Police returns remains of slain Anakpawis leader to his family

The body of chairperson Randy Echanis was released Wednesday night after the Quezon City Police again took the slain peace consultant and peasant leader.

The body was released from Pink Petals Memorial Homes in Quezon City around 8 pm after the QCPD called the funeral home that the cross-match was positive and allowed Echanis to be returned to his family, according to Gabriela Party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas.

The relatives did not join in recovering Echanis’ body, and only Brosas, former Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao, legal counsel Luz Perez, and others joined.

In convoy, they went to the Philippine General Hospital, where Echanis’ body was expected to undergo an autopsy.

On Monday, Anakpawis party-list said that Echanis and an unidentified neighbor were killed in a rented house in Novaliches.

Former Anakpawis representative Ariel Casilao claimed Echanis, 72, was undergoing medical treatment and unarmed when “police forces” raided his house.

However, the police said Echanis was not among the two individuals killed in the incident. Police Brigadier General Ronnie Montejo, chief of Quezon City police, said the victims were identified as Louie Tagapia and Manuel Santiago.

The peasant leader’s widow, Erlinda, insisted her husband was killed.

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Police returns remains of slain Anakpawis leader to his family

Anakpawis posted on Twitter that Erlinda said Echanis’ body “bore torture marks, multiple stab, and gunshot wounds.”

Erlinda also claimed that police officers “forcibly took” Echanis’ remains from the funeral parlor to return it to Pink Petal Funeral Homes in La Loma.

Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete said a “thorough forensic examination may be necessary” despite Erlinda’s identification. He said they need to consider “questions” about the identity of the victim.

“We leave it to experts to complete this identification,” he said.

Meanwhile, Anakpawis said Tuesday a paralegal who was “keeping track” of Echanis’ remains had been arrested.

Former Anakpawis representative and now vice chairman of the party-list Ariel Casilao confirmed that Paolo Colabres was arrested at about 2 am.

“They illegally arrested him and charged him of so-called obstruction of justice,” he said in a phone call with INQUIRER.net.