Never in our history has our nation sought and demanded a ‘time of healing’ with much fervor and tenacity than we do today — healing from the health crisis which scarred our people; healing from the economic, social, and political distress that, by and large, spoiled our nation.
I rise before you today for a parallel cause: a chance to heal the open wounds brought by our endless battle for peace and unification; an opportune time to embrace back into society those who went beyond the folds of our laws in furtherance of their political beliefs and aspirations.
Just by merely asking that the Abu Sayyaf be granted amnesty smacks of bad faith and scheming tactic on the part of Misuari. He is surely aware that we do not negotiate with terrorists. There is not even a shred of political ideology in every ASG member, only their insatiability for violence against helpless victims and of course, money.
While the AFP is in a relentless pursuit of a nearly decimated band of terrorists, here comes Misuari having the audacity to suggest amnesty. To think of our soldiers as well as their kidnap victims being tortured, mutilated and beheaded would be enough to make even the most decent human being think of retribution and vengeance.
The government should seriously consider asking the court that suspended Misuari’s warrant of arrest to immediately reinstate the same and put him in jail.
If the government can grant amnesty to political prisoners as part of goodwill efforts for peace talks with communist rebels, why not extend this to policemen and soldiers involved in anti-insurgency operations as well?
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson raised this question at a budget hearing Tuesday, where Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, the chief government peace negotiator with communist rebels, was in attendance.