BRGY. LOCOTAN, Kabankalan City –The Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa-Pilipinas/Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade is hopeful that, despite the failure of two previous administrations, their closure peace agreement will be signed within the term of President Benigno Aquino III.
RPMP chairperson Veronica Tabara also said yesterday that the Aquino government has shown its political will and sincerity for a peaceful resolution of all armed conflicts in the country.
Tabara, alias Inca, was the wife of the slain RPM-P founder Arturo Tabara.
The RPM-P and its armed wing, RPA-ABB, a breakaway faction of the New People's Army, entered into peace talks with the government in year 2000.
Tabara, who attended the groundbreaking of the P37 million farm to market road in this barangay, one of resettlement areas of the RPA-ABB members and their families in Negros Occidental, admitted that there were political factors beyond their control, and even on the government's end, that led to the delay in the signing of the peace agreement supposed to be completed in four-years.
They are, however, happy that the implementation of various projects stipulated in the peace agreement have finally started, although the closure agreement has yet to be signed by the President, she said.
The RPM-RPA-ABB, has 716 members as profiled by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process. They possess more than 700 firearms and explosives.
OPPAP Undersecretary Ma. Cleofe Sandoval said the closure agreement with the RPM-P/RPA-ABB will be a “showcase” to other rebel groups, as it will prove that the government is sincere in addressing the root causes of the armed conflict.
Sandoval who shared the sentiments of Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. who expressed his frustration over the delay, said “We are trying to make sure that all areas and aspects of the peace agreement are clean and clear”, before it is signed.
She added that the improvement of farm-to-market roads in this remote barangay, will not only benefit the RPA-ABB members and their families, but its entire population.
The changing of the name of the RPA-ABB armed group to KPP, or Brotherhood for Social Progress, is in line with the goal of the government to transform the group into a legitimate socio-economic and political organization. *GPB