Groups worry over safety of jailed peace consultants following Echanis slay
This photo release shows National Democratic Front of the Philippines Randall Echanis. He was killed wee hours of August 10, in his rented house in Novaliches.
Groups worry over safety of jailed peace consultants following Echanis slay
Kristine Joy Patag ( - August 10, 2020 - 6:07pm

MANILA, Philippines — A support group for families and friends of political prisoners called on the government to tighten the security of jailed peace consultants, in the wake of peasant activist Randall Echanis’ murder on Monday.

Kapatid, in statement, raised concerns over the murder of Randall Echanis — a  Martial Law-era activist who has since been a consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, Anakpawis national chairperson and deputy secretary general of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas  — who was reportedly stabbed to death in Quezon City.

Anakpawis said Echanis and a still unidentified neighbor were killed in the wee hours of Monday morning in his rented house in Novaliches, Quezon City.

“Echanis’ killing under extremely suspicious circumstances especially worries families of NDF consultants whom they have not been able to visit since the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and Bureau of Corrections imposed a total lockdown on prison facilities around March 11,” Kapatid said.

Echanis is the second peace consultant killed during the Duterte administration following the brutal murder of Randy Malayao in January 2019 while he was on a bus heading to Cagayan.

“It is incumbent upon the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and Bureau of Corrections to ensure the utmost security and safety of the jailed NDF consultants as well as all political prisoners and to protect their rights and welfare as mandated by national and international laws on the treatment of prisoners,” Kapatid added.

Citing data from rights group Karapatan, Kapatid said there are currently 11 NDFP consultants detained as of June 2020. There are also 635 political prisoners jailed, and 402 of these were arrested under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

A group of 22 political prisoners in April sought for their temporary release on humanitarian grounds from the Supreme Court, but the tribunal has yet to resolve their plea four months since their filing.

In a separate statement, rights group Karapatan also echoed the worry of Kapatid over the safety of jailed peace consultants.

"How can we achieve genuine and comprehensive social and economic reforms, as well as just and lasting peace, if advocates like Randy Echanis are being vilified, threatened and traitorously silenced?” Karapatan chairperson Elisa Tita Lubi said. 

“With alarm and anxiety but also with strong commitment to exact justice and accountability, we worry about the other NDFP peace consultants and leaders of the democratic movement, what with the emerging 'shoot-to-kill and take-no-prisoner' orientation of state security forces whom Duterte lovingly refers to as 'his soldiers'," Lubi added. 

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with