QCPD to probe claims NDFP consultant was one of two males found dead in Novaliches

Robie de Guzman   •   August 11, 2020   •   219

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)

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)

NBI ordered to probe identity of body said to be Echanis

Robie de Guzman   •   August 11, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday said it has directed the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to determine the identity of the person slain in Novaliches, Quezon City, following claims that the deceased was peasant activist and peace consultant Randall Echanis and not Manuel Santiago as reported by police.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said he also ordered the department’s special investigation team tasked to probe cause-oriented killings to look into Echanis’ killing.

He, however, stressed that the victim’s identity must be ascertained first before the task force starts its investigation due to “emerging confusion.”

He said he will refer the question on the identity of the body to the NBI Forensic Division.

Once the victim’s identity is verified, the Administrative Order (AO) 35 Task Force, which is assigned to investigate the killings of persons on account of their advocacies, will probe the incident.

The special investigation team was formed in 2012 pursuant to AO 35.

The Quezon City Police District earlier said that the person killed inside his rented apartment in Novaliches was a certain Manuel Santiago based on the identification card found in the scene and the landlord’s statement.

Another person, identified as Louie Tagapia, was also found dead along with Santiago.

The Anakpawis and other militant groups, however, claimed that one of the victims was Echanis, a peasant advocate and peace consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.

The family also declared that the slain person was Echanis. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

15 QC cops relieved from posts after Chinese detainees’ escape

Robie de Guzman   •   June 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) on Wednesday said it has ordered 15 of its police officers to be relieved from their posts after six Chinese detainees escaped from their detention facility at Camp Caringal while under their watch.

QCPD director Police Brigadier General Ronnie Montejo ordered the relief of the said policemen assigned to the District Mobile Force Battalion for alleged violation of Article 224 of the Revised Penal Code or evasion through negligence.

Montejo said the police officers were also disarmed while the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group conducts an investigation into the incident.

Chinese nationals identified as Zhang Yi Xin, Ludong Jin, Song Qicheng, Lu Yinliang, Huang Yong Qiao, and Chen Bin bolted their detention facility on the night of June 22.

The six Chinese nationals were earlier arrested for syndicated estafa charges.

They were later traced and rearrested along Barangay Krus na Ligas in Quezon City on Tuesday. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

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