Thousands of rebels may avail of gov't amnesty program: Peace adviser


Posted at Aug 17 2022 06:39 PM | Updated as of Aug 17 2022 07:00 PM

MANILA - The government is expecting thousands of rebels to avail of the planned amnesty program of the government, an official said Wednesday.

Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity Carlito Galvez, Jr. said that of the 26,414 communist insurgents who have surrendered, between 1,000 and 2,000 are possibly facing charges and may therefore apply for amnesty.

Aside from them, around 8,000 to 10,000 members of such other groups as the Moro National Liberation Front, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Pilipinas/Revolutionary Proletarian Army/Alex Boncayao Brigade, and Cordillera People's Liberation Army are also expected to apply for the program, Galvez' office said.

"Sa amnesty, hindi lang ito yung sa CPP-NPA (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army) but also the other four groups," Galvez said in a virtual press conference.

Then President Rodrigo Duterte issued Presidential Proclamation Nos. 1090 (for the MILF), 1091 (for the MNLF), 1092 (for the RPMP-RPA-ABB), and 1093 (for the Communist Terrorist Group) in February 2021 that grant amnesty to the rebel groups.

In January this year, the Senate adopted the House of Representatives' Concurrent Resolutions covering the amnesty for the MILF, MNLF, and RPMP-RPA-ABB, but not the one for the communist group.

Galvez said the non-concurrence on Proclamation 1093 was due to the passage of the anti-terrorism law.

He did not give further details about the amnesty offer as they await guidance from the Senate.

When asked about opening talks with National Democratic Front (NDF) to facilitate the return of its founder Joma Sison to the Philippines, Galvez said: “We will wait for the guidance of the President.”

“Ang panawagan namin is kung puwede ba talagang magkaroon na ng katahimikan sa Pilipinas,” he said.

“We are encouraging all CPP-NPA members to talk with us."

The military estimates the current NPA strength at more than 2,000.

National Security Adviser Clarita Carlos earlier said that the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) “strongly recommended” the offering of amnesty to communist rebels to “prevent the resurgence of the communist terrorist group, especially in geographically-challenged, isolated and disadvantaged areas.”

As of last month, Carlos said the “nitty-gritty of the recommendation” has yet to be finalized.

- with report from Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News


Watch more News on iWantTFC