Various groups led by Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas and Anakpawis held a Hero’s Burial March for slain peasant and peace champion Randall Echanis. Mourners led by Echanis’ family, peasant organizations, friends, and allies joined the caravan from La Funeraria Paz in Quezon City to the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina as their way of seeking accountability for Echanis’ gruesome death in the hands of fascist state forces.
“Ka Randy did not die in vain. He died as a well-loved hero and martyr of the peasant and people’s movement. His lifelong struggle for land, justice, and peace is worth emulating,” says Erlinda Lacaba-Echanis, widow of the slain peasant and peace consultant. “Our family will seek justice for Ka Randy’s death.”
Enraged, determined peasants nationwide
Peasants all over the country are raged over the brutal assassination of Echanis and the outright desecration of his remains by the police. “We will not let this killing pass. Ka Randy’s murderers, this rotten haciendero and militarist state, will be held accountable. There will be no silence until there is justice!”, KMP National Chairperson Danilo Ramos declares.
KMP Bicol expresses anger, “Nagngangalit kaming mga paraoma sa kawalang respeto ng mga berdugong PNP/AFP sa bangkay ni Ka Randy.” Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon identifies the Duterte regime as culpable, “Nagluluksa at nagngangalit ang sambayanan sa ginawa kay ka Randy at ito ay dadagdag sa napakarami nang basehan para patalsikin at panagutin ang tiranikong rehimeng Duterte!”
Peasant women from Amihan Cagayan Valley commemorate Echanis’ life and memory, “kasabay ng aming pagdadalamhati sa walang awang pagpaslang sa kanya, ay ang pag-alala sa kanyang buhay na nagbibigay sa amin ng lakas at tapang sa patuloy naming paglaban sa karapatan ng mga kapwa naming magsasaka.” KASAMA – Timog Katagalugan also vows to continue Ka Randy’s struggle for genuine land reform, “Nagkakamali ang pasistang rehimeng Duterte na tayo ay matatakot at aatras sa nasimulang laban para sa lupa at pagsusulong ng pambansang kalayaan at demokrasya.”
Local peasant organizations from Ilocos, Negros, Samar, Southern Mindanao Region, and Caraga have also sent their messages during two commemorative programs held for Echanis in the La Funeraria Paz Funeral Homes, which was also streamed online.
Fondly called “Tatang” by his colleagues, Echanis has been at the forefront of the advocacy for genuine land reform for five decades and had worked in the remotest peasant communities. “The fascist Duterte regime will be facing an ever indignant and militant peasant movement inspired by the life and death of Tatang Randy. Many more Ka Randys, champions of land reform and just peace, are set to bloom at his wake.”
Echanis’ remains are set to be interred today August 17 in a Hero’s Burial. #