RPM-P backs guv on closure agreement-A A +A
Saturday, September 7, 2013
THE Rebolusyonaryong Partidong Manggagawa-Pilipinas (RPM-P) has expressed agreement with the stand of Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon, Jr. in pressing the government to fulfill its promise for the signing of a closure agreement with the rebel group.
In a statement sent to the media, the Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Bongcayao Brigade (RPA-ABB) said that, "We welcome the statement of Governor Alfredo Marañon on the direct interest of the province of Negros Occidental for the signing of the Closure Agreement between the RPM-P/RPA/ABB and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines."
Victorino Sumulong, spokesperson of the RPA-ABB, said: "The peace talks of the RPMP/RPA/ABB as an armed rebel group with the GPH has the main issue of the armed conflict as the focal point of the process."
He added that in the 2000 Peace Agreement signed with the Estrada administration, it entered into the basic condition of cessation of hostilities in keeping with its firm commitment to uphold the overwhelming interest of the people for peace and development and repudiate the “war strategy” of the CPP-NPA."
This peace agreement, according to the RPA-ABB, is a way of resolving the matters on development projects for specific communities gravely affected by the armed conflict in the past, civil and political rights of its members and the security of its officers and men so that it can come into the final agreement for it to effectively pursue the non-violent path of struggle reforms for social justice, peace and development.
"We, therefore highly appreciate Governor Marañon’s concern on the slow pace for the signing of the Closure Agreement that will be the final phase of the Peace Agreement between the RPMP/RPA-ABB and the GPH. The long-wait of our group has been wrought with not a few challenges and demanded much sacrifice from us in sweat and blood," the statement added.
Marañon, earlier, expressed his frustration over the delay.
He was also speaking in behalf of the RPM-P/RPA-ABB members, who have been waiting for the closure of the peace talks since last year.
Local true efforts
Sumolong further said: “But we are one with our democratic and sincere government counterparts in the peace talks from the national government down to the local level with the civil servants and the military forces within them in saying that the work for peace is at times more difficult than making war. We had to contend with the impact of the crisis and power play not only at the national level of political leadership of the government but also at the local level. We have to contend with the sincerity and political will of government leaders and officials especially because of the difficult process of changing traditions of power play with the democratic value of tolerance and upholding humanitarian value of healing and reconciliation.”
He added that their members, "have to contend with the aggressive CPP-NPA who professes to fight for the interest of the poor and the oppressed but use all-out and indiscriminate violence to achieve its political objective of overthrowing the government. Because of this, for countless times, we have to internally confront questions and doubts of our members on the correctness of pursuing the peace process."
One with government
"We are in unison with the governor in calling to do more work than talk and his display of concern is in the proper perspective because more than 70 percent of the armed forces of the RPMP/RPA/ABB are based in Negros Occidental. The contribution to the 'peace and order' and subsequent improvements on the economic development of all the provinces where there has been cessation of hostilities of the under the 2000 Peace Agreement has been acknowledged by all the stakeholders of peace," the statement further added.
The group admitted that, "...much need to be done not only for the signing of the Closure Agreement, but more importantly in the implementation of its provisions. And indeed, the local government units especially the provincial governments have very important roles. One of this is on providing for settlement sites of the different armed units of the RPA-ABB being one of the major provisions that would address the socio-economic reintegration and security issues of the members."
However, the statement said, we protest the unwarranted arrest of our three members in Silay as the circumstances surrounding the incident were clearly not in consonance with the guidelines on cessation of hostilities of the 2000 Peace Agreement that we continue to observe and on which the on-going talks and preparations for the signing of the closure agreement is based. This incident does not serve well the shared interest of the government and our organization to come into the final closure agreement.
"We call on the provincial government and other local government units to more actively partake in the process to fast track the signing of the Closure Agreement especially on concerns and issues of the provisions within their mandate and coverage," the statement said.
Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Sec. Teresita Quintos Deles said she understands the impatience of the governor over the delay in the signing of the closure agreement.
Deles said that she will find time to visit Marañon.
When asked for comment, the governor said that he expects good news from Deles she comes to visit him.
The RPM-P/Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade began their peace talks with the government in December 2000.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on September 07, 2013.