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Palace denies P31-M grant to communist breakaway group

Malacañang on Monday denied reports that it is giving a P31-million grant to communist breakaway group Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa Pilipinas-Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPMP-RPA-ABB).

“There’s no truth to that. We were able to verify with [presidential adviser on peace process Teresita] Ging Deles and there is no such grant to the ABB," deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a phone interview with reporters.

But Valte said that there will be a project under PAMANA or Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (Peaceful and Resilient Communities) program for the development of communities and alternative livelihood.

PAMANA is the government’s peace and development program and framework that seeks to reduce poverty, improve governance and empower communities through community-driven projects that address people’s needs and, at the same time, promote peace.

It is being led by Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and joined by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Interior and Local Government, and Department of Agrarian Reform.

Valte said the government does not turnover funds to any groups but identify communities that need development and formulate programs for it.

Ang main partner ng national government dito ay concerned local government units at national agencies who can implement the programs. So wala pong grant to the ABB, wala pong katotohanan yung umiikot na meron daw na P31 million na ibinigay na grant sa ABB," she stressed.

She did not mention how much assistance will be provided, but said it is the government that will manage the fund.

Hindi po ito given to a particular entity. ‘Yung pondo po sa gobyerno pa rin po iikot ‘yan, so tayo po ‘yung magde-develop ‘nung communities and magbibigay po ng alternative livelihood," Valte said.

Deles earlier said that the government wants to forge a deal with the ABB to allow the latter to become a socio-economic organization from being an armed group. - Amita O. Legaspi/KBK, GMA News
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