MANILA – The government will launch a formal investigation into the death of National Democratic Front (NDF) consultant Randy Echanis, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Tuesday.
“Upon the assumption that the subject was indeed peasant leader Echanis, I have directed the AO (Administrative Order) 35 task force on EJK (extrajudicial killings) to form a special investigating team to look into the incident,” Guevarra said in a message to reporters.
Guevarra, however, said they will wait for the family’s confirmation that the victim was Echanis, given the confusion on his identity.
“It is necessary to confirm the identity of the victim before the task force on EJK starts its investigation of the incident. AO 35 covers the summary killings of persons on account of their advocacies, such as labor and peasant leaders, but not common crimes involving ordinary persons,” Guevarra added.
Echanis and an unidentified neighbor were found dead inside a rented house in Novaliches, Quezon City early Monday.
Echanis was a consultant of the NDF, chair of the progressive group Anakpawis, and also served as deputy secretary general of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas.
He is the third NDF consultant killed in the country after Sotero Llamas in 2006 and Randy Malayao in 2019.
He participated in the 2016-2017 peace talks between the Duterte administration and the communist movement. (PNA)