The defense and security cluster of the Marcos administration and other entities have expressed their support for the amnesty proclamations issued by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. aimed at attaining lasting peace in the country through comprehensive peace initiatives.
Among those who voiced its support for the President’s amnesty initiative was the National Security Council (NSC) saying that the amnesty will create a climate conducive to peace and reconciliation, provide a pathway for former rebels to reintegrate into the society, and give them access to socio-economic services of the government.
“We recognize these proclamations as significant steps towards national healing and peacebuilding. By providing a path for former rebels to return to the fold of the law, the national amnesty program contributes to the overall stability and unity of our nation,” the NSC said in a statement, encouraging former rebels to seize the opportunity and avail of the government’s once-in-a-lifetime offer.
“We thank the President for his dedication and commitment to achieving lasting peace and look forward to the positive impact these amnesty measures will have on our society.”
The Department of National Defense (DND) also welcomed the President’s move to grant amnesty to eligible members of different rebels and insurgent groups who have committed crimes in pursuit of their political beliefs.
In a statement, Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro said that the DND is fully behind the government’s concerted efforts to advance reconciliation and healing from the armed conflict that have divided the nation for decades.
“The granting of amnesty offers an invaluable opportunity for our brothers and sisters to transform their lives, avail of government services, and rejoin their families and communities,” Teodoro said.
“The Department hopes for the support of all Filipinos in this endeavor and we shall work closely with the NAC for the full implementation of these proclamations aimed at rebuilding lives and nurturing lasting peace for all.”
Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez also backed the President’s amnesty proclamations, saying that it is a significant step towards the full transformation of both active and former members of the New People’s Army, Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Pilipinas/Revolutionary Proletarian Army/Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPMP-RPA-ABB) into productive and peace-loving citizens.
“The amnesty program will allow them to transition into peaceful and productive civilian life through the restoration of their social and political rights, which will provide them greater participation and engagement with the broader community,” Galvez said in his message.
The National Amnesty Commission (NAC), headed by its chairperson Atty. Leah Tanodra-Armamento, welcomed the President’s issuance of Executive Order (EO) No. 47, amending EO 125, and the proclamations granting amnesty to communist rebels and Muslim separatists.
“These proclamations by PBBM ay isang masayang Pamaskong handog para sa bayan. Napapanahon na napirmahan ito sa pagsalubong natin sa Bagong Taon. Sasalubungin ng NAC ang mga hamon ng bagong mandato nito na matatag at puno ng pag-asa para sa pagkakaisa at kapayapaan ng bayan,” Tanodra-Armamento said.
She said that the Commission commits to speed up the processing of application of those who are in detention and the elderly so they may enjoy the luxury of freedom and become a partner of the government in bringing the needed reforms in their community.
In a separate statement, AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Romeo Brawner expressed the AFP’s support for the President’s amnesty proclamations, saying that it will bring closure to hostilities, foster unity and reconciliation, and pave the way for lasting amity among Filipinos.
“The AFP is confident that the administration’s grant of amnesty will promote an atmosphere conducive to the attainment of a just, comprehensive and enduring equanimity as we collectively address other pressing challenges to our country,” he said.
The Joint Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict for Western Visayas also threw its support for the President’s amnesty proclamation, saying that the Proclamations, coupled with the issuance of EO No. 47, is instrumental in realizing the aspiration of every Filipino for a just and lasting peace.
“The JRTF6-ELCAC manifests its steadfast commitment to attaining the noble goals of ending the more than five decades of civil strife and culture of violence by providing an opportunity to the members of the communist terrorist groups and the various Islamic secessionist movements to lay down their arms and to join the Filipino nation in healing the wounds brought by disunity and strife, and by becoming active participants in nation building,” said Prosecutor Flosemer Chris Gonzales, the spokesperson of the JRTF6-ELCAC.
“It is our hope and our dream that peace will be won by this generation so that those who shall come after us shall find a Philippines that is free from conflict, a nation that is united in faith, a people bound by a sense of pride in our history, a Filipino nation where the law reigns supreme, and where justice, equality, and freedom defines our way of life.”
The Bangsamoro government also showed similar support, warmly welcoming Proclamation Nos. 405 and 406, granting amnesty to the members of both the MILF and MILF, respectively.
“This development is a significant milestone in the achievement of meaningful and enduring peace in the Bangsamoro, as this will form part of former combatants’ full transformation towards being productive and peace-loving Filipino citizens,” the Bangsamoro government said in a statement.
“The Bangsamoro government and the Bangsamoro people express genuine gratitude to the Government of the Republic of the Philippines for showing unwavering commitment to the Bangsamoro peace process and all signed peace agreements with the advancement of these Amnesty Proclamations, which is consequential to the full implementation of the Normalization Track under the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro,” it added. *PND*