Palace urges DSWD to ensure welfare of arrested Amanda Echanis’ child
Robie de Guzman • December 3, 2020 • 209
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.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has reported that the family members of the victims in the Tarlac shooting, as well as the wife and daughter of the cop involved, have received stress debriefing.
Social workers from DSWD Field Office III conducted an initial critical incident stress debriefing (CISD) to the wife and child of Police Staff Sgt. Jonel Nuezca to help them cope with the trauma brought by the unfortunate incident.
The family members of the victims, Sonia Gregorio and son Frank Anthony, on the other hand, received psychosocial debriefing.
Other members of the community who witnessed the unfortunate incident will also undergo similar intervention.
CISD is a process that allows survivors of natural and human-induced calamities as well as traumatic incidents to process and help them cope with their traumatic experiences.
The DSWD also said it will continue to monitor the families of the victims and the perpetrator to determine additional appropriate interventions. AAC
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) clarified that there is no truth to the posts circulating online about a third tranche of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).
In a statement, the DSWD explained that there is an ongoing payout for the Emergency Subsidy Program (ESP) which is a provision of Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2.
The department clarified that the Bayanihan 2 ESP has a set of beneficiaries different from SAP 1 and SAP 2.
“The Bayanihan 2 ESP is a one-time cash grant of P5,000 to P8,000 which is being distributed to low income family beneficiaries who are physically residing in areas placed under granular lockdown,” the DSWD said.
As of December 19, there are 145,025 beneficiaries who received their emergency subsidy under Bayanihan 2. AAC
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)
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