House okays amnesty for rebel soldiers-A A +A
Monday, December 13, 2010
THE House of Representatives on Monday concurred with the proclamation of President Benigno Aquino III, granting amnesty to rebel soldiers.
Of the 280 lawmakers, 213 voted "Yes", seven voted "No", while two abstained from the polling.
Proclamation No. 75 seeks to grant reprieve to rebel soldiers involved in the Oakwood Mutiny, the Marines Stand-off and the Manila Peninsula incident.
Those who voted against the concurrence were Representatives Dato Arroyo (Camarines Sur), Iggy Arroyo (Negros Occidental), Jose Aquino III (Agusan del Norte), Pastor Alcover (Anad party-list), Orlando Fua (Siquijor), Marc Cagas IV (Davao del Sur), and Imelda Dimaporo (Lanao del Norte).
The two lawmakers who abstained were Representatives Jose Maria Zubiri III (Bukidnon) and Mohammed Hussein Pacasum Pangandaman (Lanao del Sur).
The concurrence of the House of Representatives and the Senate are needed before the proclamation will be effective.
With a lone dissenting vote and an abstention, the Senate passed a resolution concurring with the amnesty proclamation last week.
The new decree that superseded Proclamation No. 50 also included members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) who participated in the uprisings.
The minority party made major recommendations to Aquino with respect to the implementation of the amnesty proclamation including the admission of guilt.
“No applicant must be granted amnesty without his admitting his guilt or criminal culpability in writing as expressed in his application,” said Minority Leader Edcel Lagman.
The decree stated that the final decision of the Department of National Defense (DND) shall be appealable to the Office of the President. The decision, however, shall be immediately executory even if appealed.
Justice committee chair Niel Tupas, Jr. (Iloilo) meanwhile said the list containing the names of the grantees, which included Senator Gringo Honasan II and some members of the New People’s Army, has no effect on the proclamation since the amnesty should still be applied for.
Tupas said 340 members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and two personnel of the PNP are set to benefit from the amnesty. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)