Estrada bats for Senate approval of PBBM’s amnesty grant to rebels

(PNA) MANILA – Senator Jinggoy Estrada on Wednesday recommended the Senate’s concurrence to President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s proclamations granting amnesty to rebels and insurgents to encourage them to give up their fight.

On Nov. 22, 2023, Marcos signed Proclamation Nos. 403, 404 405, and 406 granting amnesty, respectively, to members of the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Pilipinas/Revolutionary Proletarian Army/Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPMP-RPA-ABB), the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF), Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) who have committed crimes punishable under the Revised Penal Code (RPC) and special penal laws.

Estrada, chair of the Committee on Defense and Security, Peace, Unification, and Reconciliation, said the amnesty offers an invaluable opportunity for “our brothers and sisters to transform their lives,” gain access to the government’s socio-economic services, and rebuild their lives.

“For its part, the defense establishment throws its full support to the Congressional concurrence to these amnesty proclamations as these are testaments to the commitment of the current administration to sustaining the gains in our internal security and stability,” Estrada told the plenary.

He noted that 2,000 MNLF; 1,200 RPMP-RPA-ABB; 400 MILF; and 270 CPP-NPA-NDF members are expected to benefit from the Senate’s concurrence to the proclamations.

“Dahil sa mga magagandang maidudulot nito, masasabi nating (Because of the good that this will bring, we can say that) amnesty is the best policy,” Estrada said.

These proclamations were recognized by the National Security Commission as “significant steps towards national healing and peacebuilding.”

As provided under the proclamations, amnesty shall not be granted to those who have already been proscribed or those charged under RA 9372 or the Human Security Act of 2007, or RA 11479 or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.

The amnesty granted under the proclamations shall not cover kidnap for ransom, massacre, rape, terrorism, crimes committed against chastity as defined in the RPC, as amended, crimes committed for personal ends, violation of RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, grave violations of the Geneva Convention of 1949, and those identified by the United Nations as crimes that can never be the subject of amnesty such as genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, torture, enforced disappearances, and other gross violations of human rights.

Section 19, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution provides that the President has the power to grant amnesty with the concurrence of a majority of all the members of Congress. (PNA)