After keeping it for 3 days, the police finally released the body of slain Anakpawis chair Randall "Randy" Echanis on Wednesday, August 12.
The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) kept the cadaver from Monday, August 10. The police momentarily handed it over to his family on Monday afternoon. The cops then seized it again, citing the need for a "release order" and proof that the deceased was actually Echanis.
For the police, testimony from Echanis' own widow, Erlinda Echanis, was not enough to prove it was Randall's body.
Echanis' remains were kept at the police's accredited funeral parlor, the Pink Petals Memorial Homes in La Loma, Quezon City.
It was released on Wednesday evening after the QCPD Crime Laboratory confirmed that the deceased was Echanis. The cops got the confirmation after validating the body's fingerprint with one of Echanis' identification cards as reference.
According to legal counsels to the family of Echanis, lawyers Luchi Perez and Rachel Pastores of the National Union of Peoples Lawyers (NUPL), Echanis' corpse will undergo x-ray on Wednesday night and then an autopsy on Thursday at the Philippine General Hospital in Taft Avenue, Manila.
Police have reported that Echanis died of stab wounds. His family and colleagues believe he was tortured before he was killed. – Rappler.com
Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.