The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process yesterday started the inventory of firearms, ammunition and explosives in the possession of members of the rebel breakaway group, the Revolutionary Proletarian Army- Alex Boncayao Brigade, in Negros Oriental.
This is part of a series of firearms‘ inventories and profiling of RPA-ABB members, being conducted in Negros and Panay Islands. It is part of the ongoing peace agreement between the government and the RPA-ABB’s Tabara-Paduano group and its “imminent closure”, the OPAPP said.
The OPAPP, assisted by the police and the military, proceeded to Sitio Candanqui, Barangay Azagra, in Tanjay City, Negros Oriental, for the inventory that was witnessed by the media, Azagra barangay captain Felix Mira Jr., and RPA-ABB members, headed by one of their commanders, Rey Mallari.
Among the items presented for inventory were long and short firearms of different calibers, live rounds of ammunitions, hand grenades, rocket propelled grenades, and other explosives.
Col. Francisco Patrimonio, commander of the 302nd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army, said the inventory will help the government in its accounting procedure “once a closure of the peace agreement has been reached”.
He added that, after the inventory, the firearms and ammunition will be returned to the RPA-ABB for safekeeping. Those not properly documented during the inventory will be considered loose firearms, Patrimonio added.
A newspaper report said that OPAPP records show that the RPA-ABB in Negros Island have more than 500 firearms, while 102 are with other members of the group in Iloilo, Antique, and Aklan.
Patrimonio said there are at least 58 RPA-ABB members in Negros Oriental.
Results of the inventory, however, were not made available as of press time.*JFP
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