Peace adviser thrilled as House approves resolutions to grant amnesty to former rebels

The House of Representatives approved four House Concurrent Resolutions (HCR) that grant amnesty to former rebels, expressing gratitude to the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.

Earlier in the week, the lower house of Congress adopted HCRs 19, 20, 21, and 22, concurring with Proclamations Nos. 403, 404, 405 and 406 issued by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. granting amnesty to members of the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Pilipinas/Revolutionary Proletarian Army/Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPMP-RPA-ABB), Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF), Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) respectively.

Galvez expressed his gratitude to the members of Congress, stating that their support for the Marcos administration’s Peace, Reconciliation and Unity Agenda will enable the government to push forward and sustain the gains of peace throughout the nation.

The national government’s amnesty program is identified as one of the main confidence-building measures under the National Task Force for Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict’s (NTF-ELCAC) Local Peace Engagement (LPE) framework and the Normalization Program under the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro (CAB).

Galvez emphasized that the amnesty proclamations do not give “blanket amnesty” to the former rebels, and that individuals must specifically state the acts committed and covered by the amnesty proclamations in their application.

He also stressed that the granting of amnesty does not remove the grantee’s civil liability for injuries or damages caused to private persons, and emphasized the importance of former rebels showing remorse and admitting to their crimes as part of their complete turn away from a life of violence and armed struggle.

The NTF-ELCAC praised the House for concurring with the Presidential amnesty proclamations, calling it a “significant move towards national reconciliation and societal healing.”

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