One year of injustice for slain NDFP peace consultant Randall ‘Randy’ Echanis

Farmers declare DOJ useless in solving EJKs

As peasant and broad sectors remember the first year of the brutal killing of NDFP peace consultant and peasant advocate Randall ‘Ka Randy’ Echanis, the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) said the Department of Justice (DOJ) proved useless and incompetent in giving justice for Echanis.

Whatever happened to the DOJ’s AO 35 that was tasked to investigate the killing of Echanis and other activists including Negros-based human rights worker Zara Alvarez? Justice remains elusive for Ka Randy, Zara, and thousands of other victims of state-sponsored extrajudicial killings.

“Walang hustisya at nandyan pa rin ang mga berdugong pumatay kay Ka Randy at sa marami pang aktibista,” says Danilo Ramos, chairperson of KMP and convenor of the Justice for Echanis, Justice for All network (JEJA).  

Echanis was stabbed to death in the early morning of August 10 last year inside his rented home in Novaliches, Quezon City. His neighbor Louie Tagapia was also killed. “It was the handiwork of hardened killers, upon the orders of Duterte and the NTF-ELCAC,” Ramos said.

Ramos said it was death squads and mercenaries of the Duterte regime that killed Randy Echanis. “Authorities know who killed Ka Randy, but no action was taken to bring them to court, and give justice for Ka Randy’s brutal death. “We demand explanations from the DOJ and Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra. We want Malacanang to take responsibility for the brutal killing of Echanis and other NDFP Peace Consultants. Ipinapatay sila ng NTF-ELCAC,” says Ramos as he noted that other known NDFP peace consultants were also brutally killed during Duterte’s reign:

> Randy Felix Malayao, killed inside a bus, on January 30, 2019;

> Couple Julius Soriano Giron and Lourdes Tan Torres were killed in Baguio City on March 13, 2020;

> Retired NDFP Consultants Agaton Topacio and Eugenia Magpantay, killed on November 26, 2020, in Rizal;

> Retired NDFP consultants Antonio “Manlimbasog” Cabanatan and his wife Florenda “Osang” Yap were abducted and tortured for months, and killed on December 26, 2020, in Iloilo;

> Reynaldo Bocala and aide Welly Arguelles Epago killed on May 28, 2021 in Iloilo;

> Former priest Rustico Tan killed on May 28, 2021, in Camotes Island;

The brutal killing of Echanis and other NDFP peace consultants bore similar patterns, as the killings seemed to be a part of a ‘grand liquidation operation’ to neutralize known NFDP consultants and personalities. Kagagawan itong NTF-ELCAC.

“We demand justice. We thirst for justice. We will continue to seek justice and retribution for their deaths. Echanis and other peace consultants sought and fought for peace but the Duterte regime silenced and killed them,” Ramos said.

Anakpawis Partylist and land reform advocates from SAKA hanged streamers this morning across Quezon City footbridges demanding justice for Echanis.

At 7PM tonight, Anakpawis, KMP and Justice for Echanis, Justice for All network will premier an online memorial event for Echanis via Anakpawis’ Facebook Page. https://www.facebook.com/anakpawis.partylist #

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