Sen. Leila de Lima
By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has deplored the death of union
leader Nolven Absalon and his cousin Keith Absalon in a bomb attack in
Masbate using an improvised explosive device (IED) planted by
communist rebels last June 6.
De Lima, a social justice and human rights champion, maintained that
armed actions that victimized civilians can never be justified.
“Justice for the Absalons,” De Lima said in her Dispatch from Crame No. 1073.
“I strongly condemn the NPA rebels’ action that led to the deaths of
civilians Kieth Absalon and Nolven Absalon in Masbate City. Whether
deliberate or inadvertent, armed actions that led to the death of
non-combatants and civilians are a crime under our penal law and a
violation of international humanitarian law,” she added.
Absalon, the Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa
(SENTRO) union leader and his cousin Keith, a college football player,
were killed in a blast while biking along Barangay Anas in their
hometown Masbate City. Nolven’s 16-year-old son was wounded in the
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed unit New
People’s Army (NPA), in a statement released on June 8, took “full
responsibility” for the killing, as it expressed “deep remorse” for
the Absalon family, due to what it said was “errors in military action
mounted by an NPA unit.”
SENTRO, for their part, demands justice for the death of their union
leader, saying that “weapons of war have no place in roads used
extensively by civilians.”
The lady Senator from Bicol has extended her deep sympathies to the
family of Absalon, stressing that there can be no compromise on human
“In the same spirit and measure that I denounce attacks on civilians
by those trigger-happy in our uniformed personnel that I denounce this
incident involving the communist group,” she said.
“Killings of unarmed civilians are a plain crime regardless of the
uniform and side of the political fence. Ako ay nakikiramay sa
pamilyang naulila ni Kieth at Nolven. Nawa’y makamtan po ninyo ang
hustisya sa lalo’t madaling panahon,” she said. (AI/MTVN)