government is negotiating with the (TPG) group of (Veronica) Tabara-(Stephen) Paduano Group and of (DLCG) (Nilo) De La Cruz Group, both of the RPM-P/RPA-ABB, aside from the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front.
Deles said the peace process with the Tabara-Paduano Group provides a transition phase to ensure that it will fulfill its commitment in the observance of the cessation of hostilities until a conclusion of the agreement is signed with the government; fast-track implementation of confidence building measures, facilitate settlement of armed TPG members in the peace and development communities as the initial step to the disposition of its forces.
OPPAP records also show that TPG has initially identified four Peace and Development Communities in Murcia and Ilog in Negros Occidental, Amlan, Sibulan and Pamplona in Negros Oriental, and Ibajay in Aklan, where its 107 armed members and their families will settle.
As a measure to promote economic integration outside peace and development communities, the TPG has also submitted livelihood development plans for 101 barangays in Negros, Panay, Davao, Bukidnon and Ilocos, its records also showed.
The development plans submitted by TPG to OPPAP includes farm inputs and production marketing, livestock production and marketing with transport, credit assistance, consumer’s store, micro-finance for trading farm inputs and agricultural products, handicrafts production and marketing.
In Negros island, 56 barangays have been listed in the PAMANA program of OPPAP.
OPPAP has allocated P67 million for various infrastructure projects to be implemented by the Army’s 542nd Engineering Construction Battalion in Ilog, Murcia, Candoni and Cauayan, all in Negros Occidental, starting next year.
The OPPAP report also showed that there is an ongoing consultation process with the De La Cruz Group to provide opportunities for its members to discuss the prospect of a final political settlement in the provinces of Nueva Ecija, Bohol, Panay,Negros, National Capital Region and Mindanao.*GPB