By Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
February 11, 2021
Within the first year of his presidency, Duterte was tested by the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations and was found faking his interest in any process to address the roots of the armed conflict with comprehensive agreements on basic social, economic and political reforms.
He failed to fulfil his promise to amnesty and release all political prisoners in order to propel the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations. Instead, he made only a token release of only 22 political prisoners, not on the basis of amnesty but on bailability in August 2016.
Now, he announces the formation of a National Amnesty Commission and offers amnesty on his unilateral terms that are humiliating to the beneficiaries. He does so after having done the following: complying with the US order to destroy the CPP and NPA by purely military means, terminating the peace negotiations, categorizing rebels as terrorists, forming the NTF-ELCAC and signing his law of state terrorism.
The offer of amnesty is another malicious and criminal trick of the fascist Duterte regime to entice the victims to a death trap. It is no different from previous tricks to make so many people appear as surrenderers under such psywar catch-phrases as “localized peace talks”, “E-CLIP”, “community support program” and “barangay development program”, which are blinding terms to cover the malversation of public funds.
These are all schemes of militarizing civilian agencies and functions and corrupting military officers with public money that they pocket privately in the name of causing the surrender or amnesty and rehabilitation of people who are mostly fake surrenderers.
Worst of all, those surrenderers are liable to be subsequently murdered because there are higher cash rewards for their murder by military officers. The military has copied the Oplan Tokhang method of having people listed up as surrenderers (or in Filipino English, “surrenderees”) and subsequently slaughtering them with total impunity and with open blessings of the tyrant Duterte.###
New National Amnesty Commission seen to aid peace efforts
President Duterte creates a commission to process applications for amnesty covering the MILF, MNLF, and communist rebels
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s creation of a National Amnesty Commission is expected to help usher in peace in Mindanao and areas experiencing armed communist conflict by encouraging rebels to lay down their arms, said Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr.
Duterte, through an executive order not yet released publicly, has created a 7-member amnesty commission in charge of processing amnesty applications in relation to amnesty proclamations.
The government offers amnesty to rebels who wish to give up their arms for civilian life. The granting of amnesty, for instance, is part of the Philippine government’s agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), who were formerly rebels seeking an autonomous region.
The MILF now lead the interim government of the new Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao but must still decommission a big chunk of its armed combatants, as part of the peace deal.
“The granting of amnesty sends a clear and strong message that the government undertands the root causes of the decades-long armed conflict in Mindanao, and is giving these former combatants the chance for a fresh start,” said Galvez in a statement on Wednesday, February 10.
“With the establishment of the National Amnesty Commission, these former rebels will be able to make the complete transition to peaceful, law-abiding and productive citizens,” he added.
Galvez Jr, who joined a failed coup against then President Corazon Aquino in 1989, underwent a similar process under the Ramos administration. (READ: Little-known fact: AFP chief Galvez got amnesty for 1989 failed coup)
Who gets amnesty?
The amnesty applications of the following groups are covered by the new commission, said Galvez:
Moro Islamic Liberation Front Moro National Liberation Front Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front Cordillera Bodong Administration-Cordillera People's Liberation Army Rebolusyonaryong Partidong Manggagawa ng Pilipinas/Revolutionary Proletarian Army/Alex Boncayao Brigade-Tabara Paduano Group or KAPATIRAN
Amnesty proclamations that require the concurrence of lawmakers have already been sent to Congress, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said on Monday.
Members of the amnesty commission
The commission will be composed of a chairperson, two regular members, and 4 ex-officio members.
The following Cabinet members are the ex-officio members:
Defense Secretary Justice Secretary Interior Secretary Presidential Peace Adviser
Past presidents have taken the same route to entice members of rebels groups to give up their armed struggle. (READ: Aquino, 5 other presidents delegated amnesty review to committees) – Rappler.com