QCPD confirms it was Echanis who was killed in Novaliches, issues apology
MANILA, Philippines — The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) has confirmed that Randall “Ka Randy” Echanis, peace consultant of National Democratic Front of the Philippines, was stabbed to death inside an apartment in Novaliches on Monday, Aug. 10.
QCPD chief Brig. Gen. Ronnie Montejo said police investigators received a dactyloscopy report which showed that the fingerprint of Randall Echanis was identical to the fingerprint of the body recovered from the crime scene.
“Ibig sabihin, Randall Echanis and Manuel Santiago [are] one in the same person. Napatunayan na po na iisang tao lang sila,” Montejo said during the press conference at Camp Karingal, QCPD Headquarters.
(It was proven that they are the same person.)
According to initial reports, police probers identified the body as Manuel Santiago due to an identification card found at the crime scene. The landlady also told police that Santiago was living in the apartment.
Montejo said they have yet to determine the reason why Echanis identified himself as Manuel Santiago.
Major Elmer Monsalve, head of QCPD Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (CIDU), said they would still need to receive a statement from Echanis’ spouse, Erlinda, before turning over the corpse to the family.
“Magbibigay siya ng statement sa CIDU, para mapatunayan na siya yung asawa ni Echanis… Pagkatapos, saka i-tu-turnover yung cadaver ni Echanis,” Monsalve said during the same press briefing.
(She will give a statement to CIDU to prove that she is related to Echanis. After that, we will turn over the cadaver to Echanis.)
Echanis’ body is currently at the Pink Petals Funeral Homes.
Monsalve noted that they already received documents such as a marriage certificate from Erlinda as proof that she is related to the slain peasant leader.
CIDU is currently leading the investigation to determine the motive and suspects into the murder of Echanis.
Montejo apologized to the family of Echanis, saying they are only doing their job to secure the body of the peasant leader.
“Doon sa kamag-anak, pasensya na po sa inyo sana maintindihan ninyo. Iningatan lang ng investigator yung katawan nila (Santiago, Echanis),” he said.
(To the relatives, I am sorry, I hope you will understand. We are only protecting the body.)
Anakpawis partylist previously slammed the police for forcibly taking away Echanis’ body from a funeral parlor which QCPD described as “illegal” transfer of the corpse. Police said it was illegal because the body was retrieved without their knowledge.
But members of he progressive group contradicted the police statement, saying they consulted a police doctor for the turnover of Echanis’ body. [ac]
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