Solon wants probe into CPP-NPA recruitment, transactions

By Filane Mikee Cervantes

June 21, 2021, 3:04 pm

<p>Duterte Youth party-list Rep. Ducielle Marie Cardema <em>(Contributed photo)</em></p>

Duterte Youth party-list Rep. Ducielle Marie Cardema (Contributed photo)

MANILA – A party-list lawmaker on Monday called for a congressional investigation into the recruitment process, financial transactions, and operations of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People's Army (CPP-NPA) to help the government neutralize communist insurgency in the country.

Duterte Youth party-list Rep. Ducielle Marie Cardema filed House Resolution 1905, which condemns the "terrorist killings" made by the CPP-NPA to football player Kieth Absalon and his labor leader cousin Nolvin Absalon in Masbate City.

Cardema, in her resolution, also demanded for the surrender or immediate arrest of the perpetrators.

"The CPP-NPA has a proven history of violence and killings against civilians and government troops and these violent attacks will remain unpunished under the Philippine judicial system should the CPP-NPA refuse to surrender them, then the government must pursue neutralizing them," Cardema said.

Cardema, who serves as the vice-chair of the House Defense Committee, said Congress must participate in the whole-of-nation approach launched by President Rodrigo Duterte to investigate and put an end to the "more than 50-year terrorist attacks" of the CPP-NPA.

The CPP-NPA owned up to the incident and expressed remorse over the “errors in the military action mounted by an NPA unit”.

Initial investigation showed the Absalon cousins died after an anti-personnel mine (APM) exploded.

Further investigation revealed that Nolven had a gunshot wound to the right shoulder as well as his left lateral thigh while Kieth took a bullet to the right eye.

Both died of hemorrhagic shock secondary to the gunshot wounds and blast injuries from the APM explosion.

Lt. Gen. Anthony Parlade Jr., also the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) co-spokesperson, agreed with Keith’s mother, Vilma, 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 the 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 claimed the "unnecessary deaths of Kieth and Nolven were a mistake in military action by their group".

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)