Tell it to SunStar: Amnesty program to encourage more rebels to surrender

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I am delighted that the House of Representatives supports Proclamation 1093, granting amnesty for former rebels who belong to the Communist Terrorist Groups (CTG) who have committed crimes punishable under the Revised Penal Code and Special Penal Laws in furtherance of their political beliefs.

The violence perpetrated by the CTG over five decades that hinders peace and development is unforgivable and don’t deserve an amnesty and they should be held accountable for their acts. But as far as peace and development are concerned, why not?

Our desire for peace is the reason the amnesty program is necessary and desirable and it does not mean rewarding the perpetrators for their crimes, but a step toward the rebuilding of peace and reconciliation and to help former rebels return to civilian life to have a chance at a different and better future.

This is a good news and a further progress by the government and a timely measure needed to end this “protracted” armed conflict in the country. It will also complement the services provided to rebel returnees through the Balik-Loob Program, the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

The Amnesty program of the government will serve as an encouragement for CTG to lay down their arms without fear of prosecution for crimes they committed in the fight against the government.

Positively, it will be passed by the Senate shortly for its full implementation and we hope that this will be a success and will surely open the door to a lasting peace.