Manifestation on Senate’s approval of House Concurrent Resolutions 19, 21 and 22

Mr. President, I would like to place on record my sincerest gratitude to my honorable colleagues for supporting the adoption of House Concurrent Resolutions 19, 21 and 22 concurring with Presidential Proclamation Numbers 403, 405 and 406 which grants amnesty to the members of the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Pilipinas/Revolutionary Proletarian Army/Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPMP-RPA-ABB), the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), respectively.

The congressional concurrence to the aforementioned Presidential proclamations signifies the Filipino people’s support to the comprehensive peace efforts, and genuine commitment of the government to attaining lasting peace. 

As your Chairman of the Committee on National Defense and Security, Peace, Unification and Reconciliation, I am truly honored and privileged to sponsor these measures that will foster healing and social cohesion, and will provide the window to end internal armed conflict and rebellion, which have already cost the country a staggering amount of lost economic opportunities and the lives of countless Filipinos. 

We thank the esteemed members of this august chamber, under the very capable leadership of our Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, as well as our Minority Floor Leader Sen. Koko Pimentel, who happens to be both proud and renowned sons of the great Mindanao region, for prioritizing our Committee Reports and allowing this representation to defend these important measures amid the very hectic legislative agenda. 

Warmest thanks to the officials of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) led by Sec. Carlito Galvez, Jr.; the National Amnesty Commission (NAC) led by Chairperson Atty. Leah Tanodra-Armamento and Commissioners Jamar Kulayan and Nasser Marohomsalic; as well as the officials from the Justice and National Defense Departments for their kind assistance and patience. 

Lastly, we wish to place on record, upon the request of our good Minority Leader during the period of interpellation, that we have already talked to the OPAPRU family and the Committee will soon facilitate a briefing about the status of our peace agreements. Please expect an invitation from them soon.

Thank you, Mr. President.