THE Department of Justice (DOJ) has backed the decision of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to grant amnesty to members of various rebel and insurgent groups, but drew attention to the exceptions: those involved in heinous crimes such as terrorism.
The Justice department headed by Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla, in a statement, said Marcos Jr.’s move “will usher in a new era of peace and reconciliation in the Philippines” which the DOJ is committed to support.
“We affirm our commitment to the rule of law and understand the necessity of these measures in fostering peace and national reconciliation,” the DOJ said.
Last November 22, Malacañang issued Executive Order No. 47 signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, which amended EO No. 125 series of 2021 or the Creation of the National Amnesty Commission. E0 47 updates the functions of the National Amnesty Commission to pave the way for the processing of the applications for amnesty under Proclamation Nos. 403, 404, 405 and 406.
The proclamations granted amnesty to the members of Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Pilipinas/Revolutionary Proletarian Army/Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPMP-RPA-ABB); Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF); and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).
The Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) has designated the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization, including several of its underground groups .
The proclamations limit the amnesty grant to those who committed crimes in furtherance of their political beliefs in order to encourage them to reintegrate into society and contribute to the nation’s progress.
However, the DOJ stressed that the said proclamation does not extend to heinous crimes such as kidnap for ransom, massacre, rape, terrorism, and other gross violations of human rights.
“The DOJ will continue to enforce the law and ensure justice for the victims of heinous crimes,” the Justice department said.
The DOJ assured the public that its officials and prosecutors will ensure that the amnesty process is “fair, transparent, and respectful of the rights of all parties involved.”