Marine General Edgard Arevalo, spokesperson for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (Photo of the ANP file)

MANILA – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said on Wednesday that the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) was complicit in the planning and direction of the unprovoked attack on the anti-personnel mine (APM) which killed footballer Keith Absalon and his cousin Nolven in Masbate City on June 6.

In their attempt to appease the families of the victims, the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) through a ‘spokesperson’ apologized to the families of the victims. They expressed their willingness to compensate them. families for their losses, “AFP spokesman Marine Major-General Edgard Arevalo said in a statement.

Arevalo added that the apology “remains to be seen” referring to Tuesday’s CPP-NPA statement claiming responsibility for the conduct of the MPA attack which also injured Absalon’s nephew, Chrisbin Daniel, 16. .

He said that Communist terrorists had committed similar crimes in the past and admitted to perpetrating these heinous acts.

“But they have done nothing since to compensate the victims but empty promises or compensation claims. If they have done nothing to compensate their victims in the past, how can we expect them to do so. ‘they are making amends for their crime this time? They will make amends this time, why not also pay for their past transgressions? ” he added.

The military, he said, continues to sound the alarm bells on the storage of APMs and their widespread use by these Communist terrorists.

“Here and elsewhere in the world, this practice of using NPAs has long been prohibited by international humanitarian law. AFP has given in, but this terrorist group has not,” Arevalo said.

He added that they had already reported to the United Nations and local agencies the 141 incidents of production, storage, transport and use of PAM by these terrorists over the past decade.

“We will be relentless in the pursuit of justice for the 224 victims, including 29 civilians, five of whom were killed,” Arevalo said.

What “tactical error”?

Meanwhile, the Department of National Defense (DND) has dismissed the CPP-NPA’s claims that the incident is just a “tactical error” on its part.

“This tragedy is not caused by a simple ‘tactical error’ as they claim. The use of those landmines that killed the Absalon cousins ​​is actually a matter of procedure for these terrorists who are bent on inflict death and damage to life and the persistent use of landmines by the CPP-NPA is a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law. It is also undeniable proof of the CTG’s total disregard for the safety of innocent civilians “, DND spokesman Arsenio Andolong said in a statement.

Andolong said that the DND strongly condemns the violence and senseless murder of Absalons through the indiscriminate use of NPAs by Communist terrorists.

“It is odious that after taking responsibility for the deaths of Keith and Nolven Absalon, the CPP-NPA has the nerve to claim that it will conduct its own internal investigation, which in reality will never lead to any sort. justice for bereaved families, ”he said.

He added that the arrogance of the CPP-NPA further aggravates their crimes against the Filipino people and that he must answer for these acts.

“In all the decades of the CTG’s existence, the deaths of the Absalon cousins ​​are unfortunately only two cases on the long list of crimes committed by the CPP-NPA. We therefore call on the Filipino people to unite and condemn the atrocities and reject the flawed ideology touted by this communist terrorist group, ”he added.

The use of APM is a violation of 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 CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (ANP)

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