BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Thousands of Negrense bikers joined the Bike for Peace and Justice in Negros Occidental Saturday and condemned the atrocities perpetrated by New People’s Army rebels, who claimed responsibility for the roadside bombing in Masbate that killed college football player Keith Absalon and his cousin, Nolven Absalon, who were both biking enthusiasts.
“We strongly call for justice for all the victims of human rights abuses and atrocities of the communist terrorist groups, for all their crimes against humanity, with their relentless and ruthless violations of the International Humanitarian Law,” the manifesto, signed by EB Magalona Mayor Marvin Malacon and the 153-strong Tumandok bikers, including members of the Sangguniang Bayan, read.
SIMILAR ACTIVITIES HELD
Similar activities were held by different police stations in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental, and supported by the Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade.
P/Capt. Eric Doronilla, EB Magalona police chief, said that the Absalon cousins, who had relatives in the town, as reported by Vice-Mayor Eric Matulac, died when a pressure-detonated bomb planted by the CPP-NPA along the road went off.
“We are praying and hoping that it will not happen here,” Doronilla, who organized the Bike for Peace in EB Magalona, in tandem with the town officials headed by Malacon, said.
P/Lt. Abegael Donasco, deputy spokesperson of the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office, said the simultaneous Bike for Peace activity was highlighted by the signing of a manifesto condemning the CPP-NPA, and candle-lighting to call for justice for the Absalon cousins.
Some police units also initiated outreach programs for the poorest of the poor, tree planting and cleanup drives, provincial police deputy spokesperson, P/Lt. Abegael Donasco, said.
In EB Magalona, Malacon distributed P100,000 worth of mountain bikes and accessories to lucky participants of the Bike for Peace.
P/Col. Romy Palgue, NOCPPO director, said in a statement that he welcomed the initiative of the different bikers’ associations, as a way to express their desire for a sustainable peace in Negros Occidental.
“We support these undertakings because peace in Negros Occidental is not just our mandate but our goal, and we are glad that the public shares our sentiment,” Palgue said.
CITY SUPPORTS PROGRAM
The Bacolod City government, through Liga ng mga Barangay president Lady Gles Gonzales Pallen, also supported the “Bike for Peace and Justice” as she condemned the killing of innocent persons in the country.
In her speech, Pallen relayed the appreciation of Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia for the participation of bikers from different clubs and those from the government who pedaled from the Bacolod City Police Office to Barangay Punta Taytay.
About 150 participants joined the “Bike for Peace and Justice” and condemned the human rights violations committed by the CPP-NPA.
Maj. Sherlock Gabana, BCPO spokesperson, said the activity was also in support of families, whose loved ones suffered in the hand of the rebels.*with report from PIA