SENATORS Francis 'Kiko' Pangilinan and Risa Hontiveros have joined other lawmakers in calling for justice for Far Eastern University football player Kieth Absalon and his cousin who were killed in a roadside explosion while biking in his hometown Masbate City.

/ 10 June 2021

Kalaro ng pamangkin ko sa football si Kieth. Napakagaling daw. Malaking kawalan sa pamilya at sa bayan si Kieth. Ang layo pa sana ng mararating niya,” Pangilinan said. 

“He has brought pride and honor to his school and the country through his sports. The country’s football community grieves his death,” he added.

Absalon, 21, represented the country when he played for the national team in the 2018 ASEAN Football Federation Under-19 Youth Championship held in Indonesia.

In the UAAP high school league, Absalon won many awards, including Most Valuable Player, and six titles, the most for any player in the league’s history. He was scheduled to make his college debut in UAAP Season 82, which was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

As the senator sought justice for the death of Absalon and his cousin, he also called for the resumption of peace negotiations between the government and communist rebels, saying genuine and lasting peace remains the best option rather than violence.

He said peace and prosperity will address the root problems of insurgency and usher in sustainable development, especially in the countryside.

The President formally ended peace talks with the National Democratic Front in 2017 after on-and-off negotiations.

“We hope the doves in the Cabinet would prevail to bring to fore the need for genuine peace as paramount and must be pursued right away,” Pangilinan said.

Meanwhile, Hontiveros stressed that now that the CPP-NPA has taken full responsibility, a swift accounting of this appalling tragedy is now in order. 

“I stand in solidarity with the families of Keith and Nolven Absalon and strongly condemn the senseless violence that took their innocent lives. Dapat may managot. The families of Keith and Nolven deserve justice. No family should ever have to endure this overwhelming loss,” Hontiveros said.