Senate adopts House resos granting amnesty to ex-rebels

(GMA NEWS) The Senate on Monday unanimously adopted three House of Representatives concurrent resolutions approving presidential proclamations which grant amnesty to former members of three rebel groups.advertisement

With 19-0-0 votes, House Concurrent Resolutions (HCR) No. 19, 21, and 22 were adopted concurring with Presidential Proclamations 403, 405, and 406 respectively.

HCR 19 grants amnesty to the former members of the Rebolusyong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Pilipinas/Revolution Proletarian Army/ Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPMP-RPA-ABB), HCR 21 for Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), and HCR 22 for Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

The amnesty is granted to rebels who have committed crimes in pursuit of their political beliefs including but not limited to rebellion or insurrection, sedition, illegal assembly, direct and indirect assault, resistance and disobedience to a person in authority, and illegal possession of firearms, ammunition, or explosives.

Senator Jinggoy Estrada, sponsor of the measures in the Senate, emphasized that these crimes or offenses must have been committed in furtherance of, incident to, or in connection with the crimes of rebellion or insurrection, among others.

Under Section 4 of the presidential proclamations, the amnesty shall extinguish any criminal liability of former rebels for acts committed in pursuit of their political beliefs and shall also restore civil and political rights suspended or lost by criminal conviction.

However, it will not be granted to those who have already been proscribed or charged under the Human Security Act of 2007 and the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.

It will also not cover crimes such as kidnap for ransom, massacre, rape, terrorism, crimes against chastity, crimes committed for personal ends, violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, grave violations of the Geneva Convention of 1949, genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, torture, enforced disappearances, and other gross violations of human rights.

“The congressional concurrence to the presidential proclamations signifies the Filipino people’s support to the comprehensive peace efforts and genuine commitment of the government to attaining lasting peace,” Estrada said.

“These measures 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,” he added.—AOL, GMA Integrated News