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PIA Press Release

Proclamation 1377 grants amnesty to communist rebels

By Minerva BC Newman

Cebu, Philippines (9 September) -- Bohol Governor Erico Aumentado in the recent Local Peace and Security Assembly in Tagbilaran City had endorsed three major policy proposals to eradicate insurgency and sustain peace in the country. One of those was the granting of a general amnesty to the communist rebels that are operating in the various provinces in the country.

As if on cue, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed recently Proclamation 1377 which grants amnesty to all communist rebels in the country including the members of the CPP-NPA-NDF that will apply under oath with the National Committee on Social Integration (NCSI) and the Provincial or City Peace and Order Council Amnesty Centers (P/CPOC-ACS) within six (6) months from the effectivity of the proclamation.

According to Aumentado, "based on our local experiences, consultations and contacts with rebel leaders, many of them are already willing to return to normal lives," and only a general amnesty can make those wishes come true.

Proclamation 1377 shall grant amnesty to any member of the CPP-NPA-NDF and other communist rebel groups in the country that committed the crime of rebellion and all other acts or omission in pursuit of their political belief as defined under Section 2 of the proclamation and other laws.

Those who applied for amnesty under the previous proclamations but were not considered due to lack of material time having been filed outside of the prescribed period for filing, may apply under this proclamation while those who have already been granted amnesty under previous proclamations are no longer qualified under Proclamation 1377.

The grant of amnesty to any communist rebel restores the grantee's civil and political rights that were lost or suspended due to the conviction for crimes covered under the proclamation.

The filing of an application does not immediately result in a grant of amnesty. Applicants are processed first and deliberated upon by the National Committee on Social Integration that will issue the corresponding Certificate of Amnesty if applicants are qualified.

Those that have been detained may also apply for amnesty and a Safe Conduct Pass will be issued by the P/CPOC Amnesty Center to provide applicants immunity from warrant-less arrests for offenses covered under this proclamation.

Amnesty under Proclamation 1377 shall erase any criminal liability for acts committed in pursuit of political beliefs, without prejudice to the grantee's civil liability for injuries or damages caused to private persons.

Not covered by the proposed amnesty are crimes against chastity, rape, torture, kidnapping for ransom, use and trafficking of illegal drugs and other crimes for personal ends and violations of international law or convention and protocols, even if alleged to have been committed in pursuit of political beliefs.

According to Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, certified copies of the proclamation have been transmitted to the Senate and the House of Representatives for concurrence in accordance with the Constitution. (PIA-7) [top]

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