MANILA — The use of landmines constitutes "murder," Vice President Leni Robredo said on Wednesday, as she condemned rebels' use of the explosive device that killed athlete Kieth Absalon and his cousin over the weekend.
The Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People's Army, on Tuesday took "full responsibility" for the blast in Masbate City last Sunday that killed 21-year-old Kieth and his cousin Nolven Absalon, 40, a father of 4.
An international treaty bans the use of landmines that cause indiscriminate killings, noted Robredo, a lawyer.
"Hindi ito makatao. No goal or ideology can justify the use of such devices," Robredo said in a statement.
"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," she added.
(This is inhumane... This is a violation of the law, human rights, international humanitarian law, and our understanding of the limits of what one can do to another person. This is not revolution, this is outside of our desire to end conflict.)
Robredo extended condolences to the Absalon family.
"Kasama kami sa dalangin, paghahanap ng katarungan, at mithiing hindi na maulit pa ang ganitong walang-katuturang pagpatay," she said.
(We are one with prayers, search for justice, and the goal that this senseless killing will not be repeated.)
Kieth Absalon is a former UAAP juniors Most Valuable Player.
A copy of his death certificate that ABS-CBN News obtained showed the immediate cause of death as hemorrhagic shock due to "gunshot wounds & blast injuries." A source close to the family earlier said the same injuries were found on Kieth's cousin.