Romualdez calls on communist rebels to ‘abandon path of violence’ | Inquirer News

Romualdez calls on communist rebels to ‘abandon path of violence’

/ 04:35 AM December 19, 2023

House Speaker Martin Romualdez

House Speaker Martin Romualdez (File photo from the Facebook page of the House of Representatives)

MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez called on communist rebels to “abandon the path of violence” and return to the fold of the law as he expressed his sympathies to the family of a soldier killed in a clash with the New People’s Army (NPA) in Batangas.

The clash on Sunday in the town of Balayan of the province also resulted in the death of six suspected NPA members and the injury of three Army personnel.


In a statement on Sunday night, Romualdez said that the loss of the soldier who “bravely gave his life in the line of duty” was a “profound reminder of the sacrifices our armed forces make to ensure our nation’s security.”


Full government support would be given to the wounded Armed Forces of the Philippines personnel and their families, he promised.

Maj. Gen. Roberto Capulong, commander of the Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry Division covering Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon), stressed in a statement on Sunday that while they lost a soldier in the encounter, “this will not deter our resolve to continue our sworn duty in ensuring the safety and security of our communities against these terrorist groups, especially this Yuletide season.”

He called on the remaining NPA rebels “to give peace a chance, surrender and embrace the government’s peace programs so that they can be with their families and loved ones this Christmas.”

For Romualdez, the incident “underscores the ongoing challenges we face in achieving lasting peace and stability. In this light, I earnestly appeal to the insurgents to consider the broader implications of their actions on our country and its people.”

He assured that the government would facilitate a “peaceful reintegration into society for those who choose this path.”


On Dec. 12, the House of Representatives adopted House Concurrent Resolutions (HCR) 19, 20, 21, and 22, which concurred with President Ferdinand Marcos’ grant of amnesty for members of various rebel groups, including the NPA.


Romualdez had previously vowed that the four HCRs would be adopted before Congress goes into its Christmas break so that “rebels who sincerely desire to return to the fold of the law and lead normal lives, along with the members of their family, and our nation in general, could enjoy the blessings of peace as soon as possible.”

“The timely adoption of these concurrent resolutions is attuned with the spirit of hope, peace, and joy that the Christmas season brings,” said Romualdez.

Amnesty proclamations 403, 404, 405, and 406 cover members of the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa sa Pilipinas/Revolutionary Proletarian Army/Alex Boncayao Brigade; the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA-National Democratic Front of the Philippines; the Moro Islamic Liberation Front; and the Moro National Liberation Front.

It will take effect upon the concurrence of a majority of members of the House and Senate.

The amnesty grant would not include persons charged with violation of Republic Act No. 9372 or the Human Security Act of 2007 and RA 11479 or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, as well as those charged with kidnapping, massacre, rape, and other crimes against humanity.

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Applications for amnesty would be processed by the Amnesty Commission within two years from the effectivity of the proclamations.

TAGS: amnesty for rebels, communist insurgency, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Martin Romualdez

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