Davao barangays also benefit in Visayas-based peace projects

Barangays in at least 11 areas in Davao and an area each in Malabon, Marikina, Valenzuela, and Tondo have been included as beneficiaries among more than 50 others based in Regions VI and VII in relation to the government’s peace agreement with the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa-Pilipinas / Revolutionary Proletarian Army / Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPM-P/RPA/ABB, or RRA for short). 

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said the government and the RRA earlier signed their peace agreement on 6 December 2000 in Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental to peacefully settle the armed conflict involving former communist rebels as a result of exploratory talks beginning in late 1997.

“The peace accord between the government and these former rebels has left a legacy of an enduring cooperation between the two (2) parties on the advancing of policy reforms, progress, and development, other than the landmark provisions on the agreement related to the cessation of hostilities among the said parties,” Dureza revealed.

He said the peace accord has also led to a number of confidence-building measures especially with the RRA’s commitment to stop launching hostile or violent actions against the government, and to the formation of a Joint Enforcement and Monitoring Committee (JEMC) which formulated the guidelines to implement the accord’s provisions.

Dureza said these confidence-building measures included releasing political prisoners affiliated with the RRA, dropping charges filed against the group’s panelists and consultants in the peace process, and implementing high-impact development projects in areas associated with the former communists.

Further, he revealed that at least four National Technical Working Groups (NTWGs) have been established to support the JEMC in the so-called Key Result Areas (KRAs) of Development, Reintegration, Civil and Political Rights, and Cessation of Hostilities.

“These KRAs include the implementation of development projects, a reintegration program for the RRA’s alleged political offenders, processing of cases of all alleged political offenders and other RRA members, and sustaining cessation of hostilities,” Dureza added.

As part of the KRA for development, villages in 11 different areas in Davao have been included in relation to the peace accord with the RRA.  They include Brgys. 8-A, 9-A, 10,  19-B, Maa in Talomo district, Tibungco in Bunawan district, and Sasa in Buhangin district, as well as other areas in Buhangin and in the districts of Toril, Tugbok, and Calinan.

For the National Capital Region (NCR), the barangays in Metro Manila included in the KRA for development relative to the peace deal with the RRA have included Letre-Tonsuya in Malabon, Nangka in Marikina, Bignay in Valenzuela, and Brgy. 105 in Tondo.

In the Visayas, the beneficiaries of development for RRA-affiliated areas have included villages in the provinces of Iloilo, Aklan, Antique, and Negros Occidental for Region 6, as well as Negros Oriental for Region 7.

Iloilo beneficiaries have included areas located in the municipalities of San Joaquin, Leon, Janiuay, Badiangan, Tigbauan, and Lambunao.

Aklan beneficiaries have included areas located in the municipalities of Ibajay and Malinao, while Antique beneficiaries have included areas located in the municipalities of Culasi and Sibalom.

Negros Occidental beneficiaries have included areas located in the municipalities of Candoni, Cauayan, Don Salvador Benedicto, E.B. Magalona, and Kabankalan, as well as in the cities of Silay and Talisay.

Negros Oriental beneficiaries have included areas located in the municipalities of Sta. Catalina, Siaton, and Zamboangita. (OPAPP)