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64 former rebels integrated into AFP

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• GILBERT P. BAYORAN

OPAPRU director Christina Loren Umali, assisted by Brig. Gen. Orlando Edralin, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, led the entrustment  of firearms ceremony to former rebels-turned CAFGU Active Auxiliaries, in Isabela, Negros Occidental.* PA photo

Sixty four former rebels who used to be members of the defunct Rebolusyonaryong Partido Ng Manggagawa-Pilipinas / Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade-Tabara Paduano Group (RPM-P/RPA-ABB-TPG), have been integrated to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, as members of the CAFGU Active Auxiliaries.

The former RPM-P/RPA-ABB, who broke away from the mainstream New People’s Army and entered into a peace agreement with the government in 2000, is now known as KAPATIRAN.

Director Christina Loren Umali, who represented Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) Carlito Galvez, during the graduation rites of the former rebels-turned CAFGU Active Auxiliaries held yesterday in Isabela, Negros Occidental, highlighted the vital role of the graduates in bringing peace and security to the communities that they will serve.

This transition plan is crucial to the CDU (Community Defense Unit) as an entering security arrangement with CAFGU Active Auxiliary, a prominent arrangement to ensure the safety of KAPATIRAN members in their settlement sites and adjacent communities.

In 2019, the resettlement site of KAPATIRAN was attacked by the New People’s Army in Brgy. Locotan, Kabankalan City, killing two of its members.

Umali said that the implementation of the transition and sustainability plan is a realization of the commitment made by the national government under the disposition of arms and forces and its security arrangements.

The KAPATIRAN is a recipient to the transition plan that is implemented by the government as part of the Whole-of-Nation approach to end local communist insurgency and attain inclusive and sustainable peace.

The 64 CAAs completed the 45 days of intensive Basic Military Training held at Brgy La Granja, La Carlota City, Negros Occidental that transformed them as new catalyzers of peace in Negros Island.

These newly graduated CAAs, who are now AFP members, are part of the Clarificatory Implementing Document’s Disposition of Arms and Forces (DAF) and Security Arrangements under the supervision of the OPAPRU, AFP Peace and Development Office (AFP PDO), and PNP Peace and Development Center (PNP PDC), said a statement from the Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade.

KAPATIRAN chairperson Veronica Tabara, wife of the slain former CPP Visayas Commission secretary Arturo Tabara, extended her appreciation to the 64 CVs who voluntarily committed themselves to be integrated as CAA.

“We will continue to help the people and government for us to attain lasting peace in our communities,” Tabara said.

Brig. Gen Orlando Edralin, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, also congratulated the former rebel-turned CAAs for completing the rigorous training program.

“As you wear that uniform, you’re not just a CAFGU Active Auxiliary, you are a member of the AFP, specifically, the Philippine Army.”

“We are all the same, we are taking the same responsibility to the country and to the Filipino people,” he added.*

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