NDFP consultant killed in house raid?
Neil Jayson Servallos (The Philippine Star) - August 11, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Two persons, one of them said to be a peace consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), were found dead following a raid by unidentified assailants on a house in Novaliches, Quezon City before dawn yesterday.

Probers identified the fatalities as Louie Tagapia, 48, and Manuel Santiago, who was earlier claimed by militant groups as Randall “Randy” Echanis, 72, a peasant leader and NDFP consultant.

The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) insisted that Echanis was not killed, contrary to the claim of Anakpawis.

QCPD director Brig. Gen. Ronnie Montejo said they verified the identities of the victims through identification cards found at the scene.

Echanis was chairman of Anakpawis and deputy secretary general of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), a militant peasant organization. He was Anakpawis’ third nominee in the 2010 elections.

He was part of the peace talks with the Duterte administration from 2016 to 2017, Anakpawis said.

Montejo said their initial investigation showed that a witness, known only as Rheyvan, went inside the victims’ house along Petronia street in Barangay Nova Proper after hearing a commotion at around 1:35 a.m.

The witness told probers that he saw at least five men leaving the house.

Militant groups claimed that the killings were perpetrated by “police forces.” The Philippine National Police has yet to respond to the claim.

Former Anakpawis representative Ariel Casilao said Echanis was undergoing medical treatment and unarmed when “police forces” raided his house.

Montejo said the victims died of stab wounds.

Crime scene operatives said Tagapia bore a Sputnik gang tattoo.

Police said they recovered identification cards, a laptop, a notepad, two flash drives and P400 cash.

The KMP denounced the killings. – Rhodina Villanueva

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