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PNP hopes peace with NDF, backs amnesty for rebels

December 6, 2023 Alfred P. Dalizon 117 views

PNPTHE Philippine National Police (PNP) has aired its full support to the Oslo Joint Communique between the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front aimed at ending the more than half-a-century insurgency in the country.

“In light of recent developments in our country, your Philippine National Police welcomes and express our support for the Oslo Joint Communique and the Philippine government’s agreement with the National Democratic Front (NDF) on ending the armed struggle and bringing about a peaceful resolution to the five-decade long armed conflict,” said PNP chief General Benjamin C. Acorda Jr. in a press statement.

The police force described the ongoing talks “as a significant step toward achieving a more peaceful, prosperous and unified Philippines.”

“We commend the wisdom, courage and unflagging commitment of our President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. in his openness to explore all avenues on the path to just and lasting peace, national reconciliation and unity,” Acorda said.

The PNP leadership, however, said that although it strongly believes that sustainable peace requires the positive and constructive involvement of diverse voices and perspectives, there must ‘be good faith and genuine effort from all parties’ as they talk peace.

The police force likewise committed to promote peace, human rights and social justice in the country by pledging its unwavering support to the Oslo Joint Communique and the agreement to end the armed conflict and the armed struggle.

At the same time, the PNP threw its full support to President Marcos’ decision to grant amnesty to communist rebels and Southern Philippines-based armed groups.

“These actions, which reflect the administration’s unwavering commitment to national reconciliation and unity, represent a significant step towards bringing individuals involved in insurgent or rebel groups back into the fold of the law,” it added.

The Commander-in-Chief granted amnesty to former members of several rebel groups, including the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front, the CPP/NPA group Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Pilipinas/Revolutionary Proletarian Army/Alex Boncayao Brigade, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front.

The crimes covered by the presidential amnesty include rebellion or insurrection; conspiracy and proposal to commit rebellion or insurrection; disloyalty of public officers or employees; inciting to rebellion or insurrection; sedition, and more.

The police force likewise said it “stands firmly behind efforts that promote lawful reintegration, urging individuals to participate in processes of reconciliation and rehabilitation.”

“Our commitment to safeguarding all citizens remains resolute as we actively support initiatives that foster harmony and understanding within our communities,” it said.

“The PNP remains steadfast in embracing the principles of unity and service, aligning our actions and initiatives to ensure the safety, welfare and progress of all citizens.

We are dedicated to building a better and more prosperous nation for future generations, a realization of the vision of a “Bagong Pilipinas,” PNP spokesperson Colonel Jean S. Fajardo said.

Under Proclamation No. 403, the Chief Executive granted amnesty to members of the RPMP-RPA-ABB “who have committed crimes punishable under the Revised Penal Code and special penal laws, specifically those committed crimes in pursuit of their political beliefs, whether punishable under the Revised Penal Code or special penal laws.”

Under Proclamation No. 404, amnesty is granted to former members of the CPP/NPA/NDF or their front organizations that have committed crimes punishable under the RPC and Special Penal laws in furtherance of their political beliefs.

These crimes include, but are not limited to, 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; and inciting to sedition.

The offenses also include 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.

Proclamation 405 and Proclamation 406 grants amnesty to members of the MILF and MNLF who have committed crimes punishable under the RPC and Special Penal Laws to advance their political beliefs.

The Palace said that MILF and MNLF members who had been detained, charged, or convicted for such acts or omissions “may file an application for amnesty; provided that the crime for which amnesty may be granted must have been committed prior to the issuance of the Proclamation.”

Malacañang, however, said for the members of the RPMP-RPA-ABB and the CPP-NPA-NDF, the amnesty does not cover those who have committed the following crimes: kidnap for ransom, massacre, rape, terrorism, crimes committed against chastity as defined in the Revised Penal Code, crimes committed for personal ends, violation of Republic Act (RA) No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, grave violations of the Geneva Convention of 1949 and genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, torture, enforced disappearances and other gross violations of human rights.