‘Suppression drive’: CPP calls for release of Echanis, other political prisoners


Posted at Dec 05 2020 02:46 PM

MANILA — The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on Saturday reiterated its call for the release of activist Amanda Echanis and more than 650 political prisoners, describing the government’s move as a “continuing suppression drive” against progressives. 

In a statement, CPP said progressive and “patriotic forces” in the country remain subjected to the government's persecution, surveillance, and extrajudicial killing. 

“The aim of this campaign is to disrupt the work of mass-based organizations in order to prevent them from exposing the people's plight and expressing their grievances and demands amid the pandemic and disasters,” the statement read. 

The communist group added that revolutionary forces and the democratic sectors in the country condemn the unlawful arrest of Echanis, the daughter of National Democratic Front peace consultant Randall Echanis, who was killed in August.

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Rights advocates have feared that she would suffer the same fate of detained activist Reina Mae Nasino, whose child died this year after being separated from her mother.

Echanis is currently detained in Camp Crame after she was arrested on Wednesday for illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

Militant group Anakpawis earlier said the arrest was illegal and the evidence was planted. Various organizations and the Senate’s minority bloc meanwhile, have also demanded for her immediate release. 

Philippine National Police chief Debold Sinas had earlier denied the operating team planted the weapons against Echanis.

"Yung mga sinabi nilang planting, hindi po totoo 'yun. Papano ka mag-plant ng mga baril na ito, mga bago, mga high-caliber. Mahirap po mag-plant nun, bahay niya 'yun eh," he said.

Sinas also claimed Echanis is part of the underground communist movement, but no one had come forward to directly testify against the jailed peasant leader.

Malacañang for its part had directed the Department of Social Welfare and Development to protect the welfare of the 1-month-old child of arrested Amanda Echanis, daughter of slain peasant leader Randy Echanis.