MANILA – Senators condemned on Wednesday the death of collegiate football player Kieth Absalon and his cousin after an anti-personnel mine exploded in Barangay Anas, Masbate City on Sunday.
In a statement, Senator Richard Gordon said the “indiscriminate killing” is an “assassination” and must stop.
Citing Republic Act No. 9851, or the Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide and Other Crimes Against Humanity, Gordon said perpetrators from the New People’s Army (NPA) who claimed responsibility for the attack are liable for war crimes.
The law prohibits “weapons, projectiles and material and methods of warfare which are of the nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering or which are inherently indiscriminate in violation of the international law of armed conflict”.
Gordon called on the authorities to bring those responsible to justice with deliberate dispatch and hold them liable for their crime and issue the call to the NPA to respect civilians at all times and observe International Humanitarian Law.
“We must strive to resolve this long-standing insurgency and work for lasting peace, so we freely develop our economy and make a better country,” he said.
Senators Risa Hontiveros and Francis Pangilinan also condoled with the families of the victims.
“I stand in solidarity with the families of Keith and Nolven Absalon and strongly condemn the senseless violence that took their innocent lives,” Hontiveros said in another statement.
“Now that the CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines)-NPA has taken full responsibility, a swift accounting of this appalling tragedy is now in order. The perpetrators must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” she added.
“He has brought pride and honor to his school and the country through his sports,” Pangilinan said of the 21-year-old Absalon, a rookie in the Far Eastern University varsity squad.
Nolven, 40, also died while his 16-year-old son sustained injuries in the blast that occurred while they were biking. (PNA)