“We call on all member states of the UN Human Rights Council to be seized of the seriousness of the human rights situation in the Philippines and to adopt all the recommendations in your June 30 report on the human rights situation in the Philippines,” ICHRP Chairperson Peter Murphy said in his letter to Bachelet.
By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
MANILA – An international solidarity group reported the killing of Randall Echanis to the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights Michelle Bachelet.
In a letter to Bachelet, the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) urged her office and the United Nations Security Council to lead the international condemnation of Echanis’s murder.
“We call on all member states of the UN Human Rights Council to be seized of the seriousness of the human rights situation in the Philippines and to adopt all the recommendations in your June 30 report on the human rights situation in the Philippines,” ICHRP Chairperson Peter Murphy said in his letter to Bachelet. (Click here to read in full the June 30 report of OHCHR.)
Murphy also appealed to the Philippine government “to abandon its war on all political opposition, and instead to release all political prisoners and resume the stalled peace talks.”
The group urged the Philippine government to “bring perpetrators to justice.”
In another statement, the International League of Peoples’ Struggles Commission 3 on Human Rights and Political Prisoners said they are outraged and hurt with what they described as the horrific killing of Echanis.
“That is Duterte and his murderous pursuits – all an exhibition of his fear and fright of the power of the idea of peace, advocated and pursued by Ka Randy to challenge the hollow power he desperately clings on to,” the group said.
ILPS slammed Duterte’s attacks against peace consultants. They said Duterte never understood the language of peace adding that “his notion of peace is by silencing and killing peace advocates.”
Echanis was part of the peace negotiations between the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). He had been instrumental in the drafting of the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Rights which is the next substantive agenda in the peace negotiations before it was unilaterally terminated by Duterte in 2017.
“Duterte may have succeeded in killing peace advocates and his critics, but he can never kill or sweep aside the idea of peace espoused by those he felled. For every drop of blood spilled from Duterte’s hands, will spring out peace advocates a thousand fold to pursue peace and freedom, and hold Duterte accountable for his crimes,” the group.
Amnesty International Philippines Section Director Butch Olano also said that the killing of Echanis should be investigated by the authorities and “those responsible must be brought to justice.”
“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,” Olano said in a statement.
Echanis and a neighbor named Loiue Tagapia were found dead in his rented apartment in Quezon City on Aug. 10. Reports said Echanis sustained multiple stab wounds and gunshots. An autopsy was already conducted by forensic expert Raquel Fortun but the report is yet to be released.