Gov’t eyes amnesty for communist rebels | Inquirer News

Gov’t eyes amnesty for communist rebels

By: - Reporter / @dexcabalzaINQ
/ 05:42 AM July 16, 2022

Clarita Carlos


The controversial National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac), notorious for Red-tagging and making public accusations without proof, is adapting a new tack under the Marcos administration.

Instead of worsening the rifts it was mandated to heal, the task force’s vice chair, National Security Adviser Clarita Carlos, said the task force would recommend that President Marcos, who chairs the task force, approve an offer of amnesty to members of the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (CPP-NPA-NDFP).


“Under the administration of President Marcos, the NTF-Elcac’s efforts to ensure peace and development for all Filipinos will continue,” Carlos said after the task force held its first executive committee meeting on Friday.


Details not yet final

“The task force strongly recommends the need for offering an amnesty to prevent the resurgence of the communist terrorist group, especially in geographically challenged, isolated and disadvantaged areas,” Carlos said, reading from a joint statement after the meeting.

The task force consists of representatives of 18 civil and security agencies, plus two from the private sector, and was handed a budget of P17.1 billion for 2022.Details of the amnesty, including who will be covered by it, were not yet finalized, Carlos said, and it needs to be approved by the President, who may issue a proclamation for the purpose.

The task force, however, was not inclined to renew national-level peace talks, although the President can resume peace negotiations with the communist rebels, Carlos said.

‘Localized’ peace talks

“Based on our assessment of the more than 50 years of our negotiation with the CPP, we have attained no significant successes with national peace talks,” said presidential peace adviser Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., a former military chief.

But the government, Galvez said, would continue with “localized” peace talks, where local chief executives and local peace and order councils are empowered to address the problem of local terrorism “because they know best the solution.”

The government began talking peace with communist rebels in 1986 when then President Corazon Aquino freed all political prisoners, including CPP founder Jose Ma. Sison, who later resumed leadership of the insurgency from the Netherlands.


All of Aquino’s successors—except for former President Joseph Estrada—actively tried to resume peace talks, but only former President Fidel Ramos managed to wangle one of four envisioned peace pacts with the communists.

Ironically, Estrada was the one who signed the pact, called Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, but he canceled the agreement only months after signing it and declared an all-out war against communist and Moro insurgents in 2000.

In his own bid to forge a peace agreement, former President Rodrigo Duterte declared himself a socialist and appointed leftist personalities in his administration, but he later called off peace talks after insurgent attacks on government troops during a truce.

Last year, Duterte signed Proclamations No. 1090, 1091 and 1092 granting amnesty to members of the communist movement, Moro National Liberation Front, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and a breakaway group of the CPP-NPA.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

He also signed Proclamation No. 1093, giving amnesty to former communist rebels charged under the Revised Penal Code and special penal laws, but excluded those already proscribed or charged under the Human Security Act of 2007.


© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.