Palace promises justice for Absalon cousins’ slay

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 11 2021 01:01 AM

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Those responsible behind the landmine explosion and shooting that killed footballer Kieth Absalon and his cousin will pay for the crime, Malacañang said on Thursday.

The Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People's Army, has taken "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 results in indiscriminate killings. The CPP-NPA's operation can be deemed an "international war crime," said Palace spokesman Harry Roque. 

"Puwede pong hulihin, litisin at parusahan ang mga taong gumamit ng pasabog na ito kahit saang parte ng daigdig because what they did is a crime against the international community. Mariin po namin itong kinukundena," he said in a press briefing. 

(People who used this blast can be arrested, prosecuted, and punished wherever in the world because what they did is a crime against the international community. We strictly condemn this.)

"Narinig po ni Presidente [Rodrigo Duterte] ang hiling at iyak ng pamilya ni Kieth ng hustisya, lalo at nagsabi ang pamilya nabinaril ang mga biktima. Nangako ang Pangulo na masusi itong iimbestigahan at pagbabayarin ang mga may sala."

(The President heard the wish and cry for justice of Kieth's family, especially since they said that the victims were shot. The President promised that this would be thoroughly investigated and those responsible would pay.)

Troops are hunting down the suspects, and has killed 3 alleged rebels in a gunfight and confiscated at least 12 rifles following the incident, the military said earlier Thursday. 

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.