Gov't assures ongoing peace talks with RPA-ABB in Panay, Negros
Iloilo City (3 February) -- The national government aims to wrap up its peace talks with the Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPA-ABB) before the Arroyo administration ends.
This was assured by Annabelle Abaya, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process who arrived in Iloilo city to lead the "Projects for Peace" program and Peace Partners? Forum at Iloilo Grand Hotel Wednesday.
Abaya said the government is talking to RPA-ABB as one group who signed a peace accord on December 6, 2000 in the municipality of Don Salvador Benedicto in Negro Occidental.
The RPA-ABB organization split up in 2001 into two groups headed by Stephen Paduano known as Luwalhati Carapale and his commander Ramil Farol in Panay. The other group under Nilo de la Cruz and has Hugo Capilastique and Rustico Cutanda in Panay.
Abaya said they are inviting all peace partners to avail of peace projects as the government is willing to give financial assistance to these projects mostly implemented in the barangays with reported presence of their members.
Abaya said the project proposals should be received by the Office of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process on or before February 19, 2010 and the project should be implemented within 8 months but not beyond November 2010.
Priority is given to projects located in or covered in areas affected by the ongoing armed conflict with the CPP-NPA-NDF and the MILF and areas where the peace agreements are implemented with the CPLA, MNLF, RPMP/RPA/ABB and the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa Mindanao (RPM-M).
Abaya said that out of the P500 million earmarked for the whole country, some P300 million were released for peace projects in 95 barangays in Western Visayas.
On the other hand, Abaya said there is a need for third party complainant to file charges against any member of the RPA/ABB who demands ?permit to campaign fees? from any political candidate this coming election. The demand shall be treated as a common crime with corresponding penalties, she added. (LCP) [top]