Opposition senators demanded Friday the immediate release of Amanda Echanis, the daughter of slain National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultant and Anakpawis chairman Randy Echanis.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, Senators Francis Pangilinan, Leila De Lima, and Risa Hontiveros said Amanda and her one-month-old baby should be released immediately for humanitarian reasons.
“Jail is not a place for a mother and her one-month-old boy she is nursing. Considering the vulnerabilities of mother and son, releasing them is in their best interest as per the First 1,000 Days Law or Republic Act 11148,” the minority senators said in a joint statement.
The senators also said Amanda Echanis and her son should be treated humanely while they in custody, citing the death of Baby River Nasino, who was separated from her detainee mother, activist Reina Mae.
“We hope our authorities have learned a thing or two about compassion and humanity from that incident, so as not to have a repeat of an avoidable tragedy,” the senators said.
“We also urge a speedy and truthful investigation and handling of the case of Amanda, accused of keeping firearms, just as she has just given birth,” they added.
Opposition senators demand release of Amanda Echanis, baby
Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson Police Brigadier General Ildebrandi Usana told GMA News Online that a judge issued a search warrant against Randy Echanis’ daughter for violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act.
Police reports said Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Regional Field Unit 2 and other PNP units imposed the search warrant at around 8:30 am. Judge Sheila Gacutan-Labuguen of the MTC 2nd Judicial Region (dated November 27, 2020) against Amanda Socorro Echanis, 32.
During the search, authorities seized several firearms and live ammunition inside Amada Echanis’ house. She was charged with illegal possession of firearms and ammunition and illegal possession of explosives, Anakpawis said.
Meanwhile, Police Regional Office II spokesperson Police Lieutenant Colonel Andree Abella said Amanda Echanis and her son were not in jail but in a room and was assisted by a female cop.
“Nandoon po siya ngayon sa regional office ng CIDG… sa isang room po and may nag-assist lang po sa kanya na female police officer,” she said.