The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) denounced Thursday, June 10, the Makabayan Bloc for exhorting the family of the slain football player Kiefer Absalon and a relative to lodge a complaint before the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) which the group maintained “accepts complaints on violations of International Humanitarian Law by the New People’s Army (NPA).’’
DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said that the “left-wing bloc’’ is instilling “false hopes’’ to the Absalon family stressing the JMC no longer exists ever since the peace talks collapsed between the government and the Communist Party of the Philippines/NPA/National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).
“The Joint Monitoring Committee was disbanded many years back. It no longer exists. It’s just unfortunate that the Makabayan Bloc is misleading the Absalon family who is demanding justice for the death of Keith and Nolven Absalon,” Malaya said.
Rather than complaining with the defunct JMC, Malaya stressed that authorities and the victims’ families should file cases against the perpetrators before the courts so that they can undergo trial.
He insisted that justice will only be served if the CPP-NPA surrender the perpetrators to the proper authorities.
Since the CPP-NPA has accepted full responsibility for the senseless murder, Malaya said “it now becomes their duty to turn over the terrorists responsible for the deaths so that justice may be served to their families and loved ones.”
“The only way that justice may be served is for the perpetrators to face trial. Human Rights Watch said that the perpetrators are subject to criminal prosecution not only in the Philippines but around the world. We must make sure they are prosecuted here in our country,” he added.
Rather than mislead the Absalon family, Malaya said that the Makabayan Bloc should instead pressure the CPP-NPA into turning over the perpetrators to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) so that wheels of justice may turn.
“We wish to emphasize that the Makabayan Bloc are government officials receiving salaries from the taxes of the people. A dastardly crime has been committed here. The DILG challenges the Makabayan Bloc and their allied organizations to pressure the CPP/NPA to turn over those responsible and to condemn the CPP-NPA for manufacturing, stockpiling, transporting, and using anti-personnel mines all over the country,” Malaya noted.
The DILG official said that Republic Act No. 9851 known as the “Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity” and a 1997 international treaty ban the use of such anti-personnel mines but the NDF continues to tolerate if not acquiesce to the actions of the CPP/NPA which has led to numerous civilian deaths through the years.
“The eyes of the international community are on us. Human Rights Watch has called the use of anti-personnel mines, banned in the Philippines and the world under the Mine Ban Treaty, as a war crime. We challenge the Makabayan Bloc, who are government officials, to do their legal obligation,” he said.