MANILA – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday called on the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People's Army (NPA), to turn over those responsible for the murder of Far Eastern University football player Keith Absalon and his cousin in Masbate so that they may face public trial for their crimes.
“Now that the CPP-NPA has accepted full responsibility for the senseless murder, it now becomes their duty to turn over the terrorists responsible for the deaths so that justice may be served to their families and loved ones,” Interior Secretary Eduardo M. Año said in a news release.
Año said it is not enough that they took responsibility and let bygones be bygones.
“The ends of justice require that those responsible must be held accountable for their crimes against the people under the laws of the Republic of the Philippines,” he said.
He added that the public could never trust the supposed internal probe to be conducted by the CPP-NPA because they do not adhere to established rules of procedure and have their own brand of revolutionary justice.
Año was referring to the mass graves of former communist cadres who were summarily executed by the CPP-NPA in internal purges in the 1980s and 1990s, as well as the murders of former NPA cadres who were summarily executed for leaving the terror group.
“They can turn over the suspects to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) or to their allies in the Makabayan bloc who are serving in Congress, if they prefer, so long as they face trial in a court of law,” he said.
Año said the CHR and the DILG would personally guarantee the safety of the suspects while undergoing trial.
He challenged the Makabayan bloc to demand the turnover of the suspects as it is their sworn duty as government officials and as members of the House of Representatives.
This is the least they can do for the families and loved ones of the victims who are crying out for justice, he said.
The use of APMs is a violation of the International Humanitarian Law and the 1997 Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention adopted by the international community, prohibiting the acquisition, production, stockpiling, and use of weapons.
The NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PR)