The Philippine National Police (PNP) hit the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed unit, the New People’s Army (NPA), on Friday, June 11, for allegedly “ignoring” calls to turn in their fighters who were deemed responsible for the death of football player Keith Absalon and his cousin from a landmine blast in Masbate City last week.
PNP Chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said the CPP-NPA “have never been sincere” in asking for forgiveness from the families of their victims as demands for the group to turn over their members behind the deadly attack fell on deaf ears.
“What can we expect from these rebels who are just pretending to be remorseful over their terrorist attack that killed Kieth and Nolven?” Eleazar said.
“They have never been sincere, in the first place, and we have expected this from them. The CPP-NPA will not listen to reason, [they’re] stuck in their crooked and twisted way of thinking,” he added.
Eleazar said the CPP-NPA did not even bother to sanction its own men for the death of the two civilians. He added that the inaction of the group would embolden its men to continue their terror activities at the expense of the civilians.
“Ang lalakas ng loob nilang pumuna sa pamahalaan at ginagamit pa nila itong instrumento para linlangin ang taumbayan pero ang sarili nilang tauhan bini-baby kapag nakapatay ng mga inosenteng sibilyan? Ito ay patunay kung anong klaseng ideolohiya meron ang mga grupong ito (They have the gall to criticize the government and use this as an instrument to trick the masses but they coddle their own members if they kill innocent civilians? This is a proof of the kind of ideology this group has),” he noted.
The PNP Chief nonetheless vowed to serve justice to the death of the Absalons as they continue the manhunt operations against some 30 NPA rebels in Masbate City. Three suspected communists were killed in Masbate City in a joint military and police operations last Wednesday.
“I assure the Absalon family that the joint forces of the police and the military will not stop pursuing the perpetrators of this senseless killing and bring them to justice,” Eleazar said.
Keith, 21, and his cousin, 40-year-old Nolven Absalon, were biking in Barangay Anas, Masbate City last Sunday when they hit an anti-personnel mine, killing them instantly. Keith was a football player for the Far Eastern University (FEU).
Five other individuals were injured in the explosion, including Nolven’s son, 16-year-old Daniel.
The CPP-NPA have taken full responsibility over the incident which it described as an “error in military action”. It sought forgiveness from the family of Absalons and assured that their erring members would be “reprimanded”.
The CPP also offered financial assistance to the bereaved family of the victims but the offer was rejected by the kin of Absalons.