MANILA – The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Thursday demanded that the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), to identify and turn over all those responsible for the anti-personnel mine (APM) blast that killed two and wounded a minor in Masbate on June 6.
The CHR, in a statement, said if the communists were truly “serious and since about taking accountability” of what happened in Masbate, “beyond owning responsibility, offering indemnity, and promising an investigation,” they should surrender those who are liable for the mine blast incident.
The CPP-NPA should identify all those responsible and let them face justice within the court system,” the CHR said, adding the communists should be held accountable for all other crimes they have perpetrated.
The crimes include violation of international humanitarian and human rights law since they began pursuing the armed movement, the CHR said.
The CHR has launched a probe on the tragedy and strongly condemned the use of APM, which is a violation of the International Humanitarian Law.
Far Eastern University football player Kieth Absalon, 21, and his cousin Nolven, 40, were killed, while Nolven’s 16-year-old son Chrisbin Daniel was wounded in the explosion later owned up by the CPP-NPA.
“Not only do they cause exceptionally severe injuries, suffering, and death, anti-personnel landmines also fail to distinguish between civilians and combatants, such as what happened in this case.” the CHR earlier said.
The CPP-NPA is also listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines
“The entire CPP and NPA take full responsibility for the tragedy. There is no justification. 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 communists said in a statement.
The CPP-NPA reportedly vowed to provide the family of Absalon “full remuneration for their loss”, which was rejected by Keith’s mother Vilma. (PNA)