The landmine attack by a unit of the New People’s Army (NPA) on Far Eastern University footballer Kieth Absalon and his cousin in Masbate City, killing both, was inhumane and a human rights violation, Vice President Leni Robredo said on Wednesday, June 9.
“Hindi ito makatao (This is inhumane). No goal or ideology can justify the use of such devices,” Robredo said in a statement as she condemned the incident “without qualification.”
“Hindi ito pakikibaka; labas ito sa usapin ng paghahangad nating matigil ang hidwaan (This is not armed struggle; it’s not part of our goal to stop the conflict). Landmines are murder,” she said.
The FEU football team member and his relative Neolven Absalon were killed by a landmine planted by NPA rebels on Sunday, June 6.
Neolven’s 16-year-old son also sustained injuries from the blast caused by the explosive device.
The NPA is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines. The CPP-NPA expressed remorse over the deaths of the Absalons.
The vice president stressed that there was “no accident in landmines,” adding that it was against the Ottawa Treaty, or the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction.
“May dahilan kung bakit matagal nang nabuo ang pandaigdigang consensus ukol sa mga ganitong uri ng karahasan (There is a reason why there is a global consensus against these kinds of violence),” she said.
“Bawal ito sa ilalim ng Ottawa Treaty, dahil walang lugar sa sibilisadong lipunan ang sandatang hindi namimili ng papaslangin
(This is against the Ottawa Treaty because arms that do not choose their victims have no place in a civilized society. This is inhumane),” Robredo added.
The Philippines is one of the signatories to the treaty, which aims to eliminate anti-personnel landmines around the world.
The vice president extended her sincere condolences to the family and loved ones of the two civilians.
“Kasama kami sa dalangin, paghahanap ng katarungan, at mithiing hindi na maulit pa ang ganitong walang-katuturang pagpatay (We are one in prayers, seeking justice, and ideals to prevent a repeat of these senseless killings),” she said.