BACOLOD CITY – Negros Occidental’s provincial government has released PHP1 million in educational assistance to 200 next-of-kin of former Revolutionary Proletarian Army - Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPA-ABB) rebels during a ceremonial turnover held at the Negros Residences here Tuesday afternoon.
In a statement on Wednesday, Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson assured the continued support of the province to guarantee and secure a sustainable education system for the youth sector as part of the government programs on peace and security.
“I hope that the scholars will advance to be confident individuals, responsible citizens, and effective contributors to our community, our society, and our nation,” he added.
unded under the province’s Gender and Development Program for 2023, a total of 30 of the 200 grantees received PHP5,000 in aid during the ceremonial turnover, witnessed by Director Christina Loren Umali, director of the RPA-ABB and Cordillera Bodong Administration - Cordillera People’s Liberation Army Concerns Office of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU), and Veronica Tabara, co-chair of the Joint Enforcement and Monitoring Committee.
The assistance is part of the government’s commitment to the RPA-ABB and its political wing, the Rebolusyonaryong Partido Manggagawa ng Pilipinas (RPM-P), under the Tabara-Paduano Group (TPG), which has assumed the name Kapatiran, as part of its institutional transformation under the Clarificatory Implementing Document (CID) to the peace agreement it signed with the national government in year 2000.
Lacson thanked the OPAPRU, the Philippine Army, and the Philippine National Police for implementing programs to promote peace and order in Negros Occidental.
Brig. Gen. Orlando Edralin, commander of the Philippine Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade, said they would continue to become a strong and credible partner of the provincial government.
“We will always be a helping hand to ensure that these students, the hope of our country, with the continuous support of the provincial government, will meet their rightful path towards self-advancement and development,” he added.
The distribution of educational assistance followed the graduation from basic military training of four former combatants and 60 dependents of the RPM-P/RPA/ABB-TPG in Negros to become members of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit Active Auxiliary on Nov. 17, also as part of the fulfillment of the CID of the peace agreement between the former rebel group and the national government. (PNA)