ILPS Commission 3 on Human Rights and Political Prisoners vehemently condemns the bestial killing of Randall “Ka Randy” Echanis, the chairperson of Anakpawis Partylist and deputy secretary general of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (Peasant Movement of the Philippines) during the wee hours of August 10, 2020. Echanis was also actively involved with the peace process since 2016 as a consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) on agrarian reform under the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms (CASER).

As part of the militant Peasant Movement of the Philippines, he contributed  in the drafting and advocating for the enactment of the  Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) in Congress, a piece of legislation which could have decidedly distributed thousands of hectares of lands to millions of poor landless  farmers and could have lifted them out from unending decades old misery and deprivation. Unfortunately and expectedly, heretofore, the bill was never given a chance by the landlord ruled Congress.  

Ka Randy was thrice imprisoned during three past administrations: Marcos, Arroyo and Aquino and all charges filed against him were either dismissed or currently pending in court. Blood thirsty and coward Duterte and his minions who have no respect for the law and the legal process  was so  threatened  he simply decided to snuff out the life of the aging, sickly and unarmed  peace advocate, that is Ka Randy.  Ka Randy was undergoing medical treatment at the time of his murder.

That is Duterte and his murderous pursuits – all an exhibition of his fear and fright of the power of the idea of peace, advocated and pursued by Ka Randy to challenge the hollow power he desperately clings on to. He has already ended the lives of three peace advocates:  Randy Malayao, Julius Giron, and now Randall Echanis.  But Duterte with his talent of sinister and vulgar language never understood the language of peace. His military mind set’s notion of peace is by silencing and killing peace advocates.  Duterte may have succeeded in killing peace advocates and his critics, but he can never kill or sweep aside the idea of peace espoused by those he felled. For every drop of blood spilled from Duterte’s hands, will spring out peace advocates a thousand fold to pursue peace and freedom, and hold Duterte accountable for his crimes.   

We are outraged and hurt at the horrific killing of Ka Randy, but until the day comes when Duterte’s murderous pursuits ends, all freedom and peace loving Filipinos will  have to fight to remove the thug in Malacañang and his equally militaristic sycophantic followers, until peace reigns in our country. ###