Anakpawis slams “police desecration” of the dead
Manila, Philippines — “Imbestigahan nila ang mga pumaslang, hindi ang pinaslang!” This was according to the militant Party-list Anakpawis on Tuesday, lambasting the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) for unlawfully “snatching” the remains of the murdered Anakpawis Chairperson and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Consultant Randall “Randy” Echanis early morning today.
According to Echanis’ wife Erlinda Echanis, she has positively identified his husband’s lifeless body which bore torture marks, multiple stab and gunshot wounds in a funeral home in La Loma, Quezon City; and along with other relatives, she managed to transfer Echanis’ remains to a funeral of their choice last night. But not long after that police elements came and forcefully took Echanis’ remains for alleged absence of a “release order” from their office.
The police asserted that the cadaver was still “under investigation.”
“This adds insult to our injury. It is both inhuman and unjust for the remains of my husband to be held under police custody and deprive us of having a proper and private mourning,” Erlinda Echanis, also a former Chief of Staff of Anakpawis Party-list in the congress said in a statement.
“Why is my husband’s cadaver under investigation in the first place? It should be the perpetrators that should be hunted down and persecuted, not the lifeless body of my husband!” Echanis lamented.
For his part, former Anakpawis Congressman Ariel Casilao slammed what he called as PNP’s “twisting and handwashing” of Echanis’ brutal murder.
The police claim that the dead body found in Novaliches was not Echanis, but a certain “Manuel Santiago”, which Anakpawis said is the “PNP’s brazen attempt to diminish Ka Randy’s brutal killing as a mere common crime and not a politically-motivated extrajudicial killing”.
Moreover, Anakpawis said that while their quick reaction team was negotiating for the release of Echanis’ remains, a member of the paralegal team, identified as Paolo Colabres, was illegally nabbed by the police over alleged “obstruction of justice”.
“The police are the ones obstructing the justice for Ka Randy. Instead of going after the perpetrators, they fixate themselves to the families and a lifeless body attempting to cover-up the crime. This strengthens our suspicion that the state forces were really behind Echanis’ murder,” ended Casilao.
In a separate statement, the militant peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), where Echanis was also a Deputy Secretary General, slammed NCRPO Chief General Debold Sinas as “behind the desecration of Echanis’ remains”. ###
#JusticeForKaRandyEchanis Indignation rally at the compound of Commission on Human Rights by Anakpawis and other groups.
Erlinda Lacaba-Echanis demanding the release of the remains of Ka Randy Echanis at a Laloma funeral home.