MANILA, Philippines – Anakpawis party-list chairperson Randall “Ka Randy” Echanis was stabbed to death this morning, August 10, at his rented house in Novaliches, Quezon City, according to a report by the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP). ), Monday.
Echanis killed his neighbor at around 1:30 a.m. earlier after five unidentified suspects entered.
Echanis was killed along with his neighbor around 1:30 a.m. earlier after five unidentified suspects entered.
“Our anger is beyond words. This is a culture of extrajudicial killings with impunity under the Duterte regime,” said Ariel Casilao, former Anakpawis representative in the House.
“This is a declaratory act that national leaders of 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 added that Echanis was still undergoing treatment when he was killed and “unarmed when police raided his house.”
PSN is still taking the Philippine National Police (PNP) side of the killings, but it is still not responding to the interview.
Aside from his work in Anakpawis, Echanis, 72, also serves as deputy secretary general of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) – a militant peasant group.
Echanis has been instrumental in drafting the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) which has been repeatedly tabled in the House since 2007, something aimed at free distribution of land to farmers.
He became the third nominee of the said party-list in 2010.
Echanis was arrested and imprisoned three times during the time of former Presidents Ferdinand Marcos, Corazon Aquino and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Despite this, he has continued to promote the fight of landowners since his release in 2010.
Is there a connection to the anti-terror law? KMP and Anakpawis added that the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 is exacerbating these attacks on legal activists, even though the state says it is only for terrorists.
Read: What is the ‘Anti-Terror Bill’ and why are there objections to it?
“While the country is bearing the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, state-backed mercenaries and death squads remain on the loose and wreaking havoc on activists and freedom fighters,” said Rafael Mariano, KMP chairperson emeritus.
“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,” Casilao said.
The government has long linked the Left legal organizations to the legal Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the armed New People’s Army (NPA) – the last organizations declared terrorist by President Rodrigo Duterte.