The armed group known as Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa–Pilipinas/Revolutionary Proletarian Army/Alex Boncayao Brigade Tabara Paduano Group (RPM-P/RPA/ABB TPG) is now Kapatiran para sa Progresong Panlipunan (Brotherhood for Social Progress).
The former rebel group, which signed an agreement with the government in 2000, made the announcement at a press conference recently, after the group’s three-day General Assembly where they drafted their new constitution and by-laws and defined their new organizational directions. An election was also held for the new set of officers.
"The formation of the Kapatiran para sa Progresong Panlipunan (KPP) is in line with the goal of the government to transform the RPM-P/RPA/ABB TPG into a legitimate socio-economic and political organization, as outlined by the proposed Closure Agreement Towards the Disposition of Arms and Forces," said Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Undersecretary Atty. Maria Cleofe Gettie Sandoval.
The said agreement is now under review for signing.
Legitimate means to pursue cause
The General Assembly and the formation of the KPP serve as indicators of the TPG’s sincere intention of returning to the folds of government and into mainstream society.
“Even without the signing, this is our way of showing the people that we intend to fulfill our obligation to the government by meeting the requirement of the peace agreement for the group’s institutional transformation,” said KPP’s newly-elected secretary, Marlon delos Santos.
“We are tired of hiding and we want to use legitimate means to pursue our cause.”
According to its press statement, the KPP will pursue social justice as a key to lasting peace and genuine progress.
The new organization endeavors to “improve economic conditions and welfare of its former combatant members” and “strengthen its capabilities so that it could effectively pursue its commitment to continue to work for the interest of the working masses and pursue substantial reforms for the betterment of the working people.”
Other advocacy areas for the KPP are women, children, and the environment. The group maintains that safeguarding these areas is an “inseparable component” in upholding the rights and welfare of the working masses.
The KPP elected officers include Gilbert Arsenal as president; Placido Perfas as vice-president; Marlon delos Santos as secretary; Fortunato Duran as treasurer, Antonio Bagabon as public information officer; Santos Malinao as auditor; Herminihildo Oliver as vice-president for District 4 in situ; Ramel Factora as representative for Mindanao; Ivan Siosan as representative for Panay; Jon Reyes as representative for the National Capital Region; and Giovanni Banista as sergeant at arms.
The newly-formed organization’s membership includes the squad and territorial command officials of the former RPM-P/RPA/ABB TPG. #