BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Former communist rebels, under the group now known as Kapatiran, and the Parole and Probation Administration (PPA) yesterday received rice and financial assistance, among others, from the provincial government of Negros Occidental, in line with the Peace Month celebration.
Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson turned over rice assistance, medicines, face masks, hygiene and medical kits, as well as food packs to the Kapatiran group, formerly the Revolutionary Proletarian Army- Alex Boncayao Brigade, and represented by Wilfredo Rafinian.
Lacson also turned over P1 million in financial assistance to the PPA for its projects against the coronavirus disease 2019, that was received by Grace Tomaro, officer-in-charge of PPA in Western Visayas.
Tomaro said the assistance will be mostly used to provide subsidies, personal protective equipment and related supplies to volunteer probation assistants and clients, social services assistance to probationers, parolees and conditional pardonees in Negros Occidental, as well as in the conduct of clustered meetings, evaluation and planning.
“Today, the entire humanity is at war with a virus that threatens our health, our security, our economy, and most of all, our life. Solidarity among all sectors and generations is needed more than ever to win this war, to overcome the multi-faceted crisis of our lifetime,” Lacson said.
“May this pandemic remind us of our truth, that we are one people; Covid-19 knows no gender, no age, no sector, no politics,” he added.
Lacson had earlier signed Executive Order No. 20-12 series of 2020, that ordered the creation of a site coordinating team to assist the Joint Enforcement Monitoring Committee in providing appropriate interventions to Kapatiran under the three-year Normalization Plan from 2019–2021.
Under the Kapatiran community defense units are the peace and development communities in Sitio Ilan, Brgy. Locotan, Kabankalan City, Sitio Huebesan, Brgy.Villacin in Cadiz City, and Sitio Nangka, Brgy. Bagonbon, San Carlos City, and the congregated sites in Sitio Binacay, Brgy.Talacdan, Cauayan, and Brgy. Mailum in Bago City.
Among the participating agencies in the activity were the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, Provincial Health Office, Provincial Administrator’s Office, Philippine Army, and Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).
Also present were Lt. Col. Harold Garcia, representing the 303rd Infantry Brigade, and Jason Encinares of the OPAPP.
The Negros Month of Peace is themed, “Building a Culture of Peace in Negros: Moving Forward Amidst Covid-19 Challenges”.*