Justice for land activist and peace consultant Echanis sought
Manila, Philippines — Militant fishers group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) today demanded “immediate justice” for murdered peasant activist and peace consultant Randy “Ka Randy” Echanis.
Echanis, 71, along with a neighbor who came to his aide, were brutally killed by suspected government agents during the wee hours of August 10.
In a statement, PAMALAKAYA expressed outrage over the brutal killing of Echanis, whom they called as a “staunch land reform advocate” who mounted campaigns for genuine land reform and free land distribution for small farmers and fishers.
“He was a genuine land reform advocate who advanced farmers’ rights to land and against other forms of oppression in the countryside,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.
Echanis was also the national chairperson of progressive Anakpawis Party-list and a member of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-economic Reforms (CASER).
He contributed into the crafting of the Genuine Fisheries and Aquatic Reforms Bill (GFARB) being finalized to be filed in the congress, and ensured the provisions for the rights of the fisherfolk in the Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ARRD) agenda of the CASER.
He was imprisoned thrice over trumped up charges during Marcos, Cory Aquino, and Arroyo administrations.
His advocacies in the “progressive people’s movement”, PAMALAKAYA added, made him a permanent target of “neutralization of past regimes”.
Hicap, former Anakpawis Party-list Representative in the 16th Congress, believes that “state forces are the only party who are capable and have strong motive for his killing”.
“Imprisoned during three past administrations, killed under Duterte. This should raise alarm for all the democratic and freedom-loving Filipinos to denounce and expose Duterte’s murderous regime, and ultimately end his reign,” ended Hicap. ###