extrajudicial killings

Fingerprint test confirms QC stabbing victim is Randy Echanis

Rambo Talabong
Fingerprint test confirms QC stabbing victim is Randy Echanis

ACTIVIST. Randy Echanis is a long-time activist known for leading causes for agrarian reform.

The test confirms what the family and colleagues of slain Anakpawis chair Randy Echanis knew all along

Proving what his family and colleagues had been saying all along, a fingerprint test conducted by the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) on one of the bodies from a reported stabbing incident in the city confirmed that it belonged to slain Anakpawis chair Randall “Randy” Echanis.

This was confirmed by QCPD chief Brigadier General Ronnie Montejo in a press briefing on Wednesday, August 12.

Montejo said the QCPD Crime Laboratory compared the fingerprint of the cadaver with a fingerprint printed over one of Echanis’ identification cards presented by his family. After finding 12 similarities with the prints, the laboratory finally declared that Manuel Santiago was actually Echanis—3 days after he was slain.

Why does this matter?

Since the killing of 72-year-old Echanis on Monday, August 10, police had expressed doubts that the body was his, citing an identification card recovered from the crime scene bearing the name Manuel Santiago.

Police insisted on keeping Echanis’ body at their preferred funeral parlor, Pink Petal Memorial Homes in La Loma, Quezon City. The QCPD said it would only give the body to the family if there was concrete proof that the body was Echanis’.

Was the DNA test necessary?

For family and colleagues of Echanis, the requirement of a test, whether a DNA or fingerprint test, before the discharge of Echanis’ body was an overkill. For one, no less than Echanis’ widow, Erlinda, had identified the body as her husband’s and obtained it as early as Monday afternoon, only for police to take the body back later in the day.

This forced Erlinda Echanis on Tuesday to write Pink Petals Memorial Homes a demand letter, calling for the release of her husband’s body and expressing her disapproval of any procedures, like an autopsy, done without her consent. – Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

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.