HOUSE Majority Leader and Leyte 1st District Rep. Martin G. Romualdez on Wednesday said the House of Representatives’ adoption of four concurrent resolutions granting amnesty to members of four rebel groups will move closer to the full implementation of President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte’s program of reintegrating them to civilian life.
Romualdez, chairman of the House committee on rules, said the adoption is expected to enhance the Duterte administration’s reconciliation and peace building efforts by welcoming rebels who will lay down their arms and return to the fold of the law.
“The House of Representatives adopted today a series of concurrent resolutions granting amnesty to four rebel groups in the Philippines as our way of showing support and putting flesh to President Rodrigo Duterte’s aspiration to restore peace and stability in our homeland,” Romualdez said, stressing that Speaker Lord Allan Velasco ordered the immediate passage of the four concurrent resolutions granting amnesty to rebel groups in support of President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte’s peace and stability program.
Velasco, Romualdez and House Minority Leader and Abang Lingkod party-list Rep. Joseph Stephen Paduano are the principal authors of
House Concurrent Resolution Nos. 12, 13, 14 and 15 respectively support the grant of amnesty to members of the Moro Islamic Liberation
Front (MILF), Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Pilipinas/Revolutionary Proletarian Army/Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPMP-RPA-ABB), and the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG).
”With the adoption of House Concurrent Resolution Nos. 12, 13, 14 and 15, we inch closer to the full implementation of President Duterte’s Proclamation Nos. 1090, 1091, 1092, and 1093 granting amnesty to members of the MILF, MNLF, RPMP-RPA-ABB, and CTG who have committed crimes under the Revised Penal Code (RPC) or special penal laws in pursuit of their political beliefs,” Romualdez explained.
“I now appeal to our brothers and sisters who are eligible to avail of this amnesty offer. It is high time to abandon the armed struggle and take advantage of the amnesty program offered by the President,” Romualdez said.
“Returning to the fold of law does not mean giving up your ideals. What you have fought for will be achieved under the amnesty program being implemented by the government. A home in your own parcel of land. Free education for your children. A stable job to feed your family,” Romualdez explained.
“But what is the most important benefit of this amnesty program? Filipinos can now enjoy the company of family of friends, in the comfort of their own home and communities, without fear of being caught in the crossfire between government and rebel forces. A long and lasting peace. One that is based on justice and prosperity,” Romualdez pointed out.
Last February 5, 2021, President Duterte issued Proclamation Nos. 1090, 1091, 1092, and 1093 granting amnesty to members of the MILF, MNLF, MILF, RPMP-RPA-ABB, and CTG who have committed crimes under the Revised Penal Code (RPC) or special penal laws in pursuit of their political beliefs.
Under Section 19, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution, it allows the President to grant amnesty with the concurrence of a majority of all the Members of the Congress.
The grant of amnesty will extinguish any criminal liability for acts committed in pursuit of political beliefs, without prejudice to the grantee’s civil liability for injuries or damages caused to private persons whose right to be indemnified is fully recognized herein.
It will also restore the grantee’s civil or political rights suspended or lost by virtue of criminal conviction.
“Take note though that the amnesty does nor cover common crimes such as kidnap for ransom, massacre, rape, terrorism and other crimes committed against chastity as defined in the RPC as amended; crimes committed for personal ends; violation of RA No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Act of 2002; grave violations of the Geneva Convention of 1949; 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 gross
violations of human rights,” Romualdez said.
Under the Proclamations, the clause “crimes committed in pursuit of a political belief” shall include, but shall not be limited to, “acts and Commissions performed or undertaken as part of a plan, program of action or strategy decided by the rebel leadership to overthrow and replace the National Government, any of its political subdivisions, or duly constituted authority, with or without the use of arms.”
Once both Houses of Congress concur with the Proclamations, an Amnesty Commission will be created to review the applications.
Members of the said groups may file their application with the Commission within one year from the effectivity of the Proclamation.