Friday, September 20, 2019

PRRD vows to protect 727 ex-rebels from communist threat

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 20, 2019): PRRD vows to protect 727 ex-rebels from communist threat

PROTECTION FOR EX-REBELS. President Rodrigo Duterte pledges protection for the 727 decomissioned members of the Revolutionary Proletarian Army – Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPA-ABB) or Kapatiran at Camp General Macario B. Peralta Jr. in Jamindan, Capiz on Thursday (Sept. 19, 2019). The former rebels surrendered a total of 315 long and short firearms from the Western and Central Visayas regions. (PNA photo by Gail Momblan)

President Rodrigo R. Duterte has vowed to protect the 727 decommissioned members of the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa-Pilipinas -- Revolutionary Proletarian Army -- Alex Boncayao Brigade – Tabara-Paduano Group or Kapatiran, saying the former rebels are now part of the government.

The President witnessed the historic disposition of firearms of the group at Camp General Macario B. Peralta Jr. in Jamindan, Capiz on Thursday evening.

In his speech, Duterte assured that the former combatants would be protected against any threat from the communist rebels.

“You are part of government. Magkasama na tayo ngayon. Kung ipitin kayo ng komunista (We are now together. If the communists bother you), and they really want trouble, I will give you a new firearm. Mas maganda pa dito (Better than this),” he said.

The former combatants surrendered to the government a total of 315 long and short firearms from Regions 6 and 7 (Western and Central Visayas).

Duterte said the firearms they surrendered were already old and dirty. “I’m going to arm you. Sira na ‘yan, wala na ‘yan. Bigyan ko ng armas kayo. Sumama na kayo sa gobyerno. (Those firearms are no good. I will give you firearms. Join the government now.) We are now duty-bound to protect you,” he said.

Veronica Tabara, current head of Kapatiran, expressed her gratitude to the government for its effort to reintegrate their group back into mainstream society.

“Nandito kami ngayon kasama ng pamahalaan para sa decommissioning ng lahat ng mga hinawakan naming mga armas at sandata ng karahaasan nang kami ay tumiwalag sa mali at kriminal na pamumuno ng CPP-NPA (We are here with the government for the decommissioning of all our firearms and weapons for violence after we have left the wrong and criminal leadership of the CPP-NPA [Communist Party of the Philippines - New People’s Army]),” she said in her speech.

She assured that the group would be one with the government in moving forward peace and progress in the country.

“Mula rito, buo ang loob at mahigpit ang aming paninindigan na ipagpatuloy ang pagpupunyagi upang paunlarin ang matibay na cooperasyon sa pamahalaan sa paglutas ng ugat ng armadong tunggalian para sa kapayapaan at kaunlaran ng mamayan at ng buong bansa (From here, we are bent on continuing efforts to develop cooperation with the government in resolving the root of armed struggle for the peace and progress of the people and the country),” she said.

Meanwhile, Rep. Joseph Stephen Paduano, who represents Kapatiran in Congress, said the decommissioning of the former combatants was the “first step” towards the closure agreement with the group, expected to be signed by 2022.

Last July 19, the Clarificatory Implementing Documents (CID), which lists down the commitments of the government and Kapatiran, was signed between the two groups.

The CID components include disposition of arms and forces and security arrangements, social and economic reintegration of Kapatiran, release of the remaining alleged political offenders, transformation of the group into a civilian organization engaged in socio-economic and political activities, and community peace dividends.

“With the painstaking work of the OPAPP (Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process), we saw the decommissioning of the former RPA-ABB troops and as you saw, most of the political leaders are of old-age already,” Paduano said.

He said “martyrs”, including political leaders from the group, have died upholding the principle of rejecting the “old strategy and tactics of the CPP-NPA, which is armed revolution.”

“There’s a light in every tunnel and now is the time that all the doubts of the group will be given solutions,” the lawmaker said.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.