Bishop cries justice for slain peasant leader

Bishop cries justice for slain peasant leader

Peasant leader Randall “Randy” Echanis. PHOTO COURTESY OF ANAKPAWIS

By CBCP News

August 12, 2020

Manila, Philippines

A Catholic bishop has joined the fray in condemning the killing of peasant leader Randall “Randy” Echanis and hoping that justice will be served.

Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of San Carlos said the spate of killings is “a clear mark of shameless immorality” in the country.

“I add my pastoral voice to the common cry: Justice for Ka Randy,” Alminaza said.

The 72-year-old activist is known for leading causes on land reform in the country and was instrumental in the crafting of the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill.

Also a peace consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, he brought agrarian reform and rural development as key components in the peace talks between the government and the communist rebels.

“We should never be afraid to confront injustice, and continue our cry in the name of the landless farmers, we will never stop confronting this violent regime,” Alminaza said.

“We pray for the soul of Ka Randy, we live through his dedicated example of championing the peasants’ struggle for genuine land reform,” he added.

Echanis, a former legislator representing the peasant group Anakpawis, was killed in his rented home in Quezon City on Aug. 10 by still unidentified individuals.

The party-list group said that Echanis was undergoing medical treatment, and unarmed when “police forces” raided his house.

He is the third NDF peace consultant killed in the country.

Media reports said Echanis sustained stab and gunshot wounds.

Bishop Alminaza also deplored the “kidnapping” by cops of Echanis’ remains that reportedly was transferred to another funeral home.

“I appeal, please return the murdered body of Ka Randy to his family,” he said.