VP Leni Robredo condemns Absalon death from landmine blast

Jun 9, 2021

VICE President Leni Robredo condemned the untimely deaths of FEU football player Kieth Absalon and his cousin Nolven from a landmine planted by the New People's Army that exploded in Masbate last Sunday.

Robredo called for justice for the Absalons.

"Anuman ang sanhi ng pagsabog, walang anumang aksidente sa usapin ng mga landmine. May dahilan kung bakit matagal nang walang nabuo ang pandaigdigang consensus ukol sa mga ganitong karahasan," Robredo said in a statement.

"Bawal ito sa ilalim ng Ottawa Treaty, dahil walang lugar sa sibilisadong lipunan ang sandatang hindi namimili ng papaslangin. Hindi ito makatao. No goal or ideology can justify the use of such devices," the statement read.

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The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) took responsibility for the incident which it blamed on "errors in the military action mounted by an NPA unit."

Kieth, 21, was a former UAAP Juniors MVP and Best Midfielder awardee who committed to join the Tamaraws' senior team. He was also a former national youth player who saw action in the 2018 AFF Under-19 Championship in Indonesia.

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Nolven was 40 years old. His 16-year-old son Chrisbin was also injured in the explosion.

"Nakikiramay kami sa mga pamilya ni Kieth at Neolven. Kasama kami sa dalangin, paghahanap ng katarungan, at mithiing hindi na maulit pa ang ganitong walang katuturang pagpatay," Robredo's statement continued.

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    The vice president reiterated that no ideology can ever justify the loss of innocent civilian life.

    "Paglabag ito sa batas, sa karapatang pantao, sa mga patakaran ng pakikidigma, at sa mismong pag-unawa natin sa mga hangganan ng kayang gawin ng tao sa kanyang kapwa.

    "Hindi ito pakikibaka; labas ito sa usapin ng paghahangad nating matigil ang hidwaan. Landmines are murder. We condemn this incident without qualification," she ended.

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