Manifestation on the adoption of House Concurrent Resolution No. 20 under Committee Report No. 201 Amnesty for former members of the CPP-NPA-NDF

Mr. President, as Chairperson of the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, Peace, Unification and Reconciliation, I wish to place on record my sincerest gratitude to my dear colleagues for supporting the adoption of House Concurrent Resolution Number 20 under our Committee Report No. 201 concurring with the Presidential Proclamation No. 404 which grants amnesty to former members of the Communist Party of the Philippines – New Peoples Army – National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).

This representation is truly proud to belong to a Senate which pursues and prioritizes the agenda of peace. We extend our appreciation to Minority Floor Leader Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III for his insightful examination of our Committee Reports, and our peace advocate Deputy Minority Floor Leader Sen. Risa Hontiveros for co-sponsoring this measure.

As I have said in my sponsorship speech, “Amnesty is the best policy.” I call on the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU), the National Amnesty Commission (NAC), Department of Justice (DOJ), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Department of National Defense (DND) and Philippine National Police (PNP) who graciously lent us their valuable time and expertise during the period of interpellation, to not let the amnesty measures remain just that – a mere policy.

Let’s all make sure that this amnesty program, together with the amnesty programs for the MILF, MNLF and RPMP-RPA-ABB which were earlier approved by Congress, will be implemented fully and faithfully towards its objective of transforming lives and communities, encouraging former rebels and combatants to return to the folds of the law and to participate in nation-building within the framework of peaceful and deliberative society.

Thank you, Mr. President.