QCPD chief detective: Anakpawis moved Echanis’ corpse sans cop’s knowledge
MANILA, Philippines — The head of Quezon City Police District-Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (QCPD-CIDU) on Tuesday accused members of Anakpawis party-list group of illegally moving the remains of Randall “Ka Randy” Echanis.
Reporters sought QCPD-CIDU chief Major Elmer Monsalve’s side on the allegation of Echanis’ wife, Erlinda, that police had forcibly taken her husband’s body from a funeral parlor on Monday night.
Echanis, who was killed inside his apartment in Novaliches, Quezon City, was a consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines on peace negotiations with the government.
“Kinuha nila (Anakpawis) dun (funeral parlor) … nang hindi alam nung CIDU. Ano iimbestigahan na walang kaalam-alam at kinuha nila,” Monsalve said in a phone interview.
The body of Echanis was first brought to Pink Petal Funeral Homes in La Loma, Quezon City, but was transferred to St. Peter Funeral Homes along Quezon Avenue by his wife. Erlinda said police forcibly took her husband’s corpse without papers or court orders.
But Monsalve said the Anakpawis party-list members were already advised by the Pink Petal Funeral Homes that they must first inform QCPD-CIDU before moving the corpse to another funeral parlor.
“Inadvisan ng punerarya na bago kayo mag-release diyan, ipaalam muna sa CIDU para kuhanan ng statement para malaman ang identity, para malaman ang relationship doon sa cadaver. Ganon muna kasi that is a medico legal case,” he said.
(The funeral parlor already advised them that they should inform CIDU first before transferring the body so we can proceed with the medico-legal process of getting statements of the claimants, to determine their identity and relationship to the cadaver.)
Monsalve further reiterated QCPD’s earlier statement that relatives must coordinate with the police to prove that Echanis was indeed the one who was killed inside the apartment.
But Anakpawis denied not having coordinated with QCPD-CIDU regarding the transfer of Echanis’ corpse. The group said they consulted a police doctor, who had closely coordinated with QCPD-CIDU on the issuance of a death certificate.
“This photo was prior to external examination of the body with proper coordination and in the presence of the PNP physician, for the purpose of issuing the death certificate so the body can be released. And PNP doctor was in close coordination with CIDU,” Anakpawis pointed out in a statement posted on Twitter.
“So there is no truth that we transferred the body from Pink Petal Funeral to the funeral of our choice. And in the first place, the families don’t need PNP’s consent to transfer the body when the funeral has already ordered its release,” it added.
OUR RESPONSE [THREAD]
This photo was prior to external examination of the body with proper coordination and in the presence of the PNP physician, for the purpose of issuing the death certificate so the body can be released. And PNP doctor was in close coordination with CIDU. https://t.co/p6zjtJnkrm pic.twitter.com/JhA1ZSIWdo
— Anakpawis Party-list (@AnakpawisPL) August 11, 2020
Echanis and his neighbor were stabbed to death in a Novaliches apartment at 1 a.m. Monday, August 10. according to the police. Authorities initially identified Echanis as Manuel Santiago, based on the identification card recovered from the crime scene.
Police investigators also said the landlady of the apartment identified the body as Manuel Santiago, not Echanis.
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