The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) lauded on Monday, July 19, the organizers of the Saturday’s nationwide “Bike for Peace and Justice’’, saying it heightened the country’s united call against the atrocities committed by the communist rebels.
“The killings of Keith Absalon (football player) and his cousin Nolven, committed in violation of international humanitarian law, sheds light into CPP-NPA’s victimization of the Filipino youth,’’ DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said.
Año noted that the public should not stay silent’ on the issue, stressing that the people have the right to be outraged and to demand justice for “Keith, Nolven, and other victims of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).’’
“We hope that the success of the Bike for Peace and Justice may be emulated by other youth and civic groups that wish to join in our united voice against these communist rebels,’’ he added.
Año said that the DILG and the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) fully supports “these campaigns and activities expressing the people’s urgent desire for peace, order, and accountability for those who terrorize the Filipino youth.’’
The CPP-NPA took full responsibility for the death of Nolven Absalon and his cousin Kieth, former UAAP football juniors most valuable player who died in a blast while biking along Barangay Anas in their hometown Masbate City last June 6. Nolven’s 16-year-old son was also wounded in the incident.
On June 8 the CPP-NPA in a statement expressed its “deep remorse” for the Absalon family, due to what it said was “errors in military action mounted by an NPA unit.”
“We fervently hope that the Absalon family, their relatives and friends, and the entire Filipino people can accept our profoundest apologies, self-criticism, and willingness to extend any appropriate form of indemnification,” the CPP added in the statement. (Chito A. Chavez)