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Opposition congresswoman backs independent probe on Absalon death

By Ben Rosario / Manila Bulletin

Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sara Jane Elago on Tuesday, June 8, said she is supporting an “independent and thorough investigation” into the death of Kieth Absalon, an outstanding football player of the FEU Tamaraws, who died following a bomb blast in his hometown in Masbate.

Also killed in the incident was Absalon’s cousin, Nolven Absalon, 40. Nolven’s minor son, Crisbin Daniel, was injured in the blast that was reportedly caused by an improvised explosive devise (IED) planted allegedly by communist insurgents operating in the area.

The three were leisurely biking when the IED exploded.

Elago called for an independent investigation notwithstanding the fact that police probe is already on-going.

There are also no clear signs that relatives of the victims are questioning the police investigation.

Elago said the circumstances surrounding the death of the cousins are “unclear”, thus, making it vital that “we exhaust efforts to ascertain the details regarding the incident before jumping into conclusions.” Initial reports indicated that the IED was planted as a land mine by the New People’s Army operating in the vicinity of Barangay Anas, Masbate City.

Footballers in the country mourned the “senseless death” death of Kieth who was described as one of the shining starts in local football.

“We support the call for an independent and thorough investigation as we seek justice for the deceased; this Representation will file a House Resolution on this matter as we welcome CHR’s (Commission on Human Rights) own investigation,” said Elago in a press statement.

“The incident, having allegedly occurred in the context of the armed conflict between the GRP and the CPP, falls within the purview of international humanitarian law,” stated Elago.

She urged government to “implement and adhere to the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), and file a complaint before its Joint Monitoring Committee to demand accountability for the untimely, unfortunate demise of Keith and Nolven.”

The opposition lawmaker added: “This incident highlights why the government must resume the peace negotiations and resolve the decades-long conflict through addressing the roots of armed struggle such as extreme poverty, abuse, marginalization, and injustice.”



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