300 cyclists join‘Bike for Peace’
By Cet Dematera
More than 300 bikers coming from the different provinces in mainland Bicol have joined on July 17 in Legazpi City the “Bike for Peace” advocacy campaign spearheaded by the government to demand immediate justice for the death of former FEU football player Keith Absalon and his cousin Nolven.
The Absalons were killed while biking when suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) detonated a homemade bomb in Masbate City last June.
Marlon Loterte, officer-in-charge of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) in Bicol, said that they were surprised when over 300 bikers joined the event, and this despite the heavy downpour that day.
“We are only expecting about 60 bikers. But we were so surprised when an overwhelming number participated in the bike for peace advocacy campaign despite the heavy rains,” Loterte told Bicol Mail.
He said that aside from asking for a faster resolution of the Absalon murder and frustrated murder cases, the event also called for a peaceful community.
“We all wanted to keep a peaceful society. This event is a manifestation of that intention,” Loterte added.
Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal said that the bike for peace campaign is a symbolic manifestation of everybody’s quest for a peaceful community.
“Your participation in this advocacy only proves that all of us here want to live in a peaceful environment,” Rosal told the bike for peace participants.
The advocacy also coincided with the 40th day when Keith and his cousin Nolven were killed while biking by an improvised explosive device that the rebels admitted they had detonated.
A signing of manifesto condemning the communist group’s atrocities was part of the event.
At least 24 suspected rebels were already charged of murder and frustrated murder before the Masbate City’s Prosecutor’s Office.