BARMM welcomes Senate nod to grant amnesty to MILF members

The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) welcomed the Senate’s decision that favored the granting of amnesty by President Rodrigo Duterte to members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), an official of the regional government said Tuesday.

“Under the Constitution, the power of the President to issue an amnesty will require the concurrence of the Congress, and because we have a provision under the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) for such purpose, the national government complied to that in a form of a proclamation granting an amnesty,” lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, BARMM’s interior minister and concurrent regional spokesperson, said in an interview by reporters here.

In its session Monday, all of the 18 senators present voted “yes” to adopt House Concurrent Resolution 12, which is in concurrence with Presidential Proclamation 1090, series of 2021, granting amnesty to the MILF members.

Sinarimbo described the amnesty as a very significant milestone, especially for the members of the MILF.

“Everyone knows that majority of the MILF members who fought against the government have incidentally committed violations to the law in pursuit of their political beliefs,” he said.

“Since the national government recognized the legitimacy of their cause, we have this amnesty,” Sinarimbo added.

Section 4 of Proclamation 1090 states that the amnesty “shall extinguish any criminal liability for acts committed in pursuit of political beliefs, without prejudice to the grantee’s civil liability for injuries or damages caused to private persons whose right to be indemnified is fully recognized therein. The grant of amnesty shall also effect the restoration of civil or political rights suspended or lost by virtue of criminal conviction.”

However, Sinarimbo stressed that the amnesty excludes MILF members’ personal offenses.

“The amnesty will not cover personal offenses of individuals that have nothing to do with their political pursuit as recognized by law. Amnesty will only cover those legitimate offenses like possession of firearms which is a natural consequence,” he said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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