Duterte grants amnesty to rebel group members

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 16 2021 07:53 PM

Duterte grants amnesty to rebel group members 1
President Rodrigo Duterte gives a public statement from the Arcadia Active Lifestyle Center in Matina, Davao City on Feb. 15, 2021. Alberto Alcain, Presidential Photo

 MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte has granted amnesty to members of several groups who committed crimes for their political beliefs, according to documents released on Tuesday. 

In Proclamations No. 1090 to 1093 signed on Feb. 5, Duterte gave amnesty to members of the following:

  • Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)
  • Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF)
  • Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa–Pilipinas/Revolutionary Proletarian Army/Alex Boncayao Brigade Tabara Paduano Group (RPMP-RPA-ABB) 
  • Communist Terrorist Group 

The crimes covered by the amnesty include, but are not limited to the following, read Duterte's proclamations:

  • Rebellion or insurrection
  • Conspiracy and proposal to commit rebellion or insurrection
  • Disloyalty of public officers or employees
  • Inciting rebellion or insurrection
  • Sedition
  • Conspiracy to commit sedition
  • Inciting to sedition
  • Illegal assembly
  • Illegal association
  • Direct assault
  • Indirect assault
  • Resistance and disobedience to a person in authority or the agents of such person
  • Tumults and other disturbances of public order
  • Unlawful use of means of publication and unlawful utterances
  • Alarms and scandals
  • Illegal possession of firearms, ammunition or explosives, provided that these crimes or offense were committed in furtherance of, incident to, or in connection with the crimes of rebellion or insurrection

Included as well are "those charged, detained or convicted of common crimes but who can establish by substantial evidence that they have actually committed said crimes in pursuit of political beliefs."
 
But the amnesty is not be granted to those who have already been proscribed or those charged under the Human Security Act of 2007 or the Anti-Terror Act of 2020.

The amnesty excludes the following crimes:

  • Kidnap for ransom, massacre, rape, terrorism, and other crimes committed against chastity as defined in the Revised Penal Code
  • crimes committed for personal ends
  • Violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002
  • Grave violations of the Geneva Convention and those identified by the United Nations as crimes that can never be amnestied such as genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, torture, enforced disappearances and other grave violations of human rights

The grant of Amnesty “shall extinguish any criminal liability for acts committed in pursuit of political beliefs,” and “shall also effect the restoration of civil and political rights suspended or lost by virtue of criminal conviction," according to the document. 

Duterte recently signed an executive order to create the National Amnesty Commission (NAC) to boost peace efforts. 

The body is tasked to process applications for amnesty and determine those who are eligible "in connection with the recent amnesty proclamations pending concurrence of Congress," said Duterte's spokesman Harry Roque. 

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- Report from Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News