National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultant Randall “Randy” Echanis was killed in his own home in Quezon City early this morning, his colleagues confirmed today.
Echanis, 72, was also chairperson for Anakpawis party-list and secretary general for farmer’s group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP).
Anakpawis party-list said the activist was “brutally killed” by suspected state forces inside his rented house in Novaliches, along with an unnamed neighbor. KMP said Echanis was stabbed to death by five suspects at around 1:30am.
Echanis was a long-time NDFP consultant and a member of the NDFP committee on socio-economic reforms. The veteran activist was part of peace talks with the Duterte administration from 2016 to 2017, Anakpawis said.
Former Anakpawis Representative Ariel Casilao said in a statement that the slain activist “was undergoing a medical (sic) treatment, and unarmed” when the killers, whom he alleged were members of the police, raided Echanis’ house.
“Our anger is beyond words. This is a culture of extrajudicial killings with impunity under the Duterte regime. This is a declaratory act that national leaders of [the] legal-democratic movement are now targeted to be killed by the Duterte regime. The entire civil society, human rights advocates, and freedom fighters must totally denounce this criminal act,” Casilao said.
KMP chair emeritus Rafael Mariano condemned the killing in a separate statement, likewise accusing the Duterte administration of having a hand in Echanis’ death.
“Duterte has already signed the death order of activists and peace consultants upon the enactment of the anti-terrorism law. We will seek justice for Echanis and other victims of state-sponsored killings, at any cost,” Mariano said.
Critics fear that the largely contested Anti-Terror Law could be used by the Duterte government to silence its critics by branding them as terrorists. A provision in the law allows the arrest and detainment of suspected terrorists of up to 24 days without a warrant.
Novaliches Police could not be reached, and has yet to release a statement on the incident as of posting.
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