A human rights group on Wednesday, June 9, condemned the death of Kieth Absalon and his cousin, Nolven Absalon, over the weekend in Masbate City.
On Sunday morning, June 6, Kieth, former UAAP football juniors most valuable player, and union leader Nolven were killed in a blast while biking along Barangay Anas in their hometown Masbate City.
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army on Tuesday took full responsibility for the killing of Kieth and Nolven.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the National People’s Army’s (NPA) use of anti-personnel landmines is a “war crime.”
“The killing of a labor leader and a football player by an IED planted by the New People’s Army shows the terrible threat such weapons pose to all civilians,” HRW Senior Philippine researcher Carlos Conde said in a statement.
According to Conde, the use of anti-personnel landmines is prohibited in the country under the Mine Ban Treaty.
“Those responsible are subject to criminal prosecution not just in the Philippines but in courts around the world,” he added.
A manhunt for the suspects behind the blast is currently underway.