Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla on Friday said he will order the transfer to Manila of the preliminary investigation being conducted in Masbate, in connection with the deaths of two persons in a landmine explosion attributed to the New People’s Army (NPA).
Far Eastern University football player Keith Absalon and his cousin, Nolven Absalon, died in the blast on June 6, 2021 which occurred while the victims where biking. Nolven’s 16-year-old son was also injured in the incident.
The NPA reportedly admitted having planted the landmine, and apologized to the Absalon family and offered indemnification which was rejected.
The police filed before the Masbate City prosecutor’s office multiple murder and attempted murder complaints against at least 24 suspected NPA members.
Remulla said he was visited at his office in Manila last Tuesday by the victims’ parents, complaining about some problems they were encountering during the preliminary inquiry.
“Because of this, I will order the transfer of the case to Manila so that it will be given attention by Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento and Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon,” Remulla said.
According to Remulla, the other parents who visited him told him that their children were recruited by the CPP and NPA and are now either dead or missing.
“Anger and sadness were heard and seen while some of them were narrating their sad experience,” the Justice Secretary lamented.
“I feel all of their cries especially those whose cases are lopsided or not given attention,” he said.
Remulla also said he assured the parents and the public that the government continuously exerts efforts to stop the CPP-NPA from recruiting.
“We will continue to reach out to ‘Hands off our Children’ organization to save our children and students against the deceptions of the NPA rebels,” he added.