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February 8, 2017 Leave a comment Go to comments

Ronald Roy — Feb. 9, 2017

“Rebellion” is an armed uprising by the people to overthrow the government. It is therefore considered a “political” crime because its purpose is one: to collapse a government that has not satisfactorily responded to the basic needs of the sovereign people, and two: to institute those reforms needed to serve best the poor’s welfare. Theoretically, rebellion’s vision is noble and patriotic. However, let’s cautiously note the other theory that its principal quest is for power…sheer power.

Thus, rebellion is generously treated by the State with relative leniency, the maximum penalty therefor being only ten years in prison (reclusion temporal), compared to some nonpolitical crimes that are meted the maximum sentence of death (now life, or reclusion perpetua) , as in the case of premeditated murder. Executive clemency in the form of amnesty comes by only in the case of rebellion and other political felonies like sedition.

Of all the crimes, incidentally, among the gravest in my opinion is the political felony of treason. Treason is committed when, during a war with a foreign country, a person gives aid or comfort to the enemy country, such as in the form of money, food or information vital to military operations.

Treason is so serious that the law punishes a mere refusal or failure to report that treason is being plotted or has been committed. The refusal or failure here is the crime called “misprision of treason”. Let’s all be advised then not to freely use the words “treason”, “treasonous” and “treasonable”; we have first to be at war with a foreign country.

Heroes and heels
In rebellion, lest I forget, it is pertinent to note the fact that: if a rebellion succeeds, the rebels are hailed as heroes, otherwise they are thrown in the slammer as common criminals.

To elucidate further by way of illustration: if, in furtherance of a rebellion the felony of, say, arson, is committed, only one crime of rebellion is committed despite the numerous deaths that may have resulted from the fire or fires. It is stressed that all the wrongs committed by rebels are presumed to be in furtherance of their noble purpose. Otherwise, they will be treated as nonpolitical offenses that generally draw heavier penalties.

Our discussion will not suffice without pointing out a disturbing question about political and common crimes. If, for instance, the political crime of “conspiracy to commit rebellion” is punishable under the law, why shouldn’t a connivance to commit, say, a nonpolitical murder be likewise punishable when the latter crime is a graver offense?

Example: If a rebel kills a governor in furtherance of rebellion, he commits rebellion. But if he kills the governor out of jealousy, he commits murder.

Further talks cancelled
Our treatise here finds relevance to the burning issue of whether peace talks should be resumed after PDu30 had verbally cancelled the same when, during an earlier agreed ceasefire, the Reds’ armed wing, the Nationalist New People’s Army, ambushed and killed some soldiers in Bukidnon and Sorsogon.

It naturally irked Digong that, despite these sorry incidents, the Communist negotiators would still demand that he release all their 400 comrades from jail, hence, his cancellation of further peace negotiations along with an order for all of them and their consultants from the National Democratic Front of the Philippines to surrender or face arrest. As of this writing, one such consultant has been arrested.

President Rody correctly didn’t yield to their demand, his rationale being that: when without provocation NPA rebels killed soldiers during the ceasefire, they violated the ceasefire agreement, thereby placing themselves in estoppel to deny that they had committed not rebellion but ordinary murder of the soldiers, hence, their rightful return to jail.

Poverty, rebellion’s root cause
Peace is as elusive as poverty is endemic. If the government’s feeble fight against poverty over the past 50 years is any indication, there is a gnawing trepidation that Digong’s commitment to crush the scourge of poverty will not succeed during his term or even beyond.

As we look ahead, we must therefore guard against the ever-present danger of released prisoners regrouping in order to re-ignite their rebellion. Translation: Assuming that Digong’s peace talks are resumed and peace is restored…for how long will its restoration last? Answer: Insurgency will not end if the tide of poverty is not stemmed, and the President’s all-out war against the NPA will not necessarily end our search for peace.

Meanwhile, the people led by religious leaders are feverishly praying for the resumption of these talks. Although denied peace over the past fifty years, hope must spring eternal to banish the thought that we are a dismal failure as a people.

Verily, only God can save us!

09186449517 ronald8roy@yahoo.com
musingsbyroy.wordpress.com @ronald8roy


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