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)
MANILA, Philippines – Militant group Anakpawis denies pointing to the police as the perpetrator in the killing of National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Consultant Randall “Ka Randy” Echanis.
Instead, former Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao said they believe the crime was executed by the “safe security forces.”
“Wala kaming conclusive statement na sinasabi na [We have no conclusive statement that] the suspect is a police or military,” he said.
“Ang sinasabi namin (What we’re saying is), we highly suspect that this is a handiwork or perpetrated by safe security forces based on the political affiliation and political background of Ka Randy Echanis,” he added.
He said Ka Randy had been tagged as a terrorist since November 2017 when the peace talks between the communists and the government collapsed.
“Ka Randy was one of the personality consistently tagged as a communist terrorist personality. He was consistently red-tagged for the last two years,” Casilao noted.
Because of this, the Philippine National Police (PNP) appeals to militant groups to avoid speculating on the suspect in the killing of Echanis.
“It will not do justice sa pamilya at sa mga biktima kung paiiralin ay guess work at espekuslasyon (It will not do justice to the family and the victim if we rely on guess work and speculations),” said PNP Spokesperson PBGen. Bernard Banac.
Banac added that the Quezon City Police District is conducting a thorough investigation to identify the suspect.
“Ang tinitiyak natin sa ngayon ay may masusing imbestigasyon na isinasagawa ang Philippine National Police at tinitiyak natin na hinahabol natin ang mga suspek upang mapanagot natin sila sa krimen na kanilang ginawa (What we are sure of at the moment is that the Philippine National Police is doing a thorough investigation and we are making sure to chase the suspects and hold them liable for the crime they committed),” the official added.
Meanwhile, Anakpawis said they will file charges against the policemen who allegedly held Ka Randy’s remains hostage.
“The lawyer is considering filing a criminal case against La Loma Police elements and those who dropped the name na nag order daw na kuhanin o i- take custody iyong bangkay (of the person who ordered to take the body into custody),” Casilao said.
But the PNP explained there were no lapses on their part and they only exercised the proper procedures in identifying a dead person bearing two different names.
The PNP also asks for understanding, that the process took almost two days to finally confirm that Manuel Santiago and Randall Echanis are one and the same person.
“Sa ngayon wala naman tayong nakikitang lapses doon sa pangyayari. Iyon ay bahagi lamang ng procedure na ginampanan ng investigating body, ang pagsasagawa ng proper identification ng isang tao lalo at ito ay dead body (At the moment, we see no lapses with what happened. That was part of the procedure that the investigating body has to do, conduct proper identification on a person especially on a dead body),” Banac explained.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) Special Investigation Team is set to begin the investigation on Echanis murder. MNP (with reports from Lea Ylagan)
MANILA, Philippines – The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) on Monday said it is now trying to ascertain the true identity of one of the two male persons who were earlier found dead in Novaliches, Quezon City.
The victims were initially identified by police as Manuel Santiago and Louie Tagapia.
This runs contrary to claim of the Anakpawis and other militant groups that one of the victims is Anakpawis chairperson and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultant Randall Echanis.
QCPD director Police Brigadier General Ronnie Montejo said the two individuals’ identities were verified through identification cards found in their apartment and the landlord’s statement.
“Manuel Santiago talaga ang pagkakilala sa kanya ng may-ari eh. Tinanong namin na ‘May nagsasabi ngayon na ito si Randy, ano ba ‘yun, Echanis’. Sabi niya, ‘Ay hindi, kasi ang pakilala n’yan sa akin nung umupa dito…” nag-issue nga s’ya ng statement na Manuel talaga ‘yun,” he said.
Montejo said it is open to coordinating with Anakpawis and the victims’ kin to confirm their identities.
“’Yung mga kamag-anak n’ya, ini-encourage din natin na pumunta sa CIDU para mag-issue ng statement, eh wala pa rin dumating kaya hangga’t wala pa doon muna kami sa na-recover na ID at sinabi ng may-ari ng bahay,” he said.
Currently, police investigators are looking at robbery and personal grudges as possible motives for the killing as one of the victims, Tagapia, was found to have sported a Sputnik Gang tattoo.
“Unang tinitingnan natin ay ‘yung mga modus ng akyat-bahay… Baka kakilala n’ya, hindi rin natin masabi, baka nagising ito,” Montejo said.
“Isa rin sa tinitingnan natin ay ‘yung si Louie Tagapia, may tattoo na Sputnik gang. Kalalabas lang din pala nito, ang kaso ay illegal drugs, parang personal grudge sa kanya,” he added.
Montejo also asked parties not to instantly accuse police of being behind the slay of the victims.
“Malayo eh kasi wala namang pulis na pumapatay na saksak eh, anong ginagawa n’ya sa baril n’ya? Lalapitan pa n’ya eh di lalo s’yang delikado,” he said.
He also clarified earlier reports that the incident was a result of police operation as there was no coordination made from any QCPD unit. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday warned the Anakpawis group not to violate the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) regulations again following their release from detention.
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año issued the warning after former Anakpawis Party-list representative Ariel Casilao and six other members have posted bail amounting to P264,000 on Wednesday night, April 22, following their arrest and detention for allegedly disobeying ECQ rules when they conducted “unauthorized” relief operations in Norzagaray Bulacan.
The group was apprehended after their jeepney was flagged down at a quarantine control point in Barangay Bigte around 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 19.
The vehicle was carrying six individuals with 50 packs of relief goods. Police said that some propaganda materials were also found inside the vehicle upon their inspection.
Año said the group “took advantage of the provision granted to food pass holders and violated physical distancing protocols with an attempt to organize mass gathering in the guise of relief efforts for the poor.”
“They were in violation of ECQ guidelines at the time when the entire country is struggling to contain the coronavirus to prevent further transmission. Ang ganitong mga paglabag ay hindi lamang taliwas sa batas ngunit isang banta sa kalusugan ng ating mga kababayan,” Año said.
Should the group violate the quarantine protocols again, the DILG chief said Anakpawis members will be “prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
“Now that they have posted bail, we hope that they will not do it again dahil hindi naman tayo magdadalawang-isip na dakpin silang muli,” he said.
He also warned that no one will be spared if they are found violating the quarantine guidelines set by the national government.
“The Anakpawis incident was a clear demonstration of how food pass can be exploited for malicious intents in the guise of relief operation for the poor. Sinabi na din po ng Department of Agriculture (DA) na hindi po maaaring gamitin ang food pass sa pamamahagi ng relief goods,” he adds.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar earlier clarified that food pass cannot be used for relief operations as it is a privilege given to producers, suppliers and truckers that procure and deliver agri-fishery commodities and other food products to and from Manila and other provinces during the observance of the ECQ.
Following the Anakpawis incident, the DILG directed the Philippine National Police to be vigilant and always be on the lookout for unauthorized usage of food pass in all checkpoints.
“Walang pinipili ang mga manloloko at mga kriminal na ito, maging ang krisis na tulad ng COVID-19 kaya I urge the men and women of the PNP manning our checkpoints to be vigilant in checking food passes at tiyakin na ito ay hindi peke at hindi magagamit sa anumang iligal na aktibidad,”Año said.
“PNP’s consistent presence at checkpoints and their vigilance in counterchecking requisites such as the food pass and other permits can aid in ensuring that only permissible entities can pass through,” he added.
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