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Troops lauded for successful ops vs. Reds in Masbate mine blast

By Priam Nepomuceno / Philippine News Agency

AFP chief-of-staff, Gen. Cirilito Sobejana (File photo courtesy of AFP)

MANILA – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) commended military and police personnel in Southern Luzon for the JUne 8 successful operation that neutralized three New People's Army (NPA) terrorists behind the unprovoked anti-personnel mine (APM) attack that killed two and wounded a minor in Masbate.

"AFP Chief, Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commends the joint AFP and PNP (Philippine National Police) personnel of (the) Southern Luzon Command that neutralized three out of more or less 30 NPA terrorists in a continuing pursuit and law enforcement operations against terrorist murderers and attackers of the Absalons of Masbate," AFP spokesperson Marine Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said in a statement Wednesday.

Killed in the June 6 APM blast in Masbate City were Far Eastern University football star Keith Absalon and his cousin Nolven. Absalon's nephew, Chrisbin Daniel, was injured.

Also seized during Tuesday's operation in Barangay Anas, Masbate City were three M-16 and an M-14 automatic rifles from the communist terrorists who fled to different directions after security forces engaged them in a 15-minute firefight.

"Twelve more rifles were confiscated after civilians who have long been pestered by NPA terrorists masquerading as 'protectors of the people' tipped off the location to the authorities," Arevalo said.

He also assured relatives of the victims that the AFP would pursue relentlessly the fleeing NPA terrorists and their leaders until these "menaces" are removed from all communities and brought to justice.

"On behalf of the Filipino people, we will bring to the bar of justice the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) leadership who ordered the execution and their complicit cohorts," Arevalo said.

He added that the AFP would work closely with the PNP in the filing of criminal cases against the murderers and violators of Republic Act 9851 for the CTG’s leadership who directed the wanton killing of hapless non-combatant civilians using APMs.

"These communist terrorists did not only take the lives of Keith Absalon and Nolven Absalon and maimed (Chrisbin) Daniel Absalon. They deprived them of a bright future and hopes for their grieving families," Arevalo said.

The use of APMs is a violation of the International Humanitarian Law and the 1997 Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention adopted by the international community, prohibiting the acquisition, production, stockpiling, and use of weapons.

The Communist Party of the Philippines - 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)



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