Manila, Philippines – The Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women and Anakpawis Partylist exclaimed that three months after the brutal assassination of peace advocate and the latter’s National Chairperson Randall “Ka Randy” Echanis, justice remains elusive and the perpetrators remain at large. Likewise, the groups lambasted President Rodrigo Duterte for appointing the notorious Major General Debold Sinas as new Philippine National Police chief who is having the apppointment ceremony today. The groups said that Duterte and Sinas will further execute various human rights abuses targeting activists, farmers, peasant women, celebrities and others. 

“Lalong walang mareresolbang mga kaso ng extra-judicial killings sa mga magsasaka at aktibista, dahil ang mismong PNP chief ang pasimuno nito.  Wala itong tatrabahuhin na imbestigasyon para maparusahan ang mga kriminal na pumatay kay Ka Randy, at ang mga mass killings tulad ng naganap sa Negros ay lalo pang magaganap sa buong bansa.  Patunay ito na ang pino-promote ni Duterte ay ang mga abusado at mamamatay-tao,” Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women national chairperson Zenaida Soriano said.

Soriano said that, “Only the state forces with a long-running mercenary tradition possess the most gruesome grudge against Ka Randy and are capable of doing such a vicious crime. The killing of Ka Randy was the state’s admission of its failure to deceive the people and to suppress the people’s growing protests.”

AMIHAN said that the Filipino people should not forget the legacy of Ka Randy as he was been instrumental in advancing genuine socio-economic reforms through his active involvement in crafting alternative pro-farmer bills and on the peace negotiations such as Genuine Agrarian Regorm Bill (GARB), Rice Industry Development Act (RIDA) and others. 

The groups lambasted the appointment of Sinas, known as mass murderer among farmers, who killed 20 farmers in their simultaneous raids under Oplan Sauron 1 and 2 in Central Visayas in December 2018 and March 2019. During these times, he was the Police Regional Office chief in Central Visayas. At present, under the Duterte government, more than 288 farmers have been killed including 36 peasant women, 10 minors, at least 33 elderly and 9 farmer couples. 

For his part, Anakpawis Party-list former representative Ariel “Ka Ayik” Casilao said that the pursuit of justice for Echanis is already beyond legal, but political, as obviously the regime, the police, the Department of Justice and other state machineries are all in collusion in its counter-insurgency assault against activists and critics.

“Justice for Ka Randy Echanis is only possible if Duterte has already vacated the seat of power. The killings of Ka Randy and other activists are all in line with his counter-insurgency program, with the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict or NTF ELCAC waging the mass deception campaign of red-tagging activists and their supporters.  Ka Randy’s political assassination is on Duterte’s bloody record of crime against humanity, and we are confident that there will be reckoning,” Casilao said in a press statement

“We mourn and we rage for the death of Ka Randy and other EJK victims. We demand justice and accountability for all the victims of human rights abuses committed by this government. We demand the scrapping of Executive Order No. 70, Memorandum Order No. 32, Anti-Terror Law and other state policies authorizing illegal arrests and detention, red-tagging and other forms of human rights violations,” the groups ended. ###

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