The Department of Environment and Natural Resources will hire members of the Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade as “forest guards” as part of the closure peace agreement, Undersecretary Ma.Cleofe Sandoval of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process, said yesterday.
Ninety- five of the 105 RPA-ABB members who will be trained as forest guards, attended the orientation and training program initiated by DENR and OPPAP at the Sugarland Hotel in Bacolod City yesterday, Sandoval said.
OPPAP also led the groundbreaking of P37 million farm to market road in Brgy. Locotan, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental, last week.
Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. had expressed his dismay over the delay in the signing of closure agreement between the RPA-ABB and the government. The peace agreement was signed in year 2000 .
Sandoval said they were informed that the draft of the closure agreement is now at the desk of President Benigno Aquino III, had been reviewed by OPPAP and several offices at the Office of the President.
She added that OPPAP and the President want to ensure that the provisions stipulated in the closure agreement can be implemented.
Since the administration of then Gov. Joseph Maranon, the RPA-ABB, which is now known as Kapatiran sa Progresong Panlipunan (KPP) has been an active partner of Task Force Ilahas, an environmental enforcement unit of the provincial government, in the fight against timber poaching activities at the Northern Negros Natural Park, especially in Don Salvador Benedicto town.*GPB