Paralegal exec contracts COVID-19 after arrest for securing Echanis’ remains
MANILA, Philippines — The paralegal officer of progressive group Anakpawis who was previously arrested for securing the remains of a slain peace consultant has been tested positive for coronavirus.
According to the group, paralegal Pao Colabres’ health was compromised when the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) arrested him for guarding the body of National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) consultant Randy Echanis, and placed him in a cell with inmates who may have passed on the disease to him.
“Anakpawis paralegal Pao Colabres has been tested positive for Covid-19. He was illegally nabbed and detained for more than a week by the police for securing the remains of murdered Anakpawis Chair and peace consultant Randall ‘Ka Randy’ Echanis last week,” Anakpawis said.
“Anakpawis blames the QCPD for compromising the health of Colabres by putting him in a congested jail with potential Covid-positive inmates, and for the delay of his release,” it added.
After news of Echanis’ death spread, the peace consultant’s wife positively identified his body and transferred it to a funeral parlor of their preference. However, QCPD took the cadaver again as it was not yet properly identified.
Investigators were referring to Echanis as a certain Manuel Santiago, based on photos found on the crime scene which bore the victim’s photo. After QCPD took the body, Colabres guarded the body to ensure that nothing wrong would happen.
“The QCPD should be held accountable; they did not only endanger the health of Colabres, but also the entire prison population.” Anakpawis said.
“Colabres is currently on self-isolation and undergoing a medical treatment. After his release on August 18, he immediately underwent a swab testing at Capitol Medical Center and self-isolation,” it added.
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