A total of 39 young Masbateño bikers received brand new bicycles from the Philippine Army in a Bike Distribution Program in Masbate City, last July 14.
The turnover event was to commemorate the 40th day after the killing of Kieth Absalon, the FEU football player and his cousin, Nolven, by the members of Communist Terrorist Group (CTG). Both were assassinated during their regular fitness regimen together with other bikers.
Aside from his love for football, Kieth is also known as a cycling enthusiast. He and his cousin along with other bikers were passing by the road in Barangay Anas, Masbate City on June 6 when communist terrorists detonated an anti-personnel mine and shot them in point blank range.
The bicycles, which were donated by the 9th Infantry Division (9ID), Southern Luzon Commmand (SOLCOM) and the Army’s partner stakeholders with the support of Provincial Government of Masbate headed by Gov. Antonio Kho.
The bike-giving served as a prelude of the nationwide Bike for Peace and Justice activity on July 17 which is being organized by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) in coordination with the youth and civic
Attending the event this morning was no less than Kieth’s mother, Vilma Absalon who expressed her gratitude to everyone who went an extra mile in holding a meaningful activity for her son.
Also present were LtGen Antonio Parlade Jr PA, SOLCOM MajGen Henry Robinson Jr PA, 9ID commander; PCol Rodolfo Castil Jr, Deputy Regional Director for Operations (DRDO) of Police Regional Office 5 (PRO-5); Mayor Rowena Tuason of Masbate City; Col. Aldwine Almase, Brigade Commander of 903rd Infantry Brigade; Edna Apalit, Assistant Local Government Operations Officer of Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Masbate and PCol. Joriz Cantoria, Provincial Director of Masbate Police Provincial Office.
In his message, MGen. Robinson once again enjoined the Masbateños to help the government and the security sector in preventing the CTG from claiming another innocent life.
“Ang mga bisekletang ating ipinamigay ay sumisimbolo ng ating patuloy at sabay-sabay na pagpadyak patungo sa isang maayos, maunlad at mapayapang Bicolandia. Let us all move in unison and be one for peace,” Robinson said.
Lt. Gen. Parlade, for his part, reiterated his vow to help the Absalons get the justice they deserve for Kieth and Nolven’s tragic death.
“Kailangang tapusin na natin itong problemang ito at hindi ito kakayanin ng inyong kapulisan at ng Philippine Army. Sama-sama po tayo rito sa kampanyang ito,” Lt. Gen. Parlade said.
Meanwhile, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. confirmed that Kieth Absalon was specifically targeted due to his popularity and active promotion of sports among the youth that was contrary to the advocacy of communist terrorist groups (CTGs).
Esperon 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) while biking.
“At ito nga ang pinaglalaban natin at tinutulungan natin ang pamilyang Absalon. At para dito ay sinasamahan tayo ng maraming nakikiisa sa atin hindi lang dito sa NTF-ELCAC,” he added.