MANILA - Peasant leader and peace consultant Randall "Randy" Echanis and an unidentified neighbor were found dead early Monday in a rented house in Novaliches, Quezon City, Anakpawis said.
Echanis, 72, was national chairperson of Anakpawis and deputy secretary general of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, the groups said in a statement.
The peasant leader was a consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and a member of its Reciprocal Working Committee on Socio-Economic Reforms.
He campaigned for agrarian reform and was involved in negotiations with the Duterte administration on the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms in 2016 and 2017.
Echanis, who has been detained several times during the Marcos, Aquino, and Arroyo regimes, was undergoing medical treatment and "unarmed, when suspected state forces raided his house," according to former Anakpawis representative Ariel Casilao.
"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," he said.
“While the country is bearing the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, state-backed mercenaries and death squads remain on the loose and wreaking havoc on activists and freedom fighters," KMP chairperson emeritus Rafael Mariano said.
The peasant groups will seek justice for Echanis and "other victims of state-sponsored killings, at any cost," Casilao added.
"Duterte has already signed the death order of activists and peace consultants upon the enactment of the anti-terrorism law," he said.