Measures granting amnesty to ex-rebels reach Senate plenary

Measures granting amnesty to ex-rebels reach Senate plenary

/ 09:55 PM February 21, 2024

Senator Jinggoy Estrada on Wednesday sponsored four measures seeking to grant amnesty to former members of insurgent groups.

Senator Jinggoy Estrada in a file photo taken in January 2024. Senate PRIB

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Jinggoy Estrada on Wednesday sponsored four measures seeking to grant amnesty to former members of insurgent groups.

Estrada, who also chairs the Senate committee on national defense and security, peace, unification and reconciliation, stood to sponsor House Concurrent Resolution Nos. 19, 20, 21, 22 under Committee Reports No. 200, 201, 202, and 203 during Wednesday’s plenary session.


The said measures seek to grant amnesty to:

  1. The members of the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Pilipinas/Revolutionary Proletarian Army/Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPMP-RPA-ABB);
  2. The former members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF);
  3. The members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF); and
  4. The members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF)

According to Estrada, amnesty has been “judiciously wielded” as an instrument of healing and to express sincerity and commitment of the national government towards the completion of the implementation of peace agreements.

“[T]he amnesty is granted to rebels who have committed crimes in pursuit of their political beliefs, including but not limited to the following: rebellion or insurrection; sedition; illegal assembly; direct and indirect assault; resistance and disobedience to a person in authority; illegal possession of firearms, ammunition or explosives, provided that these crimes or offense[s] were committed in furtherance of, incident to, or in connection with the crimes of rebellion or insurrection, among others,” said Estrada.

“The amnesty shall extinguish any criminal liability of former rebels for acts committed in pursuit of political beliefs. It shall also restore civil and political rights suspended or lost by virtue of criminal conviction,” he added.

He, however, noted that these do not seek to grant amnesty to “those who have already been proscribed or those charged under the Human Security Act of 2007 and the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.”

“Ngunit hindi po basta ipinagkakaloob ang amnestiya. Ginoong Pangulo, sasailalim po sa proseso ng aplikasyon ang mga nagnanais makatanggap nito,” Estrada emphasized.

(But amnesty is not just granted easily. Mr. President, those who wish to receive it will undergo an application process.)


Estrada likewise pointed out that amnesty granted shall not cover kidnap for ransom, massacre, rape, terrorism, crimes committed against chastity, crimes committed for personal ends, violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, grave violations of the Geneva Convention of 1949, as well as genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, torture, enforced disappearances, and other gross violations of human rights.

In the end, he pointed out that these grants will help transform and rebuild the lives of former rebels and help them gain access to government’s socio-economic services.

“Bagong buhay at bagong pag-asa para sa mga dating rebolusyonaryo at itinuturing na kalaban ng pamahalaan ang hatid ng pag-apruba ng Mataas na Kapulungan sa isinusulong nating amnesty program. Isang mahalagang hakbang din ito upang wakasan ang karahasan at maraming taon ng labanan sa pagitan ng kapwa natin Pilipino,” he concluded.

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(New life and new hope for former revolutionaries who are considered enemies of the government is brought by the approval of the amnesty program we are promoting. This is also an important step to end the violence and many years of conflict between our fellow Filipinos.)

TAGS: Amnesty, Jinggoy Estrada, rebels

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