Army pushes closure peace pact with RPA-A A +A
Friday, August 31, 2012
MAJOR General Jose Mabanta, commanding officer of the 3rd Infantry Division in Western Visayas, said they are pushing for the closure of the final peace agreement between the government and the Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Bongcayao Brigade (RPA- ABB) Tabara wing before the 2013 elections.
Mabanta said once the final agreement is signed, all the firearms of the RPA-ABB will be surrendered to the government.
"They would no longer be considered as an armed group but rather a political and economic group once they surrender their firearms," Mabanta said.
He said they want the closure of the final peace agreement before the elections so that the RPA- ABB would no longer be dragged in political activities during the elections.
The final peace agreement was supposed to be finally signed before the State of the Nation Address of President Benigno Aquino III but was not materialized because of some details that are still being finalized.
The profiling of the members of the RPA-ABB was done in Negros and other parts of the country.
Undersecretary Luisito Mobtalbo, during his recent visit in the province, said that violations of the agreement including acts of possessing illegal firearms, sedition or treason can lead to their arrest.
The peace closure agreement also covers development initiatives to avert rural villagers in Iloilo province to join rebel groups as a means of fighting for their socio-economic plights.
There are also 575 profiled RPA-ABB rebels in the provinces of Negros Occidental, Aklan and Antique who are also trying to avail of the government’s incentives in the peace closure agreement. (Teresa D. Ellera)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 31, 2012.