Justice for Randall Echanis and immediate release of his daughter along with grandson sought
Manila, Philippines – On the eve of the 4th month since the assassination of peace advocate Chairman Randall “Ka Randy” Echanis and ahead of the International Human Rights Day, militant fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) joined various peasant organizations in calling for the release of his detained daughter and activist Amanda Echanis.
Amanda, 32, was illegally arrested, along with her 1-month-old newborn, by police and military in Baggao, Cagayan province, on the wee hours of December 2. The authorities allegedly recovered firearms and explosives, thus the charges against her.
In a gathering of family, friends, and colleagues of Amanda to launch the Free Amanda Echanis Network (FAEN) held at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani in Quezon City today, PAMALAKAYA asserted that Echanis was arrested based on “planted evidences and fabricated charges”, and called for her immediate and unconditional release as “prison is a no place for a nursing mother, more so to her newborn”.
“We don’t want another baby River, release Amanda with her baby now! The newborn child deserves to be with his mother, outside the prison,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said.
Hicap, former Anakpawis Party-list Representative and convener of Justice For Echanis, Justice For All (JEJA) network, was referring to the tragic death of Baby River on October who was torn from his mother, detained activist Reina Mae Nasino, while being breasted.
PAMALAKAYA’s Hicap added that the illegal arrest of Amanda has proven “the hands of the state forces on the assassination” of her father, who had been receiving threats to his life and was red-tagged for being a peace consultant for the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
“Justice for Echanis remains elusive more than ever with the illegal arrest and continuing indictment of his daughter. We are appealing to the freedom-loving citizens and champions of women’s and children’s rights to collectively call for the immediate and unconditional release of Amanda along with her baby, and hold the Duterte regime accountable for its continuous attack on the democracy and civil liberty,” ended Hicap. ###
Photos by Amihan.