MANILA – Less than a week after the New People's Army (NPA)-planted anti-personnel mine (APM) blast on June 6, the Masbate City Health Office released the results of an autopsy conducted on the two fatalities.
In a Facebook post of 101.5 Brigada New FM Sorsogon at 6:41 of June 11, the autopsy result showed that 21-year old Kieth Absalon bore a gunshot wound to his right eye. His cousin Noven Absalon, 40, had a gunshot wound to the right shoulder and another to the left thigh.
The report added that the victims died from hemorrhagic shock secondary to the gunshot wounds and blast injuries due to the landmine explosion, clarifying initial claims that the fatalities succumbed to gunshot wounds.
An APM blast, planted by New People’s Army rebels in Purok 4 Barangay Unas, Masbate City on June 6, left Kieth, a football player of the Far Eastern University, and Noven dead, and 16-year Crisbin Absalon wounded.
The victims were reportedly cycling with their family and relatives to Barangay B. Titong in the town proper when an APM exploded.
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, NPA on June 8 owned up to the attack, apologized for what it said as “errors in military action mounted by an NPA unit”. They offered any form of indemnification to the victims’ family.
The Absalon family, however, rejected any apology or indemnification from the CPP-NPA over the senseless killings.
Kieth’s mother, Vilma, said the apology does not give justice to her slain family members.
“Attaining justice does not start with saying sorry. Honestly, I want them gone. I want them to disappear and stop their destructive activities,” she was earlier quoted in an Inquirer report.
Meanwhile, Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año earlier said the public can never trust the investigation allegedly being carried out by the NPA Bicol Regional Party Committee, Masbate Provincial Party Committee and its higher commands because communists do not adhere to established rules of procedure and have their own brand of revolutionary justice.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on June 11 said no 'internal investigation' shall compensate or bring true justice for the lives of two exceptional young men, whose bright futures were gone in an instant as “collateral damage” to the CPP-NPA’s senseless war.
"Rest assured that we will not let this incident be taken in vain. I’ll make sure that justice will be served," Lorenzana said, adding that the CPP-NPA’s persistent use of landmines is a clear violation of International Humanitarian Law (IHL), an undeniable proof of their utter disregard for the safety of innocent civilians.
Meanwhile, Philippine National Police chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar lambasted the communist terrorists’ audacity in refusing to surrender the perpetrators of the mine blast, saying this only proves their crooked and evil ideology.
“How dare they criticize the government and still use this instrument to deceive the people but they condone their own people who kill innocent civilians? This is proof of what kind of ideology these groups have,” Eleazar said, in response to the CPP-NPA’s statement for ignoring calls to surrender
In vowing to bring the perpetrators of the incident to justice, Eleazar said only the culprits' arrest and conviction in court can make up for the death of the two innocent men.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
The use of APMs is a violation of the IHL and the 1997 Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention adopted by the international community, prohibiting the acquisition, production, stockpiling, and use of weapons. (PNA)