Senator Alan Peter Cayetano is seeking peaceful solutions as the Senate prepares to examine amnesty for rebel groups and the delayed decommissioning process of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
This as the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, Peace, Unification and Reconciliation headed by Senator Jinggoy Estrada addresses resolutions on granting amnesty to members of Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa Ng Pilipinas (RPM-P), Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP-NPA), MILF, and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), as well as the delays on the conduct of the decommissioning of the MILF forces and weapons on February 6, 2024.
In November of 2023, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. issued four proclamations granting amnesty to members of the RPMP-RPA-ABB, CPP-NPA-NDF, MILF, and MNLF.
The inclusion of the MNLF and MILF in the amnesty proclamations, despite the existence of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), is crucial for the full implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro’s (CAB) normalization track which aims to reintegrate their members into society and provide them access to the government’s socio-economic services.
Cayetano, known for his staunch stance on matters of national security and peace-building efforts, has been vocal about the need for comprehensive discussions and decisive action regarding rebel groups’ integration into mainstream society.
“Those who have chosen a parliamentary rather than an armed struggle are always welcome and are part of a healthy dialogue with the government,” he said in an interview in 2017.
With a strict vetting process and safeguards against abuse, Cayetano is hopeful that granting amnesty to members of rebel groups will foster sustainable peace, a goal he has consistently advocated for.
“From every single country in Southeast Asia despite our differences in religion, in race, in language, we have found a way to live together at peace… Living in peace also means prosperity,” he said.