Anakpawis condemns arrest of Amanda Echanis, month-old son; claims it’s ‘illegal’

Marje Pelayo   •   December 3, 2020   •   411

Amanda Lacaba Echanis

MANILA, Philippines — The daughter of slain Anakpawis chairman Randall ‘Ka Randy’ Echanis was arrested on Wednesday (December 2) in Barangay Carupian in Baggao, Cagayan, Anakpawis Party-list said in a post on Facebook.

According to the group, Amanda Lacaba Echanis was arrested along with her one-month-old newborn son at 8:30 AM and was charged with illegal possession of firearms, ammunition and explosives.

Anakpawis claims the arrest was illegal and that the arms seized were all planted.

The arrest coincided with the raid of the house of Anakpawis Cagayan Valley Chairman Isabelo “Buting” Adviento in the same municipality in Cagayan.

According to the initial report from the Philippine National Police (PNP), members of the PNP Regional Office 2 and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) served the search warrant against Echanis which resulted in the confiscation of a number of high powered firearms and explosives.

The PNP said Echanis is identified in police records as the finance officer of the group’s West Front – Komiteng Probinsya ng Kagayan (KOMPROB) Cagayan, a subgroup of the CPP-NPA operating in the Cagayan Valley Region.

Anakpawis said it vehemently denounces the illegal arrest of Echanis and persecution of Adviento.

“We assert that Echanis was arrested on planted evidence. She just gave birth to her first child,” the post said.

“We call on her immediate and unconditional release on just, humanitarian grounds,” it added.

READ: Anakpawis suspects some ‘safe security forces’ killed NDFP consultant Ka Randy Echanis

Palace urges DSWD to ensure welfare of arrested Amanda Echanis’ child

Robie de Guzman   •   December 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday called on the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to ensure the welfare of the newborn child of Amanda Socorro Echanis following her arrest in Cagayan on Wednesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque issued the statement following reports that authorities apprehended Echanis for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition and illegal possession of explosives.

“I’m calling upon the DSWD to take steps to ensure that the welfare of the child will be protected,” Roque said in an online press briefing.

He also said that the DSWD should also make sure that Echanis will not suffer the same fate as detained activist Reina Nasino whose three-month old baby died after they were separated.

Roque said an arrest cannot be avoided even if there is a newborn child involved but he assured that the government is taking steps to ensure that the child is protected.

“Hindi po kasi dahilan yun na palibhasa may anak ka ay di ka makukulong at hindi ka masa-subject sa proseso but it is always the rule government will take steps for the best interest of the child,” he said.

Amanda is the daughter of Randall Echanis, peace consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, who was killed inside his apartment in Quezon City in August.

No violation in Amanda Echanis’ arrest – PNP

Marje Pelayo   •   December 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) stands by its position that nothing is illegal in the operation that led to the arrest of peasant women organizer Amanda Socorro Echanis.

Echanis is the daughter of slain consultant and chairman of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Randall ‘Randy’ Echanis. 

According to Police Regional Office 2 Director P/BGen. Crizaldo Nieves, the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) personnel were there to carry out an operation armed with a search warrant issued by Judge Shiel Gacutan Labuguen of the Baggao Cagayan Municipal Trial Court.

“Kapag nag-issue kasi ang court, meron siyang nakalagay doon na [When the court issues a search warrant, it usually says:] “The warrant may be served anytime of the day or night,” Nieves said in response to critics’ questioning the hours the police served the search warrant.

The young Echanis, also known as ‘Waya’ or ‘Julian’ was arrested at 8:30 AM in her home at Barangay Carupian, Baggao, Cagayan on Wednesday (December 2).

Nieves added that Echanis peacefully yielded to authorities. In fact, they didn’t handcuff her and she was boarded on an ambulance instead of a police mobile.

Normally kapag mga criminal, isasakay mo iyan sa patrol car (nang) nakaposas [Normally (in an arrest), the criminal is boarded on a patrol car, handcuffed],” Nieves said.

Siya, hindi naman yata siya pinosas at saka dala niya iyong bata, bakit siya ipoposas [I believed she wasn’t handcuffed and she was holding her child, so why handcuff her]?” he added.

He said a doctor immediately checked her upon arrival at the camp.

“Okay naman daw ang mga normal na signs ng BP. Tapos nagpapa-conduct nga ng post partum assessment pero ayaw naman niya magpadala sa ospital. Hihintayin pa raw ang lawyer niya [(Her blood pressure was normal. She was told to undergo postpartum assessment but she refused to be brought to the hospital. She said she would wait for her lawyer first],” Nieves said.

He dared the militant group to prove accusations that the police planted the armaments that were seized in Echanis’ house.

The search ended at 12:00PM and resulted in the confiscation of the following:

  • 1 unit M16 ARIS Colt 5.56mm assault rifle with SN 4951346;
  • 1 long plastic magazine for M16 rifle;
  • 1 long steel magazine for M16 Rifle;
  • 20 live ammunitions for M16 Rifle;
  • 1 hand grenade with marking 0689;
  • 1 hand grenade with markings frag MK2 with Lot No.p-4-105-78.

In a statement, PNP Chief PGen. Debold Sinas said Amanda Echanis used to work underground because her husband is a leader of the New People’s Army (NPA) subgroup operating in Cagayan Valley.

According to police reports, Echanis served as finance officer of the NPA West Front operating in the region. MNP (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

Echanis sustained multiple injuries, fatal stab wound – forensic pathologist

Robie de Guzman   •   August 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Anakpawis leader and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultant Randall Echanis sustained multiple injuries, but a stab wound to the back caused his death, an expert said Friday.

Forensic pathologist Raquel Fortun, who conducted an autopsy on Echanis, said the peasant leader died after sustaining a stab wound that hit his aorta.

Fortun also said Echanis had head injuries and a laceration.

Echanis and another male, Louie Tagapia, were found killed last August 10 at a rented apartment in Novaliches, Quezon City.

Police investigators earlier said they are looking at robbery and personal grudges as possible motives for the killing. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

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