MANILA – The “Bike for Justice and Peace” campaign highlights the nation's constant call to end the violence and deaths caused by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said Monday.
Año said the killings of football player Kieth Absalon and his cousin Nolven, through an unprovoked anti-personnel mine attack, committed in violation of international humanitarian law, are proof of the terrorist group's victimization of the Filipino youth.
"The DILG strongly commends the organizers behind the nationwide Bike for Peace and Justice last July 17, 2021. Campaigns such as the Bike for Justice and Peace amplify the nation's united call against the condemnable violence and senseless deaths caused by the CPP-NPA," he added.
“The public cannot be expected (to) stay silent -- they have the right to be outraged and demand justice for Kieth, Nolven, and other victims of the CPP-NPA.”
The Absalon cousins were cycling with a group in Masbate City when APMs exploded by the roadside and killed them on June 6. They were also shot at point-blank by the terrorists.
The NPA later claimed responsibility for the deaths.
Año hoped that the success of the Bike for Justice and Peace may be emulated by other youth and civic groups that wish to join the "united voice" against communist rebels.
"The DILG and the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC) are fully supportive of these campaigns and activities expressing the people's urgent desire for peace, order, and accountability for those who terrorize the Filipino youth," he 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. (PNA)