Echanis' wife said victim is her husband: ex-Anakpawis solon
It was Randall Echanis’ wife who identified the cadaver of the victim in the stabbing incident in Novaliches early Monday morning, according to former Anakpawis Partylist Rep. Ariel Casilao.
In a message to The Daily Manila Shimbun, Casilao said Echanis’ wife, through a video call verified and confirmed the cadaver after a lawyer and volunteers of Anakpawis went to Pink Petals Funeral Homes in La Loma.
“The assertion of PNP (Philippine National Police) is clearly an attempt to whitewash or cover up the suspicion of our group that the incident is politically motivated and we highly suspect that the incident was perpetrated by elements of anti-peace, butcher elements of state security forces,” he said.
“Their assertion is already immaterial since we have already confirmed the identity of the cadaver and Randall Echanis as one and the same,” he added.
In a press briefing earlier, Quezon City police director Brig. General Ronnie Montejo insisted that the victim is a certain Manuel Santiago.
“Based on the owner of the apartment, that is also the name used by the victim… So right now, unless otherwise there is proof that he is the one they (militant group) are mentioning, we will stick on our information that he ( Echanis) is Manuel Santiago,” Montejo said.
Casilao said the statement of the Quezon City Police District that the victim was not Echanis, chairman of the Anakpawis partylist group, based on the identification card they presented is'' immaterial''.
“It’s immaterial, the mere fact that the body is already identified by the wife. We can sense that it's a desperate attempt of PNP to twist and make it appear as if we are making false statements,” he said.
Montejo also asked militant groups to show proof police officers entered the house and killed the victims.
“I asked them to be careful in accusing anyone without evidence,” Montejo said.
In his earlier statement, Casilao said Echanis “was undergoing medical treatment, and unarmed when police forces raided his house.”
“Our anger is beyond words. This is a culture of extrajudicial killings with impunity under the Duterte regime. This is a declaratory act that national leaders of legal-democratic movement are now targeted to be killed by the Duterte regime. The entire civil society, human rights advocates and freedom fighters must totally denounce this criminal act,” he said. Ella Dionisio/DMS