A communist leader last week said the government’s P500-million ($12.15-million at an exchange rate of $1:P41.14 as of Dec. 14) amnesty fund supposedly to be released before the year ends will only be a source of corruption.
BY ACE ALEGRE
Contributed to Bulatlat
Vol. VII, No. 45, December 16-22, 2007
A communist leader last week said the government’s P500-million ($12.15-million at an exchange rate of $1:P41.14 as of Dec. 14) amnesty fund which is supposedly to be released before the year ends will only be a source of corruption.
Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal, spokesman of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), in a statement released to news organization said, “Malacañang amnesty proclamation will be another milking cow,” insisting that the amnesty “as a gimmick will only provide government officials with another opportunity to line up their pockets.”
Rosal said he suspects the P500-million fund is “only the initial tab for an P8 billion ($194.46 million) total amnesty fund being eyed.”
The Chairman of the House Committee on Justice Rep. Mat Defensor claimed that the government has estimated the total amnesty bill to amount to P8 billion as they are thinking of offering a P200,000-400,000 ($4,861.45-9,722.90) grant for every surrenderee.
”The security and defense officials of Malacañang and top AFP echelon will be the foremost beneficiaries of this amnesty proclamation as they will be the ones managing and disbursing the funds,” Rosal said.
Previous amnesty programs have all been ridden through and through with corruption, including the Balik-Baril (return the guns) and Rebel Returnee program of the previous and current regimes, the CPP spokesman added.
Rosal claimed that at least 90 percent of supposed “rebel returnees” (in the past) have been fakes, “and the funds supposedly given to them simply ended up in the pockets of those who made the fabrications and facilitated the release of the funds.”
Such amnesty program, Rosal further said, “will only further worsen military abuses in the countryside,” resulting to “an intensified campaign of suppression against peasant communities in order to force them to attend fake surrender rites,” is being anticipated.
Rosal said they will ignore the amnesty proclamation and vowed to continue fighting the government. Contributed to Bulatlat