Justice sought for Ka Randy, a year after his death

Jasmin Romero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 10 2021 11:48 PM

MANILA - Several groups continue to call for justice a year after peasant leader Randall "Ka Randy" Echanis was killed inside his home in Quezon City.

His family, friends and several groups commemorated his 1st death anniversary with a "Day of Action", where protests, noise barrages, candle lighting ceremonies and a cultural program were conducted online the whole day today, in observance of strict quarantine protocols.

"Tatay, miss na miss na kita," his daughter Amanda Echanis said in a recorded message.

"Hanggang ngayon wala pa ring hustisya. Masakit at mapait ang katotohanang ito pero wala tayong aasahan sa ganitong sistema. Husto lang ang ating pinapanawagan, husto lang ang ating ipinaglalaban," she added.

Amanda is a detainee and was pregnant when she learned of her father’s death. She is with her 1-year old son Randall, who she named after her father.

Echanis' family and fellow activists believe his killing was "state sponsored".

"Napakasakit. Nandoon ang katotohanan na biktima ka ng pagpaslang na sponsor ng estado. Isang taon na ang nakaka lipas ay wala parin tayong nakakamptang hustisya," his son, July Echanis, said.

"Kapansin-pansin na natapos ang isang taon na di pa rin ma- establish ng DOJ ang identities ng mga pumaslang kay Ka Randy. Wala pa ring nananagot ni isang tao," said Bayan Secretary General Renato Reyes.

"Di tayo titigil hangga’t hindi nakakamit ang hustisya di lang para kay Ka Randy, kung hindi para sa lahat ng mga biktima ng pinaslang ng pasistang gobyernong Duterte," he added.

Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate, who also attended the program, vowed to continue seeking justice for Echanis' death.

"Ang araw na ito ay araw ng paniningil, pagsigaw na kailangan nang bigyan ng hustisya ang pagkapaslang kay kasamang Randall Echanis," he said.

"Ang malinaw- walang interes para sa hustisya ng administrasyon dahil tila ito ang nag-utos at nagsagawa ng karumal-dumal na krimen," Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay also said.

Echanis was a consultant in the government’s peace negotiations, and was part of the formation of the comprehensive social agrarian reforms.

For labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), Echaris' death obliterated the gains he made for the farmers.

"Sa buod ng maitim na puso ni Duterte, wala itong planong isakatuparan ang tunay na reporman sa lupa at pambansangn industrilisasyon sa lupa," KMU Chairperson Elmer Labog said.

Echanis and an unidentified neighbor were found dead in a rented house in Novaliches, Quezon City a year ago.