Antique joins ‘Bike for Justice and Peace'
By Annabel Consuelo Petinglay / Philippine News Agency
SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique – Bike enthusiasts in Antique Province on Saturday joined the nationwide “Bike for Justice and Peace” to commemorate the 40th day of the death of the Absalon cousins who were killed in a roadside explosion of an anti-personnel mine (APM) in Masbate City last June 6.
The explosion of the APM planted by the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Purok 4 Barangay Unas, Masbate City left Kieth Absalon, a football player of the Far Eastern University (FEU), and Noven Absalon dead.
Antique Provincial Police Office (APPO) information officer Staff Sgt. John Mark Gonzaga, in an interview on Saturday, said the cyclists gathered in front of their respective municipal police stations or plazas for a short biking activity in the morning to express their condemnation of the killing.
“The activity was also held as part of raising the awareness that the bike enthusiasts are against the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) use of antipersonnel-landmine,” he said.
Gonzaga said after the biking activity, the enthusiasts were also joined by other members of the community for a tree-planting or coastal clean-up followed by a candle-lighting ceremony before they finally dispersed.
To avoid mass gathering, he said the bikers pedaled in batches with 10 cyclists per batch.
No formal program was held to avoid mass build-up.
The participants came from the coastal towns of Culasi and Patnongon and bikers’ associations Anini-y Bikers Club, Hamtic Mountain Bikers, Bugasong Bikers, and Semirara Bikers.
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.
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. (PNA)