House approves amnesty proclamation

VOTING 213 in favor and seven against with two abstentions, the House
of Representatives today passed House Concurrent Resolution No. 8
concurring with Presidential Proclamation No. 75 granting amnesty to
active and former personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and
the Philippine National Police and their supporters.

“House members today crossed party lines to give our concurrence to
the President’s amnesty proclamation.  We are hopeful that our action
will positively lead to national reconciliation and genuine peace,”
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte said.

The amnesty covers AFP and PNP personnel and their supporters who may
have committed crimes punishable under the Revised Penal Code, the
Articles of War and other laws in connection with the Oakwood mutiny,
the Marines stand-off and the Peninsula Manila Hotel incident.

Under the Proclamation, applications for the grant of amnesty shall be
filed under oath with the Department of National Defense within a
period of ninety (90) days following the date of the publication of
the Proclamation in two newspapers of general circulation.

If granted, “the amnesty shall extinguish any criminal liability for
acts committed in connection with, incident or related to the July 27,
2003 Oakwood Mutiny, the February 2006 Marines Stand-off and the
November 29, 2007 Peninsula Manila Hotel incident without prejudice to
the grantee’s civil liability for injuries or damages caused to
private persons, if any.”

The Proclamation allows AFP commissioned and non-commissioned officers
and PNP personnel to be reintegrated into the service.  However,
amnestied Commissioned and Non-Commissioned officers of the AFP with
the rank of Master Sergeant and personnel of the PNP with the rank of
at least Senior Police Officer 4 or higher will neither be
reintegrated nor reinstated.  They will instead be entitled to
retirement and separation benefits, if qualified under existing laws
and regulations, as of the time of their separation, unless they have
forfeited such retirement benefits for reasons other than the acts
covered by the Proclamation.

Covered personnel will however not be entitled to back pay during the
time they have been discharged or suspended from the service or were
unable to perform their military or police duties.

The Proclamation superceded Proclamation No. 50 which was earlier
recalled by Malacanang.

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