MANILA, Philippines — The wife of slain peasant leader Randall “Randy” Echanis has positively identified and claimed her husband’s body, but she says the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) took it away from the funeral parlor where she had it transferred.
In a statement issued on Monday night, Erlinda Echanis said: “I condemn the persistent harassment of PNP La Loma-QCPD and their brazen act of snatching the remains of my husband Randall ‘Randy’ Echanis from us. This morning, I have positively identified his lifeless body which bore torture marks, multiple stab and gunshot wounds.”
“Tonight, we have recovered his remains and transferred it to a funeral [parlor] of our choice. Tonight, more than 10 policemen from La Loma PNP forcibly took the cadaver and will return it to Pink Petal Funeral Homes in La Loma, Quezon City,” she added.
Randy Echanis, a peace consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), was found dead, along with a neighbor of his, inside his rented home in Quezon City earlier on Monday.
INQUIRER.net tried to get in touch with QCPD director Brig. Gen. Ronnie Montejo to confirm the allegations, but he has not replied as of posting time.
But earlier, Montejo said that the body discovered in a Novaliches apartment belonged to a certain Manuel Santiago, as they found identification cards bearing his name. Montejo noted that the landlord also said the man had also introduced himself as Santiago.
Initial reports showed that the man was found after a person in the apartment heard noises coming from the victim’s room.
Another dead body, which had a Sputnik Gang tattoo, was found in the room, leading the police to consider robbery or a personal grudge as the motive behind the crime.
“We are considering all possible motives. This could be a robbery, and robbers climb the house. And then maybe when he woke up. We don’t know what happened. Maybe he fought back and he was stabbed. Because based on what we know about similar incidents like this, victims who woke up and fought were stabbed,” Montejo said in Filipino.
“Another angle that we are looking at is a personal grudge — because one of the victims had the tattoo of the Sputnik Gang. We know that these gangs have rivals or enemies. So that’s what we’re looking at now.,” he added.
This runs contrary to the claim of former Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao that the dead man was indeed Echanis and that he was killed in a raid by police officers.
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