House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez on Sunday assured the swift adoption of four concurrent resolutions granting amnesty to members of four rebel groups in support of President Rodrigo Duterte and the country’s peace and stability.
Romualdez, Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and House Minority Leader and Abang Lingkod party-list Rep. Joseph Stephen Paduano, filed the resolutions to jointly refer them to the House committees on justice and national defense.
House Concurrent Resolutions 12, 13, 14 and 15, respectively, backed the grant of amnesty to the members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Moro National Liberation Front, Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Pilipinas/Revolutionary Proletarian Army/Alex Boncayao Brigade and the Communist Terrorist Groups.
“We are one with President Rody Duterte’s efforts to attain peace and reconciliation in the country. We recognize this crucial need to accept the request of former combatants for amnesty so we could further stabilize our country and move towards healing, reconciliation and reintegration,” Romualdez said.
“We commit that the House of Representatives, under the leadership of Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, will work towards the timely adoption of these amnesty resolutions in line with the government’s peace program.”
Romualdez is the chairperson of the House committee on rules.
On Feb. 5, the President issued Proclamations 1090, 1091, 1092 and 1093 granting amnesty to the members of the MILF, MNLF, MILF, RPMP-RPA-ABB and CTG who have committed crimes under the Revised Penal Code or special penal laws in pursuit of their political beliefs.
“At a difficult time like this, promoting an atmosphere conducive to the attainment of a just, comprehensive and enduring equanimity is a must as the government also works toward improving basic social services and progress,” Romualdez said.
The amnesty granted under the proclamations would not cover 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 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.
Under the proclamations, the clause “crimes committed in pursuit of a political belief” shall include, but shall not be limited to, “acts and omissions 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,” Romualdez said.
Once both Houses of Congress concur with the proclamations, an Amnesty Commission will be created to review the applications.
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