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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

House passes bills backing plenary amnesty

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The House of Representatives on Tuesday adopted resolutions concurring with presidential proclamations granting amnesty to former members of four rebel groups, including communist rebels.

The resolutions were House Concurrent Resolutions (HCR) 19, 20, 21, and 22.

HCR 19 provides amnesty for ex-members of the Rebolusyong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Pilipinas / Revolution Proletarian Army / Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPMP-RPA-ABB).

HCR 21 provides amnesty for ex-members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MNLF). The first two resolutions were adopted unanimously.

HCR 20 grants amnesty to former members of the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army – National Democratic Front. It was adopted by a vote of 225-3-0

HCR 22, which provides amnesty to former members of the Moro National Liberation Front, meanwhile, obtained a 229-1 vote.

The resolutions state that the amnesty covers those who have committed crimes in pursuit of their political beliefs, whether punishable under the Revised Penal Code or special penal laws, including but not limited to the rebellion or insurrection; conspiracy and proposal to commit rebellion or insurrection; disloyalty of public officers or employees; inciting to rebellion or insurrection; sedition; conspiracy to commit sedition; inciting to sedition; illegal assembly; and illegal association, among others.

“The grant of amnesty to former combatants or rebels, who may have committed unlawful acts in furtherance of their respective political beliefs and who wish to return to the folds of the law, will create a climate conducive for peace and reconciliation, pave the way for them to reintegrate into the society, and provide them access to the government’s socio-economic services,” the House Resolutions read.

Political party leaders in the House earlier expressed support for the House Concurrent Resolutions and Presidential Proclamations granting amnesty.

“We acknowledge the diverse perspectives and ideologies within our ranks, yet we stand together in our commitment to the greater good of the Philippines. President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.’s call for peace transcends political boundaries and speaks to the core of our shared values as Filipinos. It is a call for understanding, cooperation, and collective action towards a future where every citizen can live in harmony and prosperity,” the joint statement read.

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