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MOVING FORWARD TO UNITY, PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT


March 14, 2024



The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) today celebrates the unanimous concurrence of both Houses of Congress, most recently from our Senators, in advancing President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s amnesty program for remnants of rebel groups in the country, particularly the communist terrorist groups (CTGs).


We are ready to implement the President's amnesty program in collaboration with relevant government agencies. We deeply appreciate the efforts of our Senators and Congressmen for their unwavering support of the President’s quest for genuine and lasting peace in our country.


With the vibrant leadership of the President, let’s move forward towards inclusive unity, peace and development. Let ‘Bagong Pilipinas’ make a difference in our lives.


On November 22, 2023, the President signed Executive Order (EO) No. 47. This order amends EO 125 from 2021, updating the National Amnesty Commission's (NAC) functions to include processing applications for amnesty under the new proclamations.


The establishment of the NAC, as outlined in the President's EO, is crucial. The Commission's duty to review amnesty applications under Proclamation Nos. 403, 404, 405, and 406 guarantees a just and transparent procedure.


Furthermore, Pres. Marcos Jr. issued Proclamation No. 404, granting amnesty to former Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) members for politically motivated crimes punishable under the Revised Penal Code (RPC) and Special Penal laws.

On November 29, 2023, House Concurrent Resolutions Nos. 19, 20, 21, and 22 were introduced by House Speaker Martin Romualdez and other House leaders in support of President Marcos Jr.’s amnesty proclamations for various rebel groups.


While amnesty provides a chance for redemption, it does not exempt individuals from accountability for grave offenses. We must reinforce our dedication to upholding the rule of law, ensuring accountability for past actions, and adhere to the principles of Bagong Pilipinas.


The Proclamation excludes crimes such as kidnap for ransom, massacre, rape, terrorism, crimes against chastity as defined in the Revised Penal Code, crimes committed for personal gain, violation of Republic Act (RA) No. 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, grave violations of the Geneva Convention of 1949, and genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, torture, enforced disappearances, and other gross violations of human rights.


It's essential that all stakeholders in peacebuilding—including religious leaders, marginalized groups, and civil society organizations—are included in these inclusive initiatives. To establish unity, peace, and development, all sectors of society must cooperate and participate.


We must also continue dialogues and engagements to address the root causes of the conflict. Our Local Peace Engagement (LPE) actively involving local government units (LGUs) down to the barangays have been very successful. Sustainable peace can only be achieved by addressing social ills and fostering social justice and equality.


The NTF ELCAC embraces this comprehensive approach to amnesty, which aligns with our commitment to building an inclusive and peaceful society, as envisioned in Bagong Pilipinas. By resolving the issues affecting the former rebels and providing them a path towards reconciliation, we facilitate the achievement of lasting peace and inclusive development for all Filipinos.


UNDERSECRETARY ERNESTO TORRES JR.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR



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