Police "forcibly took" the body of slain Anakpawis chairman Randall "Randy" Echanis late night Monday, August 10, after finding out about his identity.
"More than 10 policemen from La Loma PNP (Philippine National Police) forcibly took the cadaver," said Echanis' wife Erlinda in a statement sent to reporters.
Echanis was brought from the family's "choice funeral home" to the Pink Petal Funeral Homes in La Loma, Quezon City, said Erlinda.
Police apparently took Randy Echanis' body because they needed a "release order." This document is unheard of in handling the dead for police personnel.
"What release order? There is no such thing!" said Echanis' lawyer Jobert Pahilga in a text message to Rappler.
"I condemn the persistent harassment of PNP La Loma-QCPD and their brazen act of snatching the remains of my husband Randall 'Randy' Echanis from us," said Erlinda.
Echanis was stabbed to death with another victim in his Novaliches home early Monday morning.
Police believed that he was a certain Manuel Santiago, based on an identification card they recovered from the crime scene in Novaliches.
Echanis is known for leading causes for agrarian reform. He is credited for his work in helping craft the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill.
Echanis also served as political consultant for the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDF).
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.