PAMALAKAYA doubts DOJ investigation on Echanis’ assassination
Manila, Philippines — “It was the DOJ that placed the life of Ka Randy in further danger through its deadly proscription list that was actually a hit list. Essentially, the agency is among those who have motive to harm him,” This was the reaction of the militant fishers group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) on Friday, rejecting the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) AO35, creating a task force to investigate the assassination of Anakpawis Chairman and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultant Randall “Ka Randy” Echanis.
Echanis, 71, was grotesquely murdered inside his rented apartment by at least 8 assailants on the wee hours of August 10. His neighbor Louie Tagapia, was also found dead.
Earlier, Anakpawis asserted that Echanis’ murder was “politically-motivated and extrajudicial.”
On the same day of Echanis’ funeral, a Bacolod-based human rights activist from Karapatan was shot dead by unidentified assailant. Both Echanis and Alvarez were included in the DOJ’s petition to tag more than 600 activists and personalities as ‘communists-terrorists’.
“The terror list was actually a hit and arrest list. The DOJ has practically signed the death order of more than 600 activists through its petition to declare them as terrorists, thus, it has blood on its hands,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.
Moreover, the group raised that the Secretary of Justice is a member of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC), created via the Executive Order 70 of President Duterte. The NTF-ELCAC, PAMALAKAYA said, has been “notorious in red-tagging and vilification campaign of activists and progressive organizations”.
“What kind of justice could be expected from a member of a body that is notorious in immoral red-tagging of activists? The very mission of this task force is to politically persecute legal and democratic activists, as Duterte even ordered to wipe out alleged legal fronts,” Hicap questioned.
He added that DOJ have no moral high ground and would never be a trustworthy body to lead the investigation.
“DOJ actually contributed to endangering Ka Randy and the lives of many activists and freedom fighters. We firmly believe that this act is just pouring cold water on the fiery public outrage, ” Hicap, former Anakpawis Party-list solon added.
PAMALAKAYA said it will support the Anakpawis Party-list’s independent investigation that will garner supports from non-governmental and private entities both from the local and international.
“We urge Justice Secretary Guevarra to hands off the case of Ka Randy. They make up the murderous Duterte regime that is behind the rampant killings of activists and other forms of human rights violations against the Filipinos,” ended Hicap. ###