MANILA – The mother of the slain Far Eastern University football player is appealing to President Rodrigo Duterte to put an end to the communist terrorist groups (CTG).
Vilma Absalon, mother of student-athlete Kieth, a victim of anti-personnel mine (APM) explosion, said the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) should never be tolerated by anybody and CTGs will eventually crumble if civilians will unite with authorities to bring them down.
In a dialogue with Southern Luzon Command chief, Lt. Gen. Anthony Parlade Jr., during his 21-year-old son’s wake last week, Absalon said the peaceful resolution to the local communist’s reign of terror would be his son’s lasting “souvenir” for her and Masbateños.
“Hinihingi ko po sa ating Pangulo na sana po continuous ito. Sama-sama tayong magkaisa na ipagpatuloy natin, magmula ngayon. Alaala ito ni Kieth, na sana para ako rin may souvenir ako, na tayong mga Masbateño ay may kapayapaan (I ask the president to continue the counterinsurgency program. Let's unite and continue this. This is for Kieth, that all of us Masbateños attain peace),” she said.
The NPA claimed responsibility for the June 6, 2021 attack in Barangay Anas, Masbate City where Kieth’s 40-year-old cousin, Nolven, also died.
They were buried on Sunday, June 13.
The mother also pleaded to the communities in Masbate and the country to be vigilant and report the presence of NPA rebels to authorities, as they are a menace to society.
“Kailangang natin magka-isa, simula ngayon magkaisa na tayo. Huwag nating itago sila (NPA). Hindi sila legal. Iligal sila. Hindi sila tumutulong, pabigat sila sa bayan. Hinahasik nila ang maling katwiran nila. Walang layunin, walang naitutulong sa bayan. Salot sila (We have to unite. Let's not hide them. They are illegal. They don't help at all. They are a burden to the nation. They are a menace)!" she said.
Absalon said no life should ever be wasted again in such a senseless manner.
She said parents should be worried about CPP-NPA front organizations that infiltrate schools and universities and recruit students and instead be motivated to help achieve lasting peace.
“Para ‘yung maliliit na bata, paglaki nila, peaceful na tayo (When they grow up, we are already a peaceful nation),” Absalon said.
Parlade, also the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) co-spokesperson, agreed with Absalon that the peaceful process to end communist terrorism needs all the help it can get from Filipinos.
“Tama po ‘yan. Bakit kailangan namin ng tulong ng mga mamamayan natin, ordinaryong mamamayan? ‘Di po pwedeng gobyerno lang, di po pwedeng si pulis lang, si Army lang. Kailangan po natin tulong talaga ng sambayanan (We need the cooperation of the people in this fight. The government cannot do it alone),” he said.
In the recent virtual presser of NTF-ELCAC, Parlade described the brutality of rebels from witnesses who stated that after being hit by the APM, Kieth and Nolven were still alive and raised their hands to signify surrender.
The terrorists shot them just the same, as confirmed by the gunshot wounds indicated on the police report.
Parlade said the joint operations of the Philippine National Police and the military to hunt those responsible for the Absalons’ death will continue in Barangay Anas and Bolo in Masbate City as the CTGs led by Arnold Rosero (alias Star) are still hiding in the area.
The Absalon family earlier rejected the written apology of the CPP-NPA that claime the "unnecessary deaths of Kieth and Nolven were a mistake in military action by their group".
"Hindi ito sapat! Hustisya ang aming kailangan. Ang pagso-sorry ay hindi hustisya. Napakadaling humingi ng sorry. Ang makamit ang hustisya ay hindi nagsisimula sa sorry. Sa totoo lang, gusto ko silang (NPA) mawala! Gusto kong matigil na ang kanilang kabuktutan at mga panggugulo (This is not enough. We want justice. Saying sorry is not justice. I want them gone. Enough)!,” Absalon said.
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. (PR/PNA)