QCPD acknowledges body that widow identified days ago is Randy Echanis'
Screenshot shows a press briefing held at the Quezon City Police District headquarters in Camp Caringal.
Screengrab / PIO QCPD on Facebook
QCPD acknowledges body that widow identified days ago is Randy Echanis'
Franco Luna (Philstar.com) - August 12, 2020 - 6:59pm

MANILA, Philippines — The body retrieved from a rented Novaliches house on Monday and later taken by police officers from grieving family members over doubts over his identity is Randy Echanis', the Quezon City Police District acknowledged on Wednesday.

At a press briefing on Wednesday evening, Police Brig. Gen. Ronnie Montejo said that a fingerprint test was conducted to confirm the identity of the body that family and supporters had already already identified as Echanis, chairperson of Anakpawis party-list and a peace consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. 

READ: Police have no authority to hold Echanis' body, demand DNA test — lawyer

Despite the pleas of Echanis' widow, police insisted that the cadaver belonged to one Manuel Santiago, with their sole basis being an identification card found at the scene of the crime.

Shortly after Echanis' body was transferred to a funeral parlor that the family chose, police showed up and took it back, saying a DNA test needed to be conducted to prove his identity. They also said the body lacked a release order, a requirement that the Echanis family's lawyer does not exist.

His body was due for an autopsy when cops arrived, Anakpawis party-list also said. 

QCPD also arrested a paralegal of Anakpawis party-list who was among those watching over the body, filing a case of obstruction of justice.  

The body will finally be turned over to the deceased's bereaved family after a long saga that saw police harass grieving relatives who were trying to hold a mass for the late peasant advocate, citing violations of quarantine protocols.

Echanis was referred to by police as "Manuel Santiago" the entire time.

It took Quezon City police three days to confirm the identity of the victim. 

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