The government is looking at amnesty for communist rebels – The controversial National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac), notorious for Red-tagging and making public accusations without proof, is adapting a new tactic under the Marcos administration.
Instead of worsening the crack it is mandating to heal, task force vice chair National Security Adviser Clarita Carlos said the task force would recommend that President Marcos, who heads the task force, approve an amnesty offer. to members of the Communist Party. of the Philippines, New People’s Army and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (CPP-NPA-NDFP).
The government is looking at amnesty for communist rebels
“Under the administration of President Marcos, NTF-Elcac will continue its efforts to ensure peace and prosperity for all Filipinos,” Carlos said after the task force held its first executive committee meeting on Friday.
Details are not yet final
“The task force strongly recommends the need for offering amnesty to prevent the resurgence of the communist terrorist group, especially in geographically challenged, isolated and disadvantaged areas,” Carlos said, reading from a joint statement after the meeting.
The task force is comprised of representatives of 18 civil and security agencies, including two from the private sector, and has been given a budget of P17.1 billion for 2022. The details of the amnesty, including who it will cover, are not yet final, Carlos said, and it needs to be approved by the President, who can issue a proclamation for the purpose.
The task force, however, is not inclined to renew the national level of peace talks, although the President may continue peace talks with communist rebels, Carlos said.
‘Localized’ peace talks
“Based on our analysis of more than 50 years of our negotiations with the CPP, we have not achieved significant success in the national peace talks,” said presidential peace adviser Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., a former military chief.
But the government, Galvez said, will continue with “localized” peace talks, where local chief executives and local peace and order councils are empowered to address the problem of local terrorism “because they know the best solution. ”
The peace government began talks with the communist rebels in 1986 when President Corazon Aquino released all political prisoners, including CPP founder Jose Ma. Sison, who later went on to lead the insurgency from the Netherlands.
All of Aquino’s successors — except former President Joseph Estrada — have actively tried to continue the peace talks, but only former President Fidel Ramos has made one of the four conceivable peace agreements with the communists.
Ironically, Estrada signed the agreement, called the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, but he canceled the agreement just months after it was signed and declared an all-out war against the communists and Moro insurgents last year. 2000.
In his own desire to make a peace deal, former President Rodrigo Duterte declared himself a socialist and appointed leftist personalities to his administration, but he later halted the peace talks after the rebels attacked government troops during a ceasefire.
Last year, Duterte signed Proclamations No. 1090, 1091 and 1092 granting amnesty to members of the communist movement, Moro National Liberation Front, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and a breakaway group of the CPP-NPA.
He also signed Proclamation No. 1093, which provides amnesty to former communist rebels charged under the Revised Penal Code and special penal laws, but does not include those already banned or charged under the Human Security Act of 2007.