A FORMER legislator from Davao Oriental has urged the House of Representatives to postpone the adoption of resolutions granting amnesty to rebels in the aftermath of the bombing at Mindanao State University (MSU) in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur.
Mayo Almario, the former representative of Davao Oriental Second District, emphasized the need to wait for the results of investigations into the December 3 attack before proceeding with the approval of four House resolutions supporting President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.'s amnesty proclamations.
Proclamation Nos. 403, 404, 405, and 406, issued on November 22, grant amnesty under Section 19, Article VII of the 1989 Constitution, with the concurrence of Congress.
The amnesty is intended for members of various rebel groups, including the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Pilipinas-Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPMP-RPA-ABB), the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF), the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).
On Monday, December 5, the House resolutions passed the joint hearing of the Committees on Justice and National Defense and Security.
The House resolutions, having passed the joint hearing of the Committees on Justice and National Defense and Security on December 5, are now set for Plenary consideration.
Almario, however, urged a delay in the process until those responsible for the MSU bombing are apprehended.
Acknowledging Marcos' intentions for peace and reconciliation through amnesty, Almario, who previously chaired the House Committee in Mindanao Affairs, said that the proclamations were issued before the Marawi City blast.
"I appeal to the Members of the 19th Congress to think of the MSU bombing victims and their families. Let’s wait for the results of the investigations to make sure that the perpetrators do not belong to any one of these groups. Sa gayon, mapapanagot natin sa batas ang salarin at hindi magamit ang sinseridad ni Pangulong Bongbong Marcos sa pagbibigay daan sa kapayapaan ng bansa (This way, we can hold the wrongdoers accountable under the law and avoid exploiting President Bongbong Marcos' sincerity in facilitating the country's peace)," Almario said.
He highlighted the military's sacrifices during the Duterte administration and argued that rushing the resolutions would disregard the efforts of soldiers risking their lives on the battlefront.
“Adopting the House Concurrent Resolutions prematurely is akin to disregarding the sacrifices of our soldiers whose lives are at stake in the battlefront,” Almario said.
Vice President Sara Duterte, speaking during the 5th anniversary of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac) on Monday, also voiced her opposition to granting amnesty to rebels, describing it as an "agreement with the devil." RGL