From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 9): Amnesty for detained rebels up with President Duterte --OPAPP
Philippine Government panel member Angela Librado-Trinidad said they have already submitted a draft amnesty proclamation to the Office of the President a week before leaving for the second round of the peace talks which began here on Thursday, Oct. 6.
This is consistent with the GRP panel’s commitment to immediately recommend to the President a draft of an Amnesty Proclamation covering those listed by the National Democratic Front (NDF), the final list of which was received on Sept. 15, 2016.
“We have in our possession a stamped receipt of our endorsement letter together with the draft proclamation. It was received by the Office of the Executive Secretary,” Librado disclosed during Thursday’s opening session of the resumption of the talks under the Duterte government.
Covered by the draft proclamation are 434 detained leaders and alleged members of the NDF and its political party and army – the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA).
The NDF earlier also included in the list 81 detained rebels who it wanted already released based on humanitarian grounds.
The draft proclamation will also include NDF consultants who were already released on bail and are now participating in the peace negotiations.
During the opening session of the second round of talks here, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said they understand fully the concerns raised by the NDF panel over the continued detention of their members and activists. He, however, explained that the amnesty has to go through the process, which includes review of the draft proclamation and concurrence of Congress “when the president has already signed it.”
Government panel chief negotiator Silvestre Bello III said the release of the detained rebels would just be a matter of time.
“I see no reason why we cannot do it the way we are accelerating the peace process,” he added.
The draft proclamation now under review at the presidential palace covers only the updated list of detained rebels submitted on Sept. 15 by now NDF chief negotiator Fidel Agcaoili.
“We have the draft proclamation received by Malacanang on Sept. 27,” Librado-Trinidad said.
The lone woman member of the government peace panel also said that aside from the amnesty, the government is reconstituting the Presidential Committee on Bail, Recognizance, and Pardon (PCBREP) to facilitate the immediate release of prisoners on humanitarian grounds.
This is in compliance with the commitment of the GRP panel to recommend to the President the immediate release of these prisoners.
"The guidelines have already been signed by the Secretaries of the three departments (Departments of Justice, Defense, and Interior and Local Government) and is on its way to the Office of the President for review and signing," she said.