FLAG asks gov’t to ensure justice to victims of landmine explosion

Published June 9, 2021, 1:37 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

Keith Absalon

The government has been asked to ensure that those behind the June 6 Masbate landmine explosion that killed two persons be brought to justice.

“Heartbreaking to see the lives of young Filipinos cut short because of senseless violence,” the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) said through its Chairman Jose Manuel “Chel” I. Diokno.

Referred to in the FLAG statement were the deaths of Keith Absalon, 21, a football varsity player of the Far Eastern University (FEU), and his cousin, Nolven Absalon, 40. Nolven’s son, 16 years old, sustained injuries due to the explosion.

“These landmines, allegedly detonated by the NPA (New People’s Army), violate International Humanitarian Law,” Diokno pointed out.

“Sana agad mapanagot ang may sala dito (I hope those behind this incident will be brought to justice),” he said.

The two victims were allegedly riding bicycles when the landmine was detonated.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) had announced that it will conduct its own separate investigation over the incident.

“The CHR strongly condemns this act. The use of anti-personnel landmine is a violation of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL). Not only do they cause exceptionally severe injuries, suffering, and death, anti-personnel landmines also fail to distinguish between civilians and combatants, such as what happened in this case,” CHR Spokesperson Jacqueline Ann de Guia said in a statement.