By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) said insurgents of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Negros who have heinous criminal records will not receive amnesty.
Lt. Colonel J-jay Javines, 3ID spokesperson, said amnesty will not be given to rebels who are facing heinous crimes, such as murder, rape and drug offenses.
He said the eligibility for amnesty depends on the program provisions, determining which Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs) can avail.
The program primarily targets CTGs and those involved in political cases.
Furthermore, insurgents who have illegally possessed anti-personnel mines are not covered in the government’s amnesty program.
Javines said that the best option for NPA insurgents is to still surrender.
He is urging the remaining insurgents in Negros to surrender, adding that they will receive assistance from the government.
At least 236 NPA members have been neutralized in Western Visayas, of which, 134 were from Negros Occidental.
The NPA has suffered heavy setbacks in the past months, as government forces targeted their leadership.
In November, President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. granted amnesty for former insurgents, including the NPA.
Under Proclamation No. 404, amnesty will be given to former members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA-National Democratic Front or their front organizations who have committed crimes punishable under the Revised Penal Code and Special Penal laws in furtherance of their political beliefs.
Amnesty is granted to rebels who commit crimes, whether punishable under the Revised Penal Code 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.
The clause “crimes committed in pursuit of a political belief” shall include, but not be limited to, acts and omissions performed or undertaken as part of a plan; program of action or strategy decided by the rebel leadership to overthrow and replace the national government; any of its political subdivisions; or duly constituted authority, with or without the use of arms.
Other offenses include sedition, conspiracy to commit and incite to sedition; illegal assembly; illegal association; direct and 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./DGB, WDJ