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DSWD lauds PBBM’s amnesty proclamation

Amnesty proclamation

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Friday (November 24) lauded Malacanang’s granting of amnesty to both active and former rebels belonging to various ideologies and political persuasions as this is another step forward in attaining peace and development.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., through a series of proclamations, has granted amnesty to former New People’s Army rebels and members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Pilipinas/Revolutionary Proletarian Army/Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPMP-RPA-ABB).

DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian said the President’s amnesty policy will generate real reconciliation, foster healing, unity and further deepen the trust and confidence needed in the national agenda to let the economy grow while nurturing peace as a key step to development.

“The President’s policy granting amnesty to former rebels and ex-combatants is a bold step towards genuine peace needed to boost existing economic development plans, programs and activities,” the DSWD chief said.

“The amnesty program will further drive investments, jobs, and open up more economic opportunities for our people particularly those in geographically isolated and conflict-affected areas which have great potential for tourism and various industries,” Secretary Gatchalian pointed out.

Secretary Gatchalian reiterated that the DSWD stands ready and prepared to render assistance to former rebels who will come out and come down to seek amnesty, pursue peace and draw their future as well as the future of their children through the provision of the agency’s peace and development programs.

President Marcos issued Proclamations 403, 404, 405, and 406 on November 22 for the granting of the amnesty to rebels and insurgents to encourage them to return to the fold of the law, as part of the administration’s comprehensive peace initiatives.

Under Proclamation 403, the President granted amnesty to the 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.

The chief executive also issued Proclamation 404 granting amnesty to the former members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) or their front organizations who have committed crimes punishable under the Revised Penal Code and Special Penal laws in furtherance of their political beliefs.

President Marcos also issued Proclamations 405 and 406, granting amnesty to the members of the MILF and MNLF, respectively, who have committed crimes punishable under the Revised Penal Code and Special Penal Laws to advance their political beliefs.

Amnesty is granted to rebels who committed crimes whether punishable under the Revised Penal Code or special penal laws, including but not limited to rebellion or insurrection; conspiracy and proposal to commit rebellion or insurrection; disloyalty of public officers or employees; and inciting to rebellion or insurrection.

The proclamations, however, shall not cover 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) 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, grave violations of the Geneva Convention of 1949, genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, torture, enforced disappearances, and other gross violations of human rights.

Any rebel who has committed any act or omission in pursuit of political belief, including those detained, charged, or convicted for such acts or omissions, may file an application for amnesty, provided that the crime for which it may be granted must have been committed prior to the issuance of the proclamations.

A person who has already been granted amnesty under previous amnesty proclamations will no longer qualify to apply.

An applicant must admit guilt of the offense for which he is criminally liable and turn over whatever firearms, weapons, and/or explosives in his possession upon application for amnesty.

The filing of an application shall not ipso facto (by the fact itself) result in a grant of amnesty, according to the proclamations.

“Applicants who are found qualified, upon due deliberation of the commission created for this purpose and approved by the President, shall be issued the corresponding Certificate of Amnesty,” the proclamations read.

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