Anakpawis: Police took body of slain peace consultant, arrested paralegal
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.
Anakpawis/release
Anakpawis: Police took body of slain peace consultant, arrested paralegal
(Philstar.com) - August 11, 2020 - 9:46am

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 2:37 p.m.) — Police forcibly took the cadaver of slain peasant activist Randall Echanis from the funeral parlor on Monday night and arrested a paralegal of Anakpawis, the group said.

Anakpawis party-list shared the statement of Echanis’ wife, Erlinda, who said Quezon City cops took away the body of her husband at around 11:30 p.m. on Monday.

“A while ago, more than 10 policemen from La Loma, PNP forcibly took the cadaver and will return it to Pink Petal Funeral Homes in La Loma, Quezon City, under their custody,” Erlinda said.

She said she had already positively identified the body of her husband “which bore torture marks, multiple stab and gunshot wounds.”

Anakpawis reported that Randall, a consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, was killed in the wee hours of Monday at a rented house in Novaliches, Quezon City.

Erlinda said they transferred his remains to a funeral parlor of their choice in the evening, but police snatched Randall’s body later that night.

“I condemn the persistent harassment of PNP La Loma-QCPD and their brazen act of snatching the remains of my husband,” she said.

Luz Perez, lawyer for the Echanis family, said in an interview by ABS-CBN News that police wanted to retrieve the body because it was transferred without a "release order" from the La Loma precinct.

"Which is not a requirement at all because the body was already identified by the spouse and by the officemates of the deceased," she said. 

She added the body had already been examined by a doctor and that police had already approved the conduct of an external examination on the body at the Philippine General Hospital.

"So there is no authority on the part of the police to retrieve the body. Wala silang court order."

Paralegal to face criminal rap

Anakpawis also reported a member of the paralegal team who was guarding the body of Randall after it was taken away “was illegally nabbed by the Laloma Police and brought to the PNP Station 1.”

“The member of the paralegal team, identified as Pao Colabres, is now being taken at the Camp Karingal, Quezon City, to be charged with ‘obstruction of justice,’” the party-list added.

Meanwhile, police are insisting they still need other proof of identification that the person killed is Echanis. Police Lt. Johanna Sazon, QCPD Public Information Office chief, said in an interview with ANC’s “Matters of Fact”  the slain individual is “Manuel Santiago,” based on the ID they recovered and on the statement of the landlady of the apartment.

Pressed if Erlinda’s identification of her husband’s body is not enough, Sazon said the matter is still “under investigation, so we need proof.”

“We are appealing to anyone who is a relative, for possible identification if he is really Echanis, like fingerprint or DNA,” Sazon added in a mix of English and Filipino. — Kristine Joy Patag

ANAKPAWIS PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE RANDALL ECHANIS
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