Saturday Jun, 15 2024 07:29:37 PM

OPAPRU: IRR of amnesty grant to fast-track ex-rebels' integration

Mindanao Peace Process • 19:30 PM Wed May 15, 2024
Priam Nepomuceno
Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. (File photo)

MANILA – The release of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of amnesty proclamations issued by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. would fast-track the integration of former rebels into mainstream society, Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said Wednesday.

“With the issuance of the IRR, former rebels who have turned away from armed struggle and laid down their arms will be able to complete their normalization and transition to mainstream society as peaceful, productive, and law-abiding citizens,” he said.

This came as Galvez lauded the National Amnesty Commission (NAC) for releasing the IRR for Amnesty Proclamation Nos. 403, 404, 405, and 406 issued by the Chief Executive that was officially adopted last March 14.

Under the IRR, amnesty is defined as an "act of the sovereign power that abolishes criminal liability for past political offenses, overlooks, and obliterates the offense for which persons are charged and/or convicted, and allows these persons to stand before the law as though no offense has been committed."

The granting of amnesty extinguishes any criminal liability for the acts subject to the amnesty grant, and restores all civil and political rights suspended or lost by virtue of criminal conviction.

Months after his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) last year, Marcos issued Proclamation Nos. 403, 404, 405, and 406, series of 2023, which grants amnesty to members of the Rebolusyunaryong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Pilipinas / Revolutionary Proletarian Army / Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPMP-RPA-ABB), former members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) and their front organizations, members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), and members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), respectively.

Congress concurred with all four resolutions, paving the way for the crafting and issuance of the IRR.

Galvez said former rebels could be fully transformed following the grant of amnesty.

“Without amnesty, we cannot have a full transformation to former rebels. Transformation is the central part in the implementation of the peace agreement,” he said.

He emphasized that the granting of amnesty “is a realization of the commitments made by the national government under the comprehensive Philippine peace process and will pave the way for their full transformation into agents of peace and development.”

“Through this IRR, the Marcos Administration is sending a clear and strong message that the national government is sincere and committed to help these former rebels, as well as their families, to walk the path of peace,” Galvez said.

According to the NAC, individuals seeking amnesty must file their applications with any Local Amnesty Board (LAB), where they will have to undergo initial eligibility assessments.

The LAB will then forward its recommendations to the NAC, which will further review the amnesty applications and provide its recommendations to the President for final approval.

In cases where applicants are facing arrest warrants and want to personally submit their applications to the LAB, they can request from the board in advance a provisional safe conduct pass.

Meanwhile, individuals currently being held in detention facilities will receive assistance from supervisory officers within their detention centers to facilitate their applications.

Applicants residing abroad may apply for amnesty through the Philippine consulate in their current country of residence.

According to the NAC, the window for amnesty applications “spans two years from the effective dates of the Proclamations: March 4, 2024, for members of the RPMP-RPA-ABB, MILF, and MNLF, and March 13, 2024, for former members associated with the CPP-NPA-NDF and their front organizations.” 

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