De Lima deplores killing of union leader, cousin by communist rebels


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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has deplored the death of union leader Nolven Absalon and his cousin Keith Absalon in a bomb attack in Masbate using an improvised explosive device (IED) planted by communist rebels last June 6.

De Lima, a social justice and human rights champion, maintained that armed actions that victimized civilians can never be justified.

“Justice for the Absalons,” De Lima said in her Dispatch from Crame No. 1073.

“I strongly condemn the NPA rebels’ action that led to the deaths of civilians Kieth Absalon and Nolven Absalon in Masbate City. Whether deliberate or inadvertent, armed actions that led to the death of non-combatants and civilians are a crime under our penal law and a violation of international humanitarian law,” she added.

Absalon, the Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO) union leader and his cousin Keith, a college football player, were killed in a blast while biking along Barangay Anas in their hometown Masbate City. Nolven’s 16-year-old son was wounded in the incident.

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed unit New People’s Army (NPA), in a statement released on June 8, took “full responsibility” for the killing, as it expressed “deep remorse” for the Absalon family, due to what it said was “errors in military action mounted by an NPA unit.”

SENTRO, for their part, demands justice for the death of their union leader, saying that “weapons of war have no place in roads used extensively by civilians.”

The lady Senator from Bicol has extended her deep sympathies to the family of Absalon, stressing that  there can be no compromise on human rights.”

“In the same spirit and measure that I denounce attacks on civilians by those trigger-happy in our uniformed personnel that I denounce this incident involving the communist group,” she said.

“Killings of unarmed civilians are a plain crime regardless of the uniform and side of the political fence. Ako ay nakikiramay sa pamilyang naulila ni Kieth at Nolven. Nawa’y makamtan po ninyo ang hustisya sa lalo’t madaling panahon,” she said. (30)

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