AFP welcomes P-Noy amnesty grant

October 13, 2010 7:16 am 

MANILA, Oct. 12 — The Armed Forces of the Philippines on Tuesday said it was respecting the proclamation of President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino, the military’s commander-in-chief, granting amnesty to military officers and men who figured in at least three attempts to overthrow the previous administration.

AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta said the President was certain for the attainment of peace in the country in issuing Proclamation No. 50 that granted amnesty which will be subject to concurrence by Congress.

“We respect the decision coming from the commander-in chief and we are certain that whatever is the intent, it is basically geared towards a lasting peace throughout the country,” Mabanta told a press briefing in Camp Aguinaldo.

“At this point, we can only say that military adventurism may be a thing of the past. This development is certainly welcomed, starting from our chief of staff, general Ricardo David, down to our lowest foot soldier in field,” added Mabanta.

Mabanta said the military endorsed the grant of amnesty for the suspected coup plotters during consultations.

He also downplayed speculations that the grant of amnesty may invite future adventurism, adding that the detention of the officers for a number of years is a harsh punishment.

“We feel at this point in that we have to move on. We can say that most of the this military personnel have already given their time in detention so the decision is to give them amnesty and the whole armed forces will readily respect what has been ordered to us by the commander-in- chief,” added Mabanta.

Among those who stands to benefit from the amnesty are now Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, a leader of the short-lived Oakwood mutiny in July 2003; and former Scout Ranger chief Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim who led the failed plot to overthrow the Arroyo government in February 2006.

“We're grateful to President Benigno C. Aquino for having recognized the sacrifices of our soldiers. We will always be proud of what we did for taking a stand, for freedom and for peace. A soldier must always be ready at all times to fight and defend his country, even if the oppressor is the government itself,” said Lim.

“A soldier who takes his sworn duties seriously shall fight all forms of oppression to protect and serve the nation. We shall continue to find ways to undertake new initiatives that embody the motto: for God and country. Through all the challenges, I remain the same man who stood for what is true, for what is just and for what is right, the same man who has worked every day to fulfill his vow to protect the Filipino people and to bring the enemy to justice or bring justice to the enemy,” added Lim.(PNA) V3/VR

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