PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has issued an executive order granting amnesty to rebels and insurgents in a bid to encourage them to surrender and return to the folds of law, Malacañang announced Thursday, November 23, 2023.
Executive Order (EO) 47, signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin on November 22, 2023, amended Executive Order 125, series of 2021, or the Creation of the National Amnesty Commission (NAC).
Marcos, in a statement, said there is a need to amend and update the functions of NAC to cover the processing of the applications for amnesty under the new proclamations.
“There is hereby created the National Amnesty Commission, hereinafter referred to as the Commission, which shall be primarily tasked with receiving and processing applications for amnesty and determining whether the applicants are entitled to amnesty under Proclamation Nos. 403, 404, 405 and 406,” the EO read.
The commission created under EO 125 will continue to exist and will be dissolved upon completion of its mandate or as may be determined by the President, it added.
Under Proclamation 403, Marcos granted amnesty to the members of the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Pilipinas/Revolutionary Proletarian Army/Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPMP-RPA-ABB) who have committed crimes punishable under the Revised Penal Code and special penal laws, specifically those committed crimes in pursuit of their political beliefs, whether punishable under the Revised Penal Code or special penal laws.
The proclamation, however, will not cover kidnap for ransom, massacre, rape, terrorism, crimes committed against chastity as defined in the Revised Penal Code, crimes committed for personal ends, violation of Republic Act (RA) 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, grave violations of the Geneva Convention of 1949, and genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, torture, enforced disappearances, and other gross violations of human rights.
Marcos also issued Proclamation 404, granting amnesty to the former members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).
It stated that amnesty is granted to former CPP-NPA-NDF members, or their front organizations that committed crimes whether punishable under the Revised Penal Code or special penal laws, including but not limited to rebellion or insurrection; conspiracy and proposal to commit rebellion or insurrection; disloyalty of public officers or employees; inciting to rebellion or insurrection; sedition; conspiracy to commit sedition; and inciting to sedition.
Other offenses include illegal assembly; illegal association; direct assault; indirect assault; resistance and disobedience to a person in authority or the agents of such person; tumults and other disturbances of public order; unlawful use of means of publication and unlawful utterances; alarms and scandals; illegal possession of firearms, ammunition or explosives, provided that these crimes or offense were committed in furtherance of, incident to, or in connection with the crimes of rebellion or insurrection.
Also covered are those charged, detained or convicted of common crimes but who can establish by substantial evidence that they have actually committed said crimes in pursuit of political beliefs.
The amnesty granted under this proclamation will not cover kidnap for ransom, massacre, rape, terrorism, crimes committed against chastity as defined in the Revised Penal Code, violation of RA 9165, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, grave violations of the Geneva Convention of 1949, and genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, torture, enforced disappearances, and other gross violations of human rights.
Similarly, the President issued Proclamations 405 and 406, granting amnesty to the members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), respectively.
Any member of the MILF and MNLF who has committed any act or omission in pursuit of political belief, referred to in Section 1, including those detained, charged, or convicted for such acts or omissions, may file an application for amnesty; provided that the crime for which amnesty may be granted must have been committed prior to the issuance of the proclamation. (LMY/PR)