Responding to news of the murder of activist and peace advocate Randall Echanis at his home in Quezon City, Amnesty International Philippines Section Director Butch Olano said:
“Killings continue unabated even in the midst of a deadly pandemic. Authorities should investigate the cold-blooded murder of Randall ‘Randy’ Echanis, and those responsible must be brought to justice.
“Echanis had been involved in peace negotiations between the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. His death is yet another addition to the intensifying attacks against political activists in the country. Public safety and respect for human life and human rights has been cast aside since the beginning of this administration. This legacy of death must end now.”
On 10 August 2020, activist and peace advocate Randall Echanis and a neighbor were killed at Echanis’ home in Quezon City. Media reports say Echanis sustained stab wounds, believed to be carried out by unidentified individuals who were reportedly seen leaving his house.
Echanis was the chairperson of Anakpawis Partylist, and Deputy Secretary General of the farmer’s group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP). He served as a political consultant for the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), a coalition of groups involved in an ongoing insurgency in parts of the country, during its peace negotiations with the Philippine government. The NDFP had long been engaged in peace negotiations with the Philippine government before it was cancelled by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Echanis was among the hundreds of individuals that the Department of Justice asked a court to declare as ‘terrorists’ in 2018. Along with others, his name was eventually removed from the list that initially included then UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz.
Another NDFP consultant and peace advocate, Randy Malayao, was shot dead by still unidentified individuals in January 2019 in Nueva Vizcaya province. Several other individuals who have been “red-tagged” or labeled as communists or terrorists have also been killed since the beginning of the Duterte administration.