Swift hearing on revised amnesty proclamation seen-A A +A
Sunday, December 5, 2010
THE Senate expected a fast concurrence on the amended amnesty proclamation, granting reprieve to more than 300 rebel soldiers that participated in foiled military uprisings during the preceding administration.
Senator Teofisto Guingona III, chairman of the Senate Committee on Peace, Unification, and Reconciliation, said Sunday that Proclamation 75 will sail smoothly through the Senate.
"I expect a swift and smooth approval of the proclamation both at the committee level and in plenary," he told Sun.Star.
Guingona's committee approved Proclamation 50, the original amnesty decree, after a short hearing last October 18.
A committee report was ready for approval on the Senate floor when the House committee on justice suggested amendments to the original proclamation.
The amended decree arrived at the Senate last November 25, bringing back its discussions to square one.
Proclamation 75 specified that only Magdalo members who joined in the Oakwood Mutiny, the Marines Stand-off and the Manila Peninsula Siege are eligible for amnesty.
It also allowed enlisted men with the rank of technical sergeant and senior police officer 3 below to return to the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police, respectively.
It also tasked the Department of National Defense on the creation of an ad hoc committee to process applications for amnesty.
The new proclamation however did not address the objection of Senator Joker Arroyo, requiring Magdalo members to admit their guilt before being eligible for amnesty.
The Palace however said admission of guilt is implied when a rebel soldier applies for the grant.
Senators will resume hearings on proclamation for Magdalo soldiers today, Monday.
Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. and National Security Adviser Cesar Garcia were invited as resource speakers.
Also expected at the hearing are former general Danilo Lim and retired colonel Ariel Querubin, both of whom are members of the Magdalo group.(Jonathan de Santos/Sunnex)