By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
MANILA — Randall Echanis, peace consultant and known peasant leader, was killed in a house raid early this morning, August 10 in Novaliches, Quezon City.
Echanis, 72, was seeking medical treatment.
“Our anger is beyond words. This is a culture of extrajudicial killings with impunity under the Duterte regime. 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,” said former Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao.
Echanis was first arrested under the Marcos dictatorship, where he was detained incommunicado. He was released in 1986. He and wife Linda, along with their then two-year-old daughter were arrested four years later. Charges against them were later dropped.
In 2008, Echanis was arrested in Bago, Negros Oriental while holding a consultation with sugarcane workers. He was charged with multiple murder over the Hilongos mass grave.
Under the Duterte administration, Echanis was a member of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines’ Reciprocal Working Committee on Social and Economic Reforms, where he pushed for free land distribution, better living conditions for farmers and fisherfolk, rural development, to name a few.
He faced threats of re-arrest after the termination of peace talks between the Philippine government and the NDFP Peace Panel. (Bulatlat.com)