A peasant leader who served as consultant during peace negotiations between the Philippine government and communist rebels was killed in a rented house in the outskirts of the capital on Monday, August 10.
Randall “Randy” Echanis, peace consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines was killed inside his rented house in Novaliches, Quezon City.
Ariel Casilao, a former legislator representing the peasant group Anakpawis said Echanis “was undergoing medical treatment, and unarmed when police forces raided his house.”
Authorities are yet to issue a statement on the incident.
“Our anger is beyond words…. This is a declaratory act that national leaders of legal-democratic movement are now targeted to be killed by the (President Rodrigo Duterte regime,” said Casilao in a statement.
“The entire civil society, human rights advocates, and freedom fighters must totally denounce this criminal act,” he added.
Echanis, 72, was deputy secretary general of peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas. He led nationwide campaigns for agrarian reform including free land distribution to farmers.
He was instrumental in the crafting the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill, which was repeatedly filed in Congress since 2007. He became Anakpawis’ third nominee during the 2010 party-list elections.
Echanis was a member of the NDFP Reciprocal Working Committee on Socio-Economic Reforms. He participated during the 2016-2017 peace talks with the Duterte administration that tackled Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms.
The peasant activist was arrested and detained three times during the administrations of former presidents Ferdinand Marcos, Corazon Aquino, and Gloria Arroyo.