Speech of President Ramos at the Signing of the Bill repealing the Anti-Subversion Law

His Excellency Fidel V. Ramos
President of the Philippines
At the Signing of the Bill repealing the Anti-Subversion Law

[Released on September 2, 1992]

A peace with honor

TODAY’S repeal of the law outlawing the Communist Party and penalizing membership in it moves forward our efforts to attain enduring peace.

The historic significance of this new Republic Act is underlined by the fact that it is the very first law that the ninth Congress has passed and the first one which this President has approved.

Republic Act 1700 was passed 35 years age—when Communism seemed the wave of the future—by a Philippine State fearful of being submerged in its tide.

Today we repeal it—confident of our national stability and confirmed in the resilience of our democracy. By assuring Communist insurgents of political space, we also challenge them to compete under our constitutional system and free market of ideas—which are guaranteed by the rule of law.

An end to the killing

We are reaching out to Communist rebels without any illusions that the rest of the way will be easy.

Even so, we are willing to sit and dialogue with them in the hope that we can put an end to the killing and the suffering; and bring back to civil society the young men and women—the cadres of the movement—who are also its sacrificial victims.

It is to these young people that my heart goes out—as President, as commander in chief, as a veteran, as a parent.

To these young Filipinos I say: You have fought long enough. You have proved your courage. Now, take the peace we offer: a peace with honor and justice, a peace that will enable you to take hold of your life again and rejoin the mainstream of Philippine society in the rebuilding of the nation.

The root causes of rebellion

My Government is addressing the root causes of rebellion—and not just its symptoms. We are determined to reduce poverty, remedy injustice, remove ignorance and protect the law-abiding.

I see positive and meaningful roles for all concerned Filipinos in the good society we are all trying to build— for the CPP-NPA-NDF the kind of role that your former comrade Bernabe Buscayno, “Commander Dante,” has found for himself.

I thank most sincerely the Senate and House of Representatives for their responsive and expeditious action on this priority Administration bill. Indeed, our unified efforts to repeal R.A. 1700 as part of the Government’s comprehensive peace package augurs well for our common goal to establish the conditions necessary to make the Philippines a better place to live in and enable it to regain a respected and dignified place in the community of nations.

Source: Presidential Museum and Library

Ramos, F. V. (1993). To win the future : people empowerment for national development. [Manila] : Friends of Steady Eddie.