Duterte warned vs amnesty for Reds
Newly-elected Sen. Panfilo Lacson and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV on Wednesday cautioned presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte over his offer to grant amnesty to all political prisoners to jump start peace negotiations with communist rebels under his administration.
While saying that “every peace process especially with a five-decade-old insurgency problem should start with good faith and goodwill,” Lacson underscored the need to consider the amnesty proposal “with guarded optimism.”
Lacson, a former chief of the Philippine National Police, said there might be some legal nuances to consider as he cited the fact that “most of the cases involving the political prisoners are pending with the different courts and therefore, under the jurisdiction of a coequal branch of government which is the judiciary.”
“Assuming that we set that aside, a question might arise on how the cases involving soldiers and policemen allegedly committed in relation to their anti-insurgency operations will be treated,” he said.
Lacson hoped these issues were being considered by Duterte’s advisers.
Trillanes also underscored the need for the incoming Duterte administration to be “very prudent and very deliberate” in its approach even if he agreed there was “reason to be hopeful that the proposals to give the Communist Party of the Philippines at least four cabinet positions and amnesty to political prisoners would lead to the end of the decades old insurgency.”
“Do we really believe that Joma Sison will truly give up his communist aspirations? Would the political detainees to be given amnesty, like the Tiamsons, be swearing an oath of allegiance to our government and permanently lay down their arms?” the senator asked.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.