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No Amnesty for the Abu Sayyaf kidnappers.
Ryuji23 | July 16, 2009 at 06:20 amby
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But the decision to grant amnesty to Abu Sayyaf members would be up to President Gloria Arroyo, the military said. In a press briefing, Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Romeo Brawner, Jr. said that the military was not the “proper authority” to decide if the Islamic extremists should be granted amnesty.
“The AFP is not the authority to decide whether amnesty will be given to them or not. But as to the reaction of the AFP, it may be immaterial because whatever the commander in chief says then we will have to follow,” Brawner said. Brawner warned there was a possibility of “resistance” among soldiers, especially those who have fought the extremists in the battlefield, if the group would be granted reprieve.
Malacañang on Thursday declared that the government would not grant amnesty to the Abu Sayyaf, saying leniency could not be granted to “brutal criminals.''
“I have been authorized by the Executive Secretary to advise you that there will be no amnesty granted to the Abu Sayyaf Group,'” deputy presidential spokesman Anthony Golez said in a briefing.
The decision, he said, was consistent with the government's position that “such leniency should be extended only to those accused of political offenses, not common criminals especially as brutal as the Abu Sayyaf.”
“Amnesty is given only to those who are fighting for political causes but we believe that the Abu Sayyaf are terrorists and they are not supposed to be given amnesty,” Major General Juancho Sabban told reporters at Camp Navarro in Zamboanga City, on the sidelines of the turnover ceremonies for the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) leadership.
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