Maj. Gen. Marion Sison, commander of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, is fully supportive of President Marcos Jr. in providing amnesty to qualified former rebels.
“That is one of the best moves next to Executive Order 70 because this is where we can see the sincerity of the government that despite the atrocities committed by the FRs, for the sake of peace, we will absolve them of their offenses,” Sison said in an interview Tuesday.
He was reacting to the President’s second State of the Nation Address on Monday where the Chief Executive said he will issue a proclamation granting amnesty to former rebels.
Former President Duterte had signed EO 70 in December 2018 creating the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict that employs a whole-of-nation approach to end communism and institute peace-building initiatives.
Sison said an amnesty would further strengthen the government’s efforts to end the communist insurgency and would entice the remaining rebels to return to the fold of the law.
“At the same time, they would no longer be thinking of repercussions such as facing court cases or imprisonment so this is a good move of the President to give amnesty to the communist terrorists and even to secessionist groups,” he explained.
One of the reasons why members of the communist New People’s Army are hesitant to surrender, he added, is that they are afraid of the repercussions, such as having a standing warrant of arrest for their atrocities.
The Army official, however, said he believes there will be conditions and determining factors set for the amnesty after consultations with the government security forces, such as the type of offenses committed and the victims of these atrocities.
The 3ID covers the Western and Central Visayas regions which continue to face the communist insurgency problem. (Judy F. Partlow/PNA)