Published Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014 | 11:35 p.m.
Updated Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014 | 11:35 p.m.
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine government will grant amnesty to Muslim rebels facing rebellion-related charges or pardon convicted ones under a newly signed pact where the insurgents agreed to have their 11,000-strong force deactivated.
Presidential peace adviser Teresita Deles said Sunday that the planned amnesty, which will need congressional approval, would cover only fighters of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and exclude guerrillas who broke off from the main Moro group and continue to threaten attacks.
A pact signed by government and rebel negotiators in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Saturday says the granting of amnesty and pardon is aimed at facilitating "the healing of the wounds of conflict and the return to normal life."
The pact is the final component of a peace agreement expected to be formally signed in Manila soon.