THE Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, New People’s Army, took responsibility and expressed "deep remorse" for the explosion that killed two persons in Masbate City.
In a statement, the CPP/NPA said the blast was caused by “errors in the military action mounted by an NPA unit” in Barangay Anas, Masbate City on June 6, 2021.
Kieth Absalon, a football player of the Far Eastern University, was killed along with his cousin, not uncle as initially reported, Nolven Absalon. Nolven's 16-year-old son was wounded.
The CPP/NPA expressed its “profoundest apology” to the bereaved family as well as to the entire Filipino nation.
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo M. Año said taking responsibility and expressing remorse over the deadly explosion is not enough.
He said the CPP should turn over those responsible to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).
“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 maybe served to their families and loved ones,” Año said in a statement.
The CHR said it has launched an investigation into the incident.
“The use of anti-personnel landmines is a violation of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL). Not only do they cause exceptionally severe injuries, suffering, and death, anti-personnel landmines also fail to distinguish between civilians and combatants, such as what happened in this case,” CHR spokesperson Jacqueline Ann de Guia said in a statement.
“We stress that even non-state actors, such as the NPA, are bound to respect IHL, alongside the government,” she added.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), for its part, said they were working with Philippine National Police (PNP) for the filing of criminal charges against the NPA leadership who ordered the attack.
The Makabayan bloc at the House of Representatives also condemned the “military action by a unit of the NPA” in the said province.
The group also urged the family of the victims to report the tragic incident to the Joint Monitoring Committee, the body that accepts complaints on the non-compliance by either the CPP-NPA or the government and the AFP-PNP to the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law. (SunStar Philippines)