Echanis slay probers given a month to submit report
MANILA, Philippines – The composite team looking into the death of peasant leader and National Democratic Front of the Philippines consultant Randall “Randy” Echanis has one month to submit its findings.
“The investigation into the killing of Randall Echanis is already underway. The composite team tasked to conduct the investigation was given one month within which to submit a report on its findings. Meanwhile, the AO35 Secretariat,” Justice Undersecretary and Spokesperson Markk Perete said Thursday
“They may ask for an extension. Then, a special oversight team will review and evaluate their report and recommend what action to take,” Perete added.
The composite team is under the AO 35 task force. The task force is a special unit of the Department of Justice that conducts an investigation into politically-motivated killings or extrajudicial killings of members of civil society groups, political movements, people’s and non-government organizations, among others.
Last Aug. 10, Echanis was found dead, along with his neighbor inside his house in Quezon City.
Meanwhile, Perete said the AO 35 Secretariat already recommended the inclusion of Zara Alvarez’s case in the docket of the task force.
Alvarez’s death came a few days after the killing of Echanis. Alvarez was a community health worker and paralegal for human rights group Karapatan.
“That recommendation is now under review, after which a special investigating team may also be formed to probe the case,” Perete said. [ac]