‘Peace center’ for ex-rebels eyed in Northern Samar

‘Peace center’ for ex-rebels eyed in Northern Samar

/ 04:30 AM November 14, 2023

TACLOBAN CITY—A “peace center” is set to be established in the province of Northern Samar, considered as the last bastion of the communist armed group in Eastern Visayas.

Imelda Bonifacio, regional program manager of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity (Opapru), said the facility will ensure the effective implementation of Northern Samar’s local peace engagement and transformation program for former communist rebels.

“The peace center becomes a sanctuary for former rebels that chose the path of peace and reconciliation,” she said.


The building of the peace center, which will cost P5 million, will be funded by Opapru, she said.


Aside from Northern Samar, similar facilities will be constructed in the provinces of Negros Occidental, Masbate, Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Surigao del Sur and South Cotabato—areas which continue to struggle against insurgency.

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The center, she said, will house the database for all peace-related programs as well as the list of people’s organizations for former rebels who will act as augmentation forces to counter activities of the active rebels.

“Planning, implementation, and evaluation and monitoring will be the primary function of the peace center. That is why it will be equipped with trained staff and facilities necessary in the cascading of programs and activities, including capacity building, for all stakeholders,” she added.

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According to Bonifacio, Northern Samar, under the leadership of Gov. Edwin Ongchuan, was selected as one of the areas for the building of a peace center due to its readiness to accept the program.

It also has an existing Darangpan Center, a house for former rebels in the province, and a village for rehabilitated New People’s Army members located in the town of Mondragon.

Bonifacio said the construction of the peace center is expected to start before the end of the year, either in Mondragon or in the provincial capital town of Catarman. INQ

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TAGS: former rebels, peace center

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