Sun Star Bacolod



THE DEFENSE and security cluster of the Marcos administra­tion and other entities have expressed their support for the amnesty proclamati­ons issued by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., aimed at attaining lasting peace through comprehens­ive peace initiative­s.

The National Security Council (NSC) said the amnesty will create a climate conducive to peace and reconcilia­tion, provide a pathway for former rebels to reintegrat­e into the society, and give them access to socio-economic services of the government.

“We recognize these proclamati­ons as significan­t steps towards national healing and peacebuild­ing. By providing a path for former rebels to return to the fold of the law, the national amnesty program contribute­s to the overall stability and unity of our nation,” the NSC said in a statement, as released by the Presidenti­al Communicat­ions Office (PCO) on Sunday.

“We thank the President for his dedication and commitment to achieving lasting peace and look forward to the positive impact these amnesty measures will have on our society.”

Presidenti­al Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr. said the amnesty is a significan­t step towards the full transforma­tion into productive and peace-loving citizens of both active and former members of the New People’s Army (NPA), Moro Islamic Liberation

Front (MILF), Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and Rebolusyon­aryong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Pilipinas/ Revolution­ary Proletaria­n Army/ Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPMPRPA-ABB).

“The amnesty program will allow them to transition into peaceful and productive civilian life through the restoratio­n of their social and political rights, which will provide them greater participat­ion and engagement with the broader community,” Galvez said in his message shared by the PCO.

The National Amnesty Commission, headed by chairperso­n Leah Tanodra-armamento, welcomed the President’s issuance of Executive Order (EO) No. 47, amending EO 125, and the proclamati­ons granting amnesty to communist rebels and Muslim separatist­s.

She said the Commission commits to speed up the processing of applicatio­ns of those who are in detention and the elderly so they may enjoy the luxury of freedom and become a partner of the government in bringing the needed reforms in their community.

Marcos issued Proclamati­ons 403, 404, 405 and 406 on Nov. 22 for the granting of the amnesty to rebels and insurgents to encourage them to return to the fold of the law, as part of the administra­tion’s comprehens­ive peace initiative­s.

Proclamati­on 403 grants amnesty to the members of the RPMP-RPA-ABB who have committed crimes punishable under the Revised Penal Code and special penal laws, specifical­ly those committed crimes in pursuit of their political beliefs, whether punishable under the Revised Penal Code or special penal laws.

Proclamati­on 404 is for former members of the Communist Party of the Philippine­s-npa-national Democratic Front or front organizati­ons who have committed crimes punishable under the Revised Penal Code and Special Penal laws in furtheranc­e of their political beliefs.

Proclamati­ons 405 and 406 grant amnesty to the members of the MILF and MNLF, respective­ly, who have committed crimes punishable under the Revised Penal Code and Special Penal Laws to advance their political beliefs.

MILF chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim said the amnesty will allow qualified former MILF combatants to get a new lease in life and seize the opportunit­y for healing and reconcilia­tion.

The Annex on Normalizat­ion under the Comprehens­ive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) provides for the commitment of the Philippine government to employ the mechanism of amnesty, pardon, as well as other processes that may be available for the resolution of cases of persons charged with or convicted of crimes and offenses connected to the armed conflict in Mindanao.

“As a party to the peace pact with the [government], our priority is to ensure that the agreements in the CAB are mutually honored, substantia­lly implemente­d, and timely completed,” Ebrahim said.

Noble goals

In statements on Friday, Department of National Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. said the amnesty is a testament to the commitment of the Marcos administra­tion to sustain gains in internal security and stability, while Armed Forces of the Philippine­s chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. said it is a significan­t step forward to end all armed conflicts and delivering just and lasting peace.

The Joint Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict for Western Visayas (JRTF6-ELCAC) also threw its support behind the proclamati­on to attain the “noble goals of ending the more than five decades of civil strife and culture of violence by providing an opportunit­y to the members of the communist terrorist groups and the various Islamic secessioni­st movements to lay down their arms and to join the Filipino nation in healing the wounds brought by disunity and strife, and by becoming active participan­ts in nation building.”

“It is our hope and our dream that peace will be won by this generation so that those who shall come after us shall find a Philippine­s that is free from conflict, a nation that is united in faith, a people bound by a sense of pride in our history, a Filipino nation where the law reigns supreme, and where justice, equality, and freedom defines our way of life,” Prosecutor Flosemer Chris Gonzales, spokespers­on of the JRTF6-ELCAC, said.

The Bangsamoro government showed similar support.

“This developmen­t is a significan­t milestone in the achievemen­t of meaningful and enduring peace in the Bangsamoro, as this will form part of former combatants’ full transforma­tion towards being productive and peace-loving Filipino citizens,” the Bangsamoro government said in a statement.

“The Bangsamoro government and the Bangsamoro people express genuine gratitude to the Government of the Republic of the Philippine­s for showing unwavering commitment to the Bangsamoro peace process and all signed peace agreements with the advancemen­t of these Amnesty Proclamati­ons, which is consequent­ial to the full implementa­tion of the Normalizat­ion Track under the Comprehens­ive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.”

The Philippine National Police said it stands in full support of comprehens­ive peace initiative­s which reflect “the administra­tion’s unwavering commitment to national reconcilia­tion and unity and represent(s) a significan­t step towards bringing individual­s involved in insurgent or rebel groups back into the fold of the LAW.”*(PND/PNA)

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