Kabankalan, Negros Occidental – Whole of government is working towards peace and development in support of the peace process with the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa-Pilipinas/Revolutionary Proletarian Army/Alex Boncayao Brigade - Tabara Paduano Group (RPM-P/RPA/ABB-TPG), now known as Kapatiran para sa Progresong Panlipunan (KPP).
Officials and representatives from both national and local government converged during the recent launching of the P37-million Locotan farm-to-market road project under the PAMANA or Payapa at Masaganag Pamayanan (Peaceful and Resilient Communities) here.
Undersecretary Ma. Cleofe Gettie Sandoval of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) expressed gratitude to the local government for its full support to the peace and development program of the national government.
"Nagpapasalamat kami na very supportive sina Governor Alfredo Marañon at Mayor Isidro Zayco. Hindi lamang po ito programa ng national government kung hindi maging ang lokal na pamahalaan at lalong-lalu na ang mga komunidad na siyang direktang magbebenepisyo (We are grateful that Governor Alfredo Marañon and Mayor Isidro Zayco are very supportive. This is not just a program of the national government but also of the local government and most importantly, the communities that will directly benefit from it)", she said.
Last year, Marañon led the creation of the province’s Peace, Integration and Development Unit (PIDU) to oversee the integration of the provincial government’s Framework for Peace and Development, the Army’s five-year Peace and Development Program, and the Closure Program for the RPM-P/RPA/ABB.
KPP National Representative Veronica "Ka Inca" Tabara also acknowledged the efforts of Zayco in providing for the publication requirement for the utilization of the PAMANA budget from the Department of Agriculture (DA).
"Natatangi at napakahalaga ng papel na ginampanan ng lokal na pamahalaan. Ipinakita po ni Mayor ang huwarang gawi ng isang pinuno sa kagyat na pangangailangan ng proyekto ng kapayapaan. (The effort delivered by the local government was exemplary and important. The Mayor displayed the excellent conduct of a leader in response to the urgent need for the peace project)", Tabara said.
RPM-P/RPA/ABB-TPG broke away from the New People’s Army in the 90s. The group is now preparing for its eventual transformation into a socio-economic, unarmed organization through a Closure Agreement with the government.
The group signified their solid stand in pursuing peace and development during the recently concluded Locotan farm-to-market road launch and the three-day orientation workshop for the group’s employment as forest guards of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-PAMANA National Greening Program.
"Nananatiling buo at matibay ang paninindigan ng buong organisasyon na magpunyagi sa prosesong pangkapayapaan. Pinanindigan nito ang napakahalagang pakikipagtulungan 'di lamang sa pamahalaan pero lalo na sa mga mamamayan upang makamit ang tagumpay para sa kapayapaan at kaunlaran. Patuloy na sisikapin ng grupo na masunod ang bahagi ng aming tungkulin sa usapang pangkapayapaan. (The stand of the whole organization remains solid and strong as it pursues peace. We stood by our collaboration not only with the government but especially with the people in order to achieve peace and development. The group continues to strive to deliver its part in the peace agreement)," underscored Tabara.
The Closure Agreement includes provision of community peace dividends through PAMANA to support livelihood and enterprise development and community-based impact projects. PAMANA is the flagship peace and development program of the government that extends interventions to isolated, hard-to-reach, and conflict-affected and vulnerable communities, ensuring that they are not left behind. A complementary track to peace negotiations, the program is anchored on the Aquino administration’s strategy of winning the peace by forging strategic partnerships with national agencies in promoting convergent delivery of goods and services, and addressing regional development challenge.
Through convergent efforts, Sandoval believes that KPP could be a showcase for peace agreements with other armed groups.
“Inaasahan namin na kapag nagtutulong-tulong lahat, makikita nila na maaari naman palang makiisa at makisama. Maaari naman na yung mga may adhikain ay sumama at pwedeng gumalaw. Present at bukas ang gobyerno. (We hope that through collective effort, they will see that it's possible to return and unite. Those who have aspirations can join and move freely. The government is present and open)," assured Sandoval.