Lacson says amnesty for rebel groups key to national reconciliation

Senator Panfilo Lacson on Tuesday said he agrees that an amnesty for rebel groups would be key to a national reconciliation as the government pursues peace and order.

Lacson expressed his view on the issue as his the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, Peace, Unification and Reconciliation, which he chairs, heard the various measures from the House of Representatives concurring with presidential proclamations on the granting of amnesty to members of known rebel groups.

“It is of great weight that we hear the bills concurring with the grant of amnesty—especially in the foreground of over 7,500 prospective applicants who may be willing to return to the fold of the law and live in peace as members of our society,” Lacson said during the hearing.

“We understand by now that the attainment of lasting peace has been a long and arduous journey for both the government and our brethren who chose to pursue peace through revolt and opposition to the government,” he pointed out.

The Lower House has already concurred in the presidential proclamations on the granting of amnesty to members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Pilipinas/Revolutionary Proletarian Army/Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPMP-RPA-ABB) and the communist terrorist group.

Pursuant to the President’s Clemency Powers provided by the Constitution, Duterte issued Proclamation Nos. 1090, 1091, 1092, and 1093 to grant amnesty to members of the MILF, MNLF, RPM-P/RPA/ABB and the CTG , and also released Executive Order No. 125 for the Creation of the National Amnesty Commission.

The Senate, he said, should discuss and deliberate whether they should, likewise, give its concurrence to the said proclamations.

“Amnesty has always been a tool for national reconciliation, and an act of compassion,” Lacson stressed.