/ 11 June 2021

YOUTH groups sought justice for the killing of football player Keith Absalon and his cousin in a military operation conducted by the New People’s Army in Masbate.

The Kabataan Partylist said the NPA operation was a violation of the International Humanitarian Law that prohibits harm on unarmed civilians.

Keith, former UAAP football Most Valuable Player, and Nolven Absalon were killed in a blast while biking in Barangay Anas.

“Mariing kinokondena ng Kabataan Partylist ang naturang aksiyong militar ng NPA na humantong sa pagkamatay nina Kieth at Nolven Absalon sa Masbate. Ipinapabatid muli ng Kabataan ang taos-pusong pakikiramay sa kanilang pamilya,” KP said in a statement.

“Ito ay malinaw na paglabag sa Comprehensive Agreement for Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law na parehong nilagdaan ng gobyerno ng Pilipinas at ng National Democratic Front,” it added.

Anakbayan, meanwhile, demanded justice for the Absalons and challenged the NPA to held its personnel accountable.

“As a national democratic youth organization, Anakbayan proffers its condolences for the death of Keith and Nolven, and for the anguish of their families. Such deaths are reprehensible thus it is only just and appropriate for the CPP and the NPA to hold its erring personnel to account,” it said.

It added that the incident must serve as “a stern and somber reminder for the strict adherence of belligerent parties to the rules of war, humanitarian law, and human rights, and of the necessity of peace talks.”