Sinas junks claims police planted firearms in house of Echanis' daughter
The chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday said it is impossible for operatives to plant high-caliber firearms inside the house of Amanda Echanis, daughter of slain Anakpawis chairman Randy Echanis, in Cagayan Valley last Wednesday.
In a TV interview, General Debold Sinas said operatives from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) implemented a search warrant for illegal possession of firearms, ammunition and explosives.
“Now, they are saying planting (of evidence). That’s not true because how can you plant high-caliber firearms? That’s hard to do because that’s her house,” Sinas said.
Sinas said Echanis and her husband are part of the underground movement and Anakpawis does not want to admit it.
“Truth is Amanda is in the underground (movement). Her husband is the leader of NPA (New People’s Army) in Cagayan Valley,” Sinas said.
Also served a search warrant was Isabelo Adviento, alias Buting, regional coordinator of Anakpawis and chairperson of Kagimungan-Cagayan Chapter in the same place. High powered firearms were seized by the police and military.
He said police received information some firearms were being kept in Echanis’ house that’s why they applied for a search warrant.
“So it’s not true that they are not involved in the underground (movement),” he said.
Sinas also said Echanis insisted on bringing her child during the arrest, debunking claims of militant groups that the child was arrested.
“She is the one who wants to bring her child. She insisted that’s why the police allowed her and asked the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) to help her,” he said.
According to Sinas, Echanis is under the custody of Cagayan Valley regional police while the search warrant is being returned to the court.
During the operation in Barangay Carupian, Baggao municipality, CIDG operatives confiscated one M16 assault rifle, one long plastic M16 magazine, one long steel M16 magazine, 20 live ammunition, and two grenades which resulted in the arrest of Echanis.
"The two law enforcement operations conducted were witnessed by barangay captain Velario Calderon, barangay kagawad Imelda Baniaga, Rosalinda Dagohoy, wife of alias Buting and Ronald Reyes, a local resident," said Maj. Jekyll Julian Dulawan, public affairs chief of the 5th Infantry Division.
The search warrants against Echanis and Isabelo Adviento were issued by Judge Sheila Gacutan-Labugen of Metropolitan Trial Court 2nd Judicial Region, Baggao.
Alyas Waya (Echanis) and Alyas Buting were charged in violation of Republic Act 10591 and 9516 known as the Firearms and Regulation Act and Illegal possession of explosives respectively, said Dulawan.
According to a police report, Echanis is the finance officer of West Front, Komiteng Probinsya ng Cagayan (KOMPROB) Cagayan operating in the Cagayan Valley region. Ella Dionisio-Robina Asido/DMS