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House concurs with amnesty for rebel groups

Edu Punay - The Philippine Star
House concurs with amnesty for rebel groups
In session yesterday, an overwhelming majority of congressmen decided to adopt resolutions concurring with Presidential Proclamation Nos. 1090, 1091, 1092 and 1093 that granted amnesty to Muslim and communist rebels who have committed crimes in furtherance of their political beliefs.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives has given its concurrence to President Duterte’s proclamations granting amnesty to members of four major rebel groups, including the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

In session yesterday, an overwhelming majority of congressmen decided to adopt resolutions concurring with Presidential Proclamation Nos. 1090, 1091, 1092 and 1093 that granted amnesty to Muslim and communist rebels who have committed crimes in furtherance of their political beliefs.

Covered by the proclamations are qualified members of MILF, MNLF, Rebolusyunaryong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Pilipinas/Revolutionary Proletarian Army/Alex Boncayao Brigade and Communist Terrorist Group.

Speaker Lord Allan Velasco described the latest amnesty grant as a “significant milestone toward reconciliation and lasting peace in the country.”

“We are one with President Duterte in his noble desire to give Muslim and communist insurgents a second chance at life,” the Marinduque congressman said.

“Accepting these rebels back into the folds of the law through amnesty and eventually providing them access to government’s existing socioeconomic services are essential to attaining peace and reconciliation in the country,” he pointed out.

In his proclamations, President Duterte said there is a need to reintegrate as soon as possible all rebels and insurgents into mainstream society under the rule of law, including those who may have committed unlawful acts.

The amnesty “shall extinguish any criminal liability for acts committed in pursuit of political beliefs” and restore political and civil rights lost due to criminal conviction, the proclamations stated.

However, the amnesty would not cover kidnappings for ransom, massacres, rape, terrorism, drug trafficking and certain crimes the United Nations says should never be covered by amnesties such as genocide, crimes against humanity and torture.

An amnesty commission will be created to receive and process applications for amnesty and determine whether applicants are entitled to reprieve under the proclamations.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES MILF MNLF
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