Galvez: Up to 10,000 former communist rebels seen to avail of proposed amnesty

Alexis Romero - Philstar.com
Galvez: Up to 10,000 former communist rebels seen to avail of proposed amnesty
Individuals initially alleged to be surrenderees of the New People's Army at the Philippine National Police's Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig in this photo uploaded on Facebook on Jan. 26, 2021.
(The STAR / Michael Varcas)

MANILA, Philippines — As many as 10,000 former communist rebels may avail of the amnesty to be offered by the government, President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.' peace adviser said Wednesday.

State media Philippine News Agency quotes the Armed Forces of the Philippines saying last week that the New People's Army is down to around "more than 2,000" active fighters. The military has claimed in recent years that thousands of rebels have surrendered to the government, although the Communist Party of the Philippines disputes this. 

Presidential peace adviser Carlito Galvez, Jr. said members of the CPP and NPA are encouraged to talk to the government so the country can achieve peace. The CPP has stressed addressing landlessness and other root causes of conflict will lead to peace. 

The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) is continuously conducting local peace engagements, he added, referring to a new tack of engaging local rebel commanders instead of the National Democratic Front, which represents the rebels at peace talks.

RELATED: New panel to oversee localized 'peace engagements' with Reds

"We are seeing more or less 8,000 to 10,000," Galvez said at a press briefing when asked how many rebels are expected to avail of the government's amnesty offer.

Galvez explained that the figure only covers possible surrenderees from the CPP and the NPA and does not include rebels from other communist groups. He added that of the 26,414 rebels that have surrendered, about 1,000 or 2,000 are facing cases.

In 2021, President Rodrigo Duterte granted amnesty to former rebels, except to members of the CPP-NPA.

The administration, Galvez said, is waiting for "guidance" from the Senate with regard to the amnesty program.

Filipino Maoist rebels have been fighting with the government for more than five decades, making it the longest-running communist insurgency in the world, according to some experts. 

In 2017, then President Rodrigo Duterte announced that he was ending peace negotiations with the CPP-NPA-NDF because of their "acts of violence and hostilities" and their supposed failure to display sincerity in pursuing peace.

Duterte has also accused the communists of pushing for a coalition government, a power-sharing set-up that he said is against the constitution.

FROM INTERAKSYON: Are they really ex-rebels? Photos of masked former NPA surrenderees spark suspicion online

Last month, the NTF-ELCAC recommended offering an amnesty to rebels to prevent the resurgence of the commnist rebellion especially in isolated and disadvantaged areas.

The task force also recommended the implementation and enhancement of programs designed to empower local governments, strengthen partnerships with stakeholders, ensure peace and law enforcement in the communities, and provide assistance to former rebels.





  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with