Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Army to train RPA security force

From Visayan Daily Star (Jun 5, 2019): Army to train RPA security force

The Philippine Army will train members of the defunct Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade on how to secure themselves and their communities, Brig. Gen. Benedict Arevalo said yesterday.

The New People’s Army had earlier attacked the settlement site established by the government for members of the defunct RPA-ABB in Brgy. Locotan, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental.

The NPA attack at the settlement site claimed the lives of two members of the RPA-ABB, now known as Kapatiran, and caused injuries to three others.

The Apolinario Gatmaitan Command issued a statement claiming the attack, and also having confiscated eight high-powered firearms, including an M-60 machine gun, ammunition and communication radios last month.

“Because of the incident, we are looking into how to strengthen the security of RPA settlement sites.” Arevalo said.

Aside from Locotan in Kabankalan City, there are two other settlement sites for the RPA-ABB members and their families located in Brgy. Bagonbon, San Carlos City, and Brgy. Celestino Villacin in Cadiz City.

As of now, they are not yet under total control of the military. They (RPA-ABB) are just securing themselves. But the next step is to train their community security forces, Arevalo said.

The RPA-AB and its political wing, Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa-Pilipinas, entered into peace agreement with the government in year 2000, after breaking its ties with the mainstream Communist Party of the Philippines- New People’s Army.

After completion of their training, Arevalo said the security forces of RPA-ABB communities will be placed under the supervision of the Philippine Army.

He added that they will provide handlers to their community security forces where they are located.

“It is similar to the CAFGUs (Civilian Active Geographical Auxiliary Unit), but they don’t want to be called as such” Arevalo said.

The Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process already completed the profiling of all RPA-ABB members, as well as firearms and explosives in their possession, pending finalization of closure agreement.

Over the years, several key leaders of the RPA-ABB, including one of its founders, Arturo Tabara, had been liquidated by the NPA.

The RPM-P has dismissed the recent violent attack against its members in Brgy. Locotan, Kabankalan City, as a sign of desperation of the New People’s Army in its plan to intensify a self-serving armed struggle and establish political power.

The Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process also condemned the attack, saying it only shows the gruesome and inhumane methods the CPP-NPA would utilize to promote their twisted brand of ideology.

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