Manila, May 18 – The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) on Thursday said that it will immediately study the findings of the fact-finding mission (FFM) undertaken by peasant groups on the atrocities allegedly perpetrated by members of the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa-Pilipinas/Revolutionary Proletarian Army/Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPM-P/RPA/ABB), while assuring aggrieved parties that justice will be pursued.
In a dialogue with representatives of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) and the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW) as well as victims at the OPAPP headquarters in Pasig City, Undersecretary Luisito Montalbo thanked the groups “for bringing the results of their investigation to their attention.”
“The GPH-RPM-P/RPA/ABB peace track will need all the feedback we can get from the ground. We want to put a proper closure to this peace track," Montalbo said.
Montalbo assured the group that the closure of the peace process currently being pursued by the government with the RPM-P/RPA/ABB is intended to bind the rebel group to commit to peace and ensure their accountability to the rule of law.
He also said that the rebel group is aware of this and has been working with the government in the profiling of its members and inventory of firearms in preparation for disarmament.
“This closure track does not deal with nameless nor bogus members. We have done member profiling and have undergone an inventory of their firearms. We can cross-check if the alleged perpetrators of violence and other atrocities are indeed on the list of RPM-P/RPA/ABB members.” Montalbo asserted.
He also urged the victims and the KMP and NFSW to file the necessary cases to the courts for proper action, stressing that the agency will coordinate with the Department of Justice, the Department of Agrarian Reform, and the Commission on Human Rights to help the aggrieved seek justice as soon as it receives copies of affidavits and other pertinent documents from the complainants.
No fund release yet
Meanwhile, Montalbo shed light on a news report that the P-Noy administration has already released funds to the RPM-P/RPA/ABB.
“The funds are intended for development projects in the communities and will be coursed through appropriate government agencies that will implement the projects,” he stated, adding that OPAPP has only signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the provincial local government units but no release was made yet pending the signing of a closure agreement.