Members of the Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM) led by Sen. Gregorio Honasan, sought amnesty and back pay during their meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday, Malacañang said.
During a press conference on Thursday, Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella said the RAM members “expressed support and offered help to the President.”
“They likewise asked the President for amnesty so that they can receive their back pay as well as livelihood opportunities for the RAM members,” Abella told reporters.
Asked if Duterte plans to grant their amnesty request, Abella said there is no final decision yet.
“I believe the President viewed it positively. I don’t know the exact action he will take but the fact that he met with them shows he is quite open to their requests,” he said.
During the Palace press briefing, Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman Restituto Padilla Jr. said that RAM members likely requested amnesty to get gratuities and benefits necessary due to their “advanced age.”
“So being of advanced age, of course, many of them will have health requirements health and will need support for their medicines,” Padilla said.
Aside from Honasan, present were RAM officers namely: retired captains Felix Turingan and Glen Agudo; retired Navy Commodore Rex Robles; retired colonels Marcelino Malajacan Jr., Hernando Caraig and James Joven; retired police director Victor Batac; and Jegie Pereda.
Honasan was one of the “EDSA heroes” and leaders of RAM which broke away from the Marcos dictatorship. He also joined two failed coup attempts, in August 1987 and December 1989, against the Corazon Aquino administration that he helped to install.