Amnesty for rebels, implementing anti-terror law 'go hand in hand'

DOJ: Rebel amnesty, anti-terror law enforcement ‘go hand in hand’

/ 12:40 PM January 11, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — The granting of amnesty for several rebel groups and the full implementation of the anti-terrorism law could both be enforced without legal impediments, Department of Justice spokesperson Jose Dominic Clavano said on Thursday.

Clavano made the clarification during the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict’s (NTF-Elcac) press briefing as the full implementation of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) of 2020 begins Jan. 15 amid President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s amnesty grant to communist rebels and other insurgent groups announced in November 2023.

READ: Rules set by Supreme Court on anti-terrorism law to take effect Jan. 15


“I think the two are mutually exclusive,” Clavano said of the government’s amnesty towards the rebels and the full implementation of ATA.


“These two can go on simultaneously,” he added.

However, Clavano noted that the full effect of the ATA may affect the “status” of certain groups obtaining amnesty, but he did not further elaborate.

“In my opinion, it may affect the status of a certain group that is going to be granted amnesty, if ever,” Clavano said.

READ: NTF-Elcac lauds Bongbong Marcos’ amnesty proclamations

James Clifford Santos, associate solicitor of the Office of the Solicitor General and spokesperson for the NTF-Elcac’s legal cooperation cluster, echoed Clavano’s pronouncements.

“The proclamation of amnesty and the full implementation of ATA are different animals,” Santos said. “They can go simultaneously hand in hand without legal problems.”


Santos noted that Marcos’ amnesty only tackles “political crimes” and not “heinous crimes” like terrorism.

“When we talk about the amnesty, we talk about the obliteration of the crimes. Under our jurisprudence, amnesty looks backward and obliterates political offenses,” Santos said.

“Take note, and as far as I can remember, the recent proclamation by the President does not cover particular crimes [like] heinous crimes. and, of course, that includes — with further checking — terrorism,” he pointed out.

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.

READ: Who’s the terrorist?

TAGS: Amnesty, anti-terror bill, DoJ

© 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.