MANILA – There will be no ceasefire and the fight against insurgency continues amid the amnesty granted to rebels by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson said on Saturday.
Col. Medel Aguilar said the AFP will continue to conduct security protocols to ensure the safety of communities, especially in areas still under the influence of terrorist groups.
“While we are offering this opportunity for them to return the fold of the law, we will continue to exert pressure. We will continue to conduct security patrols. Kasi iyong encounter po, nangyayari naman ito dahil sila ay na andiyan at lumalaban (The encounters happen because they fight back),” Aguilar said at the Saturday News Forum in Quezon City.
Aguilar said the government conducts community support programs, not just to drive away communist groups, but also to look after the well-being of residents.
“Because if there are issues that are left unanswered or unresolved, these are very issues that the CPP-NPA-NDF are exploiting to agitate our communities against the government,” he said.
Medel said the government has been advocating for a peaceful resolution with rebels for more than five decades.
One program that is offered to rebel returnees is the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP), which provides financial and livelihood assistance to include their families as they return to mainstream society.
“Lahat naman ng ito is para maging mapayapa ang ating bansa (All these are for the country’s peace),” he said.
Medel said the amnesty will remove the obstacle that is preventing insurgents who are charged with criminal cases, mostly rebellion charges or related.
“We know that if we will be able to win back more 400 personalities facing the charges, plus their supporters, this will be a big win in our effort to achieving peace in our country,” he said.
Amnesty is granted to rebels who committed crimes whether punishable under the Revised Penal Code (RPC) 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; and inciting to rebellion or insurrection.
Other offenses include sedition; conspiracy to commit sedition; and inciting to sedition; 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; and alarms and scandals.
Also covered are 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; and 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 proclamations shall not cover kidnap for ransom, massacre, rape, terrorism, crimes committed against chastity as defined in the RPC, crimes committed for personal ends, violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, grave violations of the Geneva Convention of 1949, genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, torture, enforced disappearances, and other gross violations of human rights.
The Geneva Conventions and their additional protocols are international treaties that protect those who do not take part in the fighting (such as civilians, medics and aid workers) and those who can no longer fight (wounded, sick and shipwrecked troops, prisoners of war).
Covered by the amnesty are NPA rebels and members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Moro National Liberation Front and Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Pilipinas/Revolutionary Proletarian Army/Alex Boncayao Brigade. (Ferdinand Patinio/PNA)