Video courtesy of PTV
MANILA — The military on Thursday urged the Communist Party of the Philippines to give up at least two of its leaders and fighters who were involved in the blast that killed athlete Kieth Absalon and his cousin over the weekend.
The CPP and its armed wing, the New People's Army, took "full responsibility" on Tuesday for the blast in Masbate City last Sunday that killed 21-year-old Kieth and his cousin Nolven Absalon, 40, a father of 4.
Aside from the blast, the rebels also fired at the victims, said Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, confirming the earlier statement of the Absalon family.
"Ang ating hamon mga grupo na humihingi diumano ng paumanhin sa pangyayaring ito at nangangako na naman na sila’y magbabayad o magbibigay ng kompensasyon—isuko nila ang mga involved sa pagpatay na ito, sa murder na ito," Arevalo said in a televised public briefing.
"At hindi lamang ito dapat hihinto sa mga mismong nagpasabog nito, kundi sa kaniyang mga pinuno. Dapat kasama sila… kasama si Ginoong [Joma] Sison at Ginoong [Luis] Jalandoni," he added, referring to CPP's founder and the senior adviser of the National Democratic Front, respectively.
(Our dare for the group that reportedly apologizes and promises compensation for this is to surrender those involved in this murder. And they should not only give up those involved in the blast itself, but also their leaders, including Mr. Sison and Mr. Jalandoni.)
The blast violated the Ottawa Treaty that bans the use of landmines and a Philippine humanitarian law, and the killing could be deemed murder, said Arevalo, who is also a lawyer.
"Hindi po maaari na reprimand lang. Kailangan managot sila sa batas ng ating bansa at hindi po sa kanilang sariling regulasyon," he said.
(Mere reprimand will not do. They should be held liable under our country's laws, and not just their own regulation.)
Troops are hunting down the suspects, and has killed 3 alleged rebels in a gunfight and confiscated at least 12 rifles following the incident, he said.
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.