CHR tells Reds: Yield rebels in killing of Absalon cousins
MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Friday (June 11) demanded the turnover by communist guerrilla leaders of rebels involved in the landmine explosion in Masbate that killed a college football player and his cousin.
In a statement addressed to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, New People’s Army (NPA), the CHR said saying sorry would not be enough.
The commission said if NPA was “serious and sincere about taking accountability,” it should “identify all those responsible and surrender them to lawful authorities to face justice within the court system.”
The CHR said communist rebel leaders should go “beyond owning responsibility, offering indemnity and promising an investigation.”
“They should likewise be held accountable for all other crimes they have perpetrated in violation of international humanitarian and human rights laws since they began pursuing this armed conflict,” it added.
An improvised explosive device planted by NPA went off at the village of Anas in Masbate City last Sunday (June 6), killing Kieth Absalon, a football player of Far Eastern University, and his cousin, labor leader Nolven Absalon.
On Tuesday (June 8), CPP and NPA leaders said they were taking “full responsibility” for the death of the cousins and expressed “deep remorse” for it.
CPP said it would investigate the case and own up to the killing of the Abasalon cousins if an investigation showed NPA was responsible.
The CHR said it condemns “all forms of violence that tramples on the rights and dignity of all persons” and will demand the same transparency and accountability from NPA as it does the government.
“We urge the government to ensure that perpetrators are held to account under existing laws,” it said.
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