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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, December 19, 2011
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Guv, OPAPP ink MOA for
P23M peace projects

The peace agreement between the government and the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa-Pilipinas, Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade Tabara-Paduano Group is inching towards closure, with the signing of a memorandum of agreement for the P23 million livelihood and infrastructure projects in identified conflict areas of Negros Occidental.

The MOA was signed Wednesday by Undersecretary Luisito Montalvo of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process and Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr., at the Governor's Hall in Bacolod City.

The P23 million will cover the agri-based Enterprise Development Projects for communities identified by the RPM-P/RPA-ABB TPG for P15 million, and a one-kilometer farm-to-market road connecting Brgy. Magticol and Brgy. Cambayobo, all in Calatrava at P7.5 million, shall be implemented by OPPAP, through its PAMANA (Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan) program.

This was preceded by the completion of the profiling of RPA-ABB Tabara-Paduano Group members that totaled 441, while 39 more are still being processed, in Negros Occidental alone.

Col. Oscar Lactao, 303 rd Infantry Brigade commander, and Senior Supt. Allan Guisihan, provincial police director of Negros Occidental, were required by OPPAP to give their inputs for the disposition of firearms and the demobilization of armed RPA-ABB members.

PAMANA is the peace and development framework of the national government for empowering conflict-affected areas in the country and reducing poverty. It is a priority program of President Benigno Aquino III and supports efforts to reach a peace settlement with the RPM-P-RPA-ABB.

The agri-based Enterprise Development Projects Tabara-Paduano group is up for implementation in the armed conflict barangays of Locotan and Magballo in Kabankalan City;Tabu, Canlamay and Balicotoc in Ilog; Inayawan, Tambad, Abaca, Lumbia and Molobolo in Cauayan; Cabia-an, Gatuslao and Haba in Candoni; Pinapugasan, Libertad, Jonob-Jonob and Paitan in Escalante City; Brgy. Gawahon in Victorias City; Canlusong and San Isidro in EB Magalona; Amayco and Santa Rosa in Murcia; San Fernando in Talisay City; Jerusalem, Andres Bonifacio, Celestino Villacin, Magsaysay and Mabini in Cadiz City; Maaslob in Calatrava, Tabun-ac in Toboso and Brgy. Bagonbon in San Carlos City.

The RPM-P/RPA-ABB signed a peace agreement with the national government in Don Salvador Benedicto town in Negros Occidental on Dec. 10, 2000 that was witnessed by then President Joseph Estrada.

Montalvo had said earlier they hope to have the signing of a peace agreement with Tabara-Paduano Group of the RPM-P-RPA-ABB in the first quarter of 2012.*GPB

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