Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo called on the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process to exert effort to put children of former rebel combatants in good schools.
“A good education will ensure that they will have better economic opportunities. They can help their parents who are former combatants rise from the cycle of poverty,” Lagdameo told OPPAP Undersecretary Luisito Montalvo who visited him, as part a series of consultations on the proposed closure agreement between the government and Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa-Pilipinas - Revolutionary Proletarian Army – Alex Boncayao Brigade (Tabara-Paduano Group) which is set to be signed this year.
Lagdameo stressed the need for OPPAP to put primacy in the education of the young, that he said, can make peace lasting.
The RPA-ABB Tabara Paduano Group has more than 900 members nationwide, the bulk of which are in Negros island.
Montalvo also said they are not merely talking of education translating to economic upliftment, but of education that enlightens, and makes one tolerant of other people’s beliefs and ways of life which is the center of a culture of peace.
The series of meetings in Negros and Panay with various stakeholders in the quest for peace was in line with OPAPP’s efforts to make the process a genuine convergence of national and local governments, as well as of governments and constituents.
In a statement, OPPAP, said the government and the armed group inked a peace agreement in year 2000 that was never fully implemented.
Montalbo said the closure agreement aims to complete government's commitment and lead to the transformation of the RPMP-RPA-ABB into a potent, socio-economic, unarmed force that will help in the advancement of their communities.
Local government and agency officials in Iloilo and Cebu had earlier pledged support to the proposed closure of the RPA-ABB and government peace agreement.
Col. Oscar Lactao, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, said t the imminent final closure of the peace agreement will show to the New People’s Army that there is another approach to societal change by not using violence.
“If you have an advocacy and you want something to change, there is no need to go through violence and armed struggle,” Lactao also said.*GPB