Kieth Absalon, the football player from Far Eastern University (FEU) who was killed last June and specifically targeted by the communists due to his popularity and active promotion of sports among the youth.
This was revealed by National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. at the recent virtual presscon of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
“Why? Because they found out that Kieth is actively promoting sports and activities for the well-being of the youth na kontra sa adbokasiya ng (That is contrary to the advocacy of) CPP-NPA-NDF Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front),” Esperon said.
He said the CPP-NPA-NDF also “want to show that they are still a force to reckon with, as many of their members have continued to surrender in Masbate.”
“It really seemed like a threat to the people, and that threat was accompanied by murder. So they are really targeted. Meaning they wanted to deliver a message to intimidate the population from whom they are losing support,” added Esperon, also the NTF-ELCAC Vice Chairman, partly in Filipino.
He mourned for the loss of the FEU football player who was crowned the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Juniors Most Valuable Player in Season 78.
“We join the Absalons in their grief for their loss of a son and nephew in this unfortunate incident in Masbate. What happened to Kieth was shocking. There was no any reason and for the wrong reason, a youth who would hopefully give his family bright future, was lost,” Esperon said partly in Filipino.
He, however, assured the Absalon family that the Regional Task Force (RTF) in Bicol has already filed cases in court against the CPP-NPA-NDF and its key personalities for summarily executing Kieth and his cousin, Nolven, after blasting them with the banned anti-personnel mine (APM) last June 6 while biking.
“And this is what we are fighting for and we are helping the family of Absalom. And for this we are joined by many who join us not only here at NTF-ELCAC,” he said in Filipino.