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Forensic pathologist: Echanis met torturous death

/ 01:07 PM August 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines–Some of the wounds sustained by the late peasant leader and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultant Randall “Randy” Echanis was sustained while he was still alive.

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“Hindi sya pinatay agad (He was not killed instantly),” forensic pathologist Raquel Fortun said in a virtual press conference.

When asked if Echanis was tortured first before he was killed, she said “the implications are likely to be there.”

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“If literally torture means suffering was inflicted, and in this sense, physical suffering, it looks like he sustained a lot of injuries first that were not intended to kill him outright and the final fatal injury was that stab wound. The implication is there,” she said.

She added that the distribution of the wounds “implies intent.”

A stab wound to the back is the cause of Echanis’ death, she said.

“The stab wound to the back actually caused injuries to the aorta and the esophagus and it produced hematoma or collection of blood in the chest,” Fortun said.

She said the stab would that hit his aorta “definitively killed him at once.”

Majority of the injuries sustained by Echanis are at his back.She said Echanis also had head injuries.

“There are blunt force trauma in some portions of the head,” she said adding that one laceration could have been mistaken as gunshot wound.

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There was also little indication of struggle as she pointed out that Echanis is already 72-years old and there is not much force needed to subdue him.

On questions of how many people are involved in the killing and other details, she said “the victim’s body can only tell you so much” as she stressed on the importance of carefully processing the crime scene for physical evidence.

Fortun said what she stated at the video conference is a preliminary findings. The final autopsy report may be out next week.

Echanis and his neighborLouie Tagapia were killed last August 10 at his rented house in Quezon City. Echanis was part of the peace negotiations with President Rodrigo Duterte.

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TAGS: autopsy, Human rights, Peace Talks, Randall Echanis
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