MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday vowed to bring to justice the perpetrators of the anti-personnel mine (APM) blast that killed a football player of the Far Eastern University (FEU) and his cousin on Sunday.
“I am directing the local police to coordinate with the military and launch manhunt operations against the suspects. Hindi po kami titigil hangga’t hindi nabibigyan ng hustisya ang mga inosenteng nasawi at nasugatan sa pagsabog na ito (We will not stop until we attain justice for the innocent victims who died and were wounded in the blast),” said PNP chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar in a statement.
Kieth Absalon, a midfielder for the FEU Tamaraws, and his cousin Nolven, died after an APM believed to have been planted by the New People ‘s Army (NPA) exploded while they were cycling in Barangay Anas, Masbate City. Absalon’s 16-year-old nephew, Chrisbin, was wounded in the incident.
“Again, lives were lost because of the hostile acts of this communist terrorist group. Iyong isa sa mga inosenteng sibilyan na naging biktima ng pagsabog, si Keith Absalon, malayo pa sana ang mararating kung di dahil sa mga teroristang NPA (One of the innocent civilians who fell as a victim to the explosion, Keith Absalon, would have gone a long way if not for these NPA terrorists),” said Eleazar.
Eleazar also strongly condemned the act and condoled with the family of the victims.
Absalon was named the Most Valuable Player during the 2016 juniors football event after leading the FEU-Nicanor Reyes Educational Foundation (FEU-FERN) to the title.
He even scored a goal during the team’s 6-1 mauling of the Ateneo Men’s Football Team in the finals.
The use of APMs is a violation of the International Humanitarian Law and the 1997 Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention adopted by the international community, prohibiting the acquisition, production, stockpiling, and use of weapons.
The Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, United Kingdom, European Union, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)