Palace: Difficult for Duterte to interfere in probe of Echanis’ death
MANILA, Philippines— It will be hard for President Rodrigo Duterte to intervene in the probe on the death of peace talks consultant Randall “Randy” Echanis’ as he will just allow the investigation to continue, Malacañang said Wednesday.
This is according to Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque who was asked if the President will heed the appeal of Echanis’ wife Erlinda for Duterte to intervene as the family and police fight over the consultant’s remains.
READ: Slain peace talks adviser’s kin, PNP in tug of war for body
“Well, it’s being investigated now. It’s not just a police investigation, it’s the NBI [National Bureau of Investigation] now through the Department of Justice,” Roque said in an interview over CNN Philippines.
“Again, in matters where there’s police investigation or criminal investigations being conducted, it’s very difficult for anyone including the President to interfere. So he will allow the process to continue,” he added.
Echanis and his neighbor Louie Tagapia were found dead inside his apartment in Novaliches, Quezon City on Monday.
The police brought their remains to Pink Petals Memorial Homes in La Loma.
The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) identified the victim as Manuel Santiago but Erlinda said she positively identified and claimed her husband’s body and had it transferred it to a different funeral parlor.
Police however forcibly took the body and returned it to the Pink Petals Memorial Homes where they first brought it.
“On the claim of the bodies, because there are questions about the identity, we now have modern technology that will guide us if need be. I’m sure they can undergo or adapt DNA technology, DNA science to find out the true identity of the remains na pinagaagawan ngayon,” Roque said.
“But I think the President as a lawyer will allow the investigation to proceed unhampered,” he further said.
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