BACOLOD CITY, April 26 (PNA) — The former Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPA-ABB) under Tabara-Paduano Group remained a threat despite the transformation of the group into a socio-economic organization.
This is according to Colonel Jon Aying, the newly installed commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army based in Negros Occidental during his presentation on Thursday of their security preparations for election next month.
Aying said the former rebel group is still a threat considering that not all of them are fully disarmed yet.
“Practically, we still consider RPAs as threat. Although they changed into ‘Kapatiran’, yet the action and behavior [of a rebel] remain with them,” Aying said.
The RPA-ABB under Tabara-Paduano Group is now known as the “Kapatiran para sa Progresong Panlipunan” or Brotherhood for Social Progress.
The conversion of the group into a socio-economic organization is one of the conditions under the national government’s proposed closure peace agreement.
The RPA-ABB has 716 members nationwide wherein 607 are in Negros Occidental and 58 are in Negros Oriental.
The former rebel group possesses more than 400 firearms and 300 explosives based on the data of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process.
Aside from RPA-ABB, Aying said the New People’s Army (NPA) and Private Armed Groups (PAGs) are also posing threat to their security preparations for May 13 national and local elections.
The NPA in the province, divided into four organized committees, alone has estimated 200 firearms in their possession, he noted.
Aying, however, assured the public that they will prevent these lawless elements, especially the private armed groups, from conducting atrocities in order to achieve a secure, fair and free election.
He also emphasized that they will make sure that every registered voter shall have casted their votes freely. (PNA)