Contrary to what a YouTube video claimed, Kabataan partylist representative Sarah Elago has condemned the New People’s Army’s June 6 operation in Masbate City that led to the deaths of Kieth and Nolven Absalon.
Elago released a statement on June 8 through her Twitter account, saying the killing of innocent civilians was unacceptable.
Her statement reads:
Mariing kinukundena ng Kabataan Partylist ang operasyon ng NPA na humantong sa hindi inaasahan pagkamatay ni Keith at Nolven Absalon sa Masbate.
Sa kabila ng digmaang sibil sa bansa, hindi kailanman katanggap-tanggap na masawi and mga inosenteng sibilyan.
(Kabataan Partylist strongly condemns the NPA operation that led to the unforeseen deaths of Kieth and Nolven Absalon in Masbate.
Despite the current civil war in the country, the deaths of innocent civilians are never acceptable.)
On the same day, Elago posted a statement on her Facebook page supporting the call for an independent investigation of the case. She welcomed the Commission on Human Rights’ own investigation to seek justice for the bereaved families and hold the perpetrators accountable.
The statements refute the allegation made in June 18 video uploaded on YouTube channel VIRAL PH News. The title reads:
SARAH ELAGO NAGMUKANG EWAN SA KALSADA! ANG INGAY SA IBANG ISYU PERO TAHIMIK KAY KIETH ABSALON (Sarah Elago looked foolish on the streets! Vocal on other issues yet silent on Kieth Absalon)!
A narration reiterated the claim in the video at the 0:27 mark:
Ang ingay ingay sa ibang issue, pero tahimik at parang basang sisiw sa issue ni Kieth Absalon (Too vocal on other issue yet silent and looks like a wet chick on Kieth Absalon’s issue)
The 5-minute video also ran a clip of Elago speaking through a megaphone during a mobilization with an overlaid text that reads:
ANG INGAY SA IBANG ISYU! PERO TAHIMIK KAY KIETH ABSALON (Vocal on other issues yet silent on Kieth Absalon)!
The clip was culled from a Facebook livestream by Kabataan partylist of a protest against a case submitted by National Task force to End Local Communist (NTF-ELCAC) seeking to disqualify Gabriela Women’s Party from Congress.
On June 6, Keith Absalon and his cousin Nolven were killed when an improvised explosive device was detonated in Masbate City.
The Communist Party of the Philippines and the NPA on June 8 released a statement taking “full responsibility” for the tragedy.
As of writing, the YouTube video has gained 5,543 views and about 292 likes.
VIRAL PH NEWS channel was created on July 26, 2019 and has 179,000 subscribers and about 30,280,419 total views. (JA)
Elago, S. (2021, June 8). Mariing kinukundena ng Kabataan Partylist ang operasyon ng NPA na humantong sa hindi inaasahang pagkamatay ni Kieth at Nolven Absalon…[Tweet] Twitter. https://twitter.com/sarahelago/status/1402259956053721095?s=21
Kabataan Partylist. (2021, June 17). PANOORIN: Mensahe ng pakikiisa ni Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago sa ginagawang pagkilos kasabay ng pagdinig ng inihaing kaso ...[Video File]. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=176364804447236&ref=watch_permalink
Sarah Elago. (n.d.). Kabataan Partylist extends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Kieth Absalon and Nolven Absalon.... [Facebook Status] Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/sjielago/posts/4535747926444284
Valbuena, M. (2021, June 8). On the June 6 Masbate tragedy. Philippine Revolution Web Central. https://cpp.ph/statements/on-the-june-6-masbate-tragedy
VIRAL PH NEWS. (2021, June 18). SARAH ELAGO NAGMUKANG EWAN SA KALSADA! ANG INGAY SA IBANG ISYU PERO TAHIMIK KAY KIETH ABSALON! [Video File] YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSQt5Wo7AFo