Former combatants of the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Pilipinas/Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPM-P/RPA-ABB) Tabara-Paduano Group (TPG) in Negros Occidental turned over their firearms, ammunition, and explosives to authorities recently.
Col. Romeo Baleros, police provincial director, said on Monday the firearms were received by policemen in five collection sites across the province.
Surrendered were 207 long and short firearms, assorted explosives, and several rounds of ammunition.
These were collected in Barangay Bagonbon, San Carlos City; Barangay Celestino Villacin, Cadiz City; Barangay Dos Hermanas, Talisay City; Barangay Tabigue, E.B. Magalona; and Barangay Talacdan, Cauayan.
The turnover of the firearms was held ahead of the disposition of arms and forces of the TPG, which is currently finalizing a peace agreement with the government.
The activity was led by the Regional Firearms, Explosives and Ammunition Disposal Committee headed by Col. Remus Zacharias Canieso, deputy regional director for administration of Police Regional Office-6 (Western Visayas), together with the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office, Philippine Army, and Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).
The RPM-P/RPA-ABB TPG took on the name Kapatiran para sa Progresibong Panlipunan Inc. as part of its institutional transformation. The RPA-ABB is a breakaway group of the New People’s Army (NPA).
In December 6, 2000, it signed a peace agreement with the government, but later split into two — the TPG led by Veronica Tabara and Stephen Paduano, and the Nilo de la Cruz Group. Eventually, only the TPG continued the process of finalizing a draft closure agreement with the government.
According to the OPAPP, the disposition of firearms of the Kapatiran, scheduled for launching on Sept. 16-18, is part of the agreements in the Clarificatory Implementing Document (CID) signed by the group and the Philippine government on July 19, 2019 towards the completion of the commitments in the 2000 peace deal.
Included in the preparatory work for the disposition of arms and forces is the 45-day candidacy training for 267 personnel of the Community Defense Unit. (Nanette Guadalquiver PNA via NDB)