- 434 rebels may be granted amnesty by the Duterte administration
- Jose Ma. Sison, communist leader said that there will be no ceasefire if political prisoners aren’t given amnesty
- After Duterte signs it, majority of Congress will be needed before the amnesty shall take effect
PH rebels may have a reason to rejoice soon if the President will sign the draft granting them amnesty. The draft has already been submitted to Malacañang, the contents of which shall grant 434 political prisoners a much-coveted amnesty.
This was the statement made by the member of a government panel currently engaged in peace talks with communist rebels.
Jose Ma. Sison, the infamous communist leader, said that the grant of amnesty to the more than 434 political prisoners will be a prerequisite to the planned joint bilateral ceasefire. The same will be required to suspend hostilities.
The basis of the said amnesty proclamation was a list submitted by the NDFP on September 15.
Peace negotiator for the government said that it will just be a matter of time before these political prisoners will be released.
Jesus Dureza, the presidential adviser on the peace process also was enthusiastic about it yet reiterated the existence of certain government processes involved before the rebels can be granted amnesty.
Section 19, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution states that the President can grant amnesty with the concurrence of majority of Congress. This means that the President cannot unilaterally grant amnesty if the majority of Congress does not concur.
Jose Ma. Sison said that plans for a bilateral ceasefire between the government and the rebels will not push through until all political prisoners are set free.
So far, 21 consultants of the rebel group have been released. This made Sison very happy; however, when no additional prisoners were released, he again expressed dismay.
According to Sison, the bilateral talks will continue but the signing will come only if the amnesty will be granted.
“The amnesty and release of all political prisoners is a good incentive for the signing of a joint and bilateral ceasefire agreement,” said the communist leader.