39 bikes given away to mark 40th day of Absalon deaths
By Connie Calipay / Philippine News Agency
LEGAZPI CITY – Some 39 bicycles were distributed by the Philippine Army on Wednesday to commemorate the 40th day of the passing of Kieth Absalon, and his cousin, Nolven, both victims of the New People’s Army (NPA).
The youth sector was the beneficiary of the distribution program at the Ninoy Aquino Freedom Park in Masbate City.
The 21-year-old Kieth, a football player of Far Eastern University, and Nolven, 40, were cycling when anti-personnel mines exploded by the roadside on June 6.
NPA rebels claimed responsibility for the twin deaths.
Capt. John Paul Belleza, 9th Infantry Division (9ID) Public Affairs Office chief, said in a statement on Thursday that the bike distribution was a prelude to the nationwide “Bike for Peace and Justice” on Saturday, organized by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict in coordination with youth and civic groups.
“Kieth's mother, Vilma, attended the event and expressed her gratitude to everyone who went the extra mile in holding a meaningful activity for her son,” Belleza said.
In his message, 9ID commander Maj. Gen. Henry Robinson Jr. again enjoined Masbateños to help the government and the security sector in preventing communist terrorist groups from claiming innocent lives.
"Ang mga bisekletang ating ipinamigay ay sumisimbolo ng ating patuloy at sabay-sabay na pagpadyak patungo sa isang maayos, maunlad at mapayapang Bicolandia. (The bicycles that we distributed are the symbols of our continuous and united push for an orderly, progressive, and peaceful Bicol Region). Let us all move in unison and be one for peace,” he said.
Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr., Southern Luzon Command chief, vowed to help the Absalons obtain justice.
"Kailangang tapusin na natin itong problemang ito at hindi ito kakayanin ng inyong kapulisan at ng Philippine Army. Sama-sama po tayo rito sa kampanyang ito. (We need to end this problem and this fight is not just by the police and the Philippine Army. We are in this campaign together),” Parlade said.
The Communist Party of the Philippines- NPA, which has been waging a five-decade armed struggle against the government, is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)