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Candidates for amnesty face tight scrutiny — DOJ

THE National Prosecution Service will take inventory of cases including those undergoing court trial involving suspected rebels who are qualified for President Duterte’s amnesty program.

“Persons who may be eligible for amnesty shall be carefully screened and evaluated by the amnesty commission to determine if they actually qualify for amnesty which, incidentally, requires the concurrence of Congress,” Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said in a message.

“The amnesty commission will still determine the rules. But the most fundamental criterion is whether or not the offense committed by the subject individual was in pursuit of a political objective,” he continued.

Recently, President Duterte granted general amnesty to members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggawa ng Pilipinas/Revolutionary Proletarian Army/Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPM-P/RPA/ABB).

The Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), however, was conspicuously not among the groups qualified for amnesty.

Under Proclamation 1091 to 1094, Duterte extinguished the criminal liabilities and restored the political and civil rights of the members of the four groups.

“Amnesty under the proclamation shall 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 a private person whose right to be indemnified is fully recognized herein,” the proclamation read.

“The grant of amnesty shall also effect the restoration of civil and political rights suspended or lost by virtue of criminal conviction,” Duterte said in the proclamation.