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Government Panel Recommends Amnesty for Killers of U.S. Colonel

December 28, 1992

MANILA, Philippines (AP) _ A government commission has recommended giving amnesty to two Communist rebels convicted in the assassination of an American colonel, a commission member said Monday.

The United States has asked that no amnesty be granted to the killers of Col. James ″Nick″ Rowe, a counterinsurgency expert and Vietnam War hero who was ambushed in April 1989 in suburban Quezon City.

Donato Continente and Juanito Itaas were sentenced to double life sentences for the assassination.

Assistant Prosecutor Nilo Mariano, a member of a commission studying pardons as part of a program to end the guerrilla war, recommended amnesty to Justice Secretary Franklin Drilon and said he expected it to be approved.

The rebel New People’s Army said it killed Rowe because he was secretly aiding the government’s counterinsurgency campaign.

Continente and Itaas were among 23 rebels recommended for amnesty, Mariano said.

Continente was accused of being a member of a team that shadowed Rowe, Itaas of being a triggerman.

Washington has asked that the killers of 11 other Americans slain by the rebels since 1974 be denied amnesty.

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