Reds tagged in roadside blast that killed FEU football player in Masbate, PNP launches pursuit ops

Published June 7, 2021, 3:10 PM

by Aaron Recuenco 

Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar ordered on Monday, June 7, an aggressive pursuit operation against the suspected communist rebels who were tagged in a roadside bombing that killed a football player of the Far Eastern University and his cousin in Masbate City.

Keith Absalon, 21, and his 40-year old cousin Nolven Absalon were biking in Barangay Anas when an improvised explosive device believed to be planted by local communist rebels went off and killed them instantly. The incident also inflicted injury on their companion.

Absalon also played for the Philippine football team in 2018 and became the Most Valuable Player for junior football of the University Athletics Association of the Philippines (UAAP) in 2019.

“Again, lives were lost because of the hostile acts of this communist terrorist group. We condemn this senseless attack and we extend our deepest condolences to the family,” said Eleazar.

Local police investigators said the IED could be intended for policemen and soldiers but went off when Absalon and two others passed by the area.

Eleazar tasked the local police to enhance visibility in the area to ensure the safety of residents.

“I am directing all police personnel, particularly in NPA-infested areas, to be on high alert and undertake target hardening measures for possible future attacks by these communist terrorists. I am also directing the local police to coordinate with the military and launch manhunt operations against the suspects,” said Eleazar.