November 27, 2023
MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) has voiced its support for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s move to grant amnesty to former communist and secessionist rebels.
Malacañang announced on Friday that Marcos has issued Proclamations 403, 404, 405, and 406, granting amnesty to former members of rebel groups in the country.
“We firmly believe that amnesty initiatives for former members of such groups, within the bounds of the legal framework, prioritize public safety and contribute significantly to fostering peace and stability in our nation,” PNP Public Information Officer Col. Jean Fajardo said in a statement on Saturday.
Fajardo emphasized that this initiative is a significant step towards reintegrating rebels back into the fold of the law.
“The Philippine National Police stands firmly behind efforts that promote lawful reintegration, urging individuals to participate in processes of reconciliation and rehabilitation,” the statement read.
The National Security Council likewise issued a statement backing Marcos’ amnesty proclamations.
“We recognize these proclamations as significant steps towards national healing and peacebuilding. By providing a path for former rebels to return to the fold of the law, the national amnesty program contributes to the overall stability and unity of our nation,” National Security Adviser Eduardo Año said in a statement.
The security council stressed that being granted amnesty will give rebels a chance to reintegrate into society and give them access to the socio-economic services of the government.
For his part, AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Romeo Brawner expressed the AFP’s support for the President’s amnesty proclamations.
“Granting amnesty brings closure to hostilities and is in line with the government’s call for peace, unity and reconciliation, and push forward lasting amity among Filipinos,” Gen. Brawner said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro said that the DND will work closely with the National Amnesty Commission (NAC) for the full implementation of President Marcos’ amnesty proclamations.
But Teodoro emphasized that they will still be on the lookout against insurgency and terrorism.
“We remain alert against any form of extremism and terrorism because worldwide, the iterations, the modifications, the number of extremist potential is still there,” the DND Secretary said in a statement on Friday.
Proclamations 403, 404, 405, and 406, granted amnesty to several groups: the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Pilipinas-Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPM-RPA-ABB), a breakaway faction from the communist movement; the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-New People’s Army (NPA)-National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP); the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF); and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).
The amnesty provided does not extend to offenses like terrorism, kidnap-for-ransom, massacre, rape, crimes against chastity, drug-related charges, torture, serious breaches of the Geneva Convention of 1949, genocide, and war crimes.
In a statement on Friday, the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said that Marcos’ amnesty proclamations were part of the government’s “comprehensive peace initiatives” involving the country’s major rebel groups.