CPP admits responsibility over death of athlete, cousin

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) admitted a New People’s Army (NPA) unit was responsible for the death of two civilians in Masbate City on June 6.

In a statement, CPP information officer Marco Valbuena said the Party and the NPA express deep remorse for the death of cousins Keith and Nolven Absalon as well as injury to Nolven’s son Crisbin Daniel.

The victims died in a bomb blast early Sunday morning in what Valbuena said was the result of errors in a military action mounted by an NPA unit in Barangay Anas in the said city.

The victims were reportedly cycling when hit by the explosion set off by NPA members.

Keith was 21 while Nolven was 40 years old.

“The entire Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and New People’s Army (NPA) express their deep remorse over the untimely and unnecessary deaths of cousins Keith and Nolven Absalon and injury to others,” Valbuena said.

“The entire CPP and NPA take full responsibility for the tragedy. There is no justification for the aggravation this has caused the Absalon family,” he added.

Keith was University Athletics Association of the Philippines Season 78 juniors football most valuable player and a member of the Far Eastern University seniors football team. He also played for the Malaya Football Club and the Philippine under-19 football team in 2018.

“Our hearts are broken as we bid farewell to a brilliant player of #MalayaFC and FEU men’s football team,” Malaya FC said in a tweet on the loss of one of its players.   

Valbuena said the CPP hopes the Absalon family, relatives and friends as well as the entire people can accept their “profoundest apologies and self-criticism.”

He added that they are willing to extend any appropriate form of indemnification to the family.

Valbuena said the incident should not have happened as the NPA is always reminded to give the highest priority to the protection of civilian lives and property.

“The lessons that will be drawn should guide the NPA to avoid such unfortunate incidents in the future and strengthen its resolve to serve and defend the people,” Valbuena said.

The NPA and the CPP are known to admit offensive actions they undertake against government military and police forces.

The Commission on Human Rights earlier condemned the death of the Absalons as it announced an ongoing investigation on the incident. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)