Even after his own wife had positively identified his body, police want a DNA test to prove that the man who was killed in Quezon City on Monday, August 10, is really Anakpawis chairman Randall "Randy" Echanis.
Quezon City Police District (QCPD) spokesperson Lieutenant Johanna Sazon said in an interview on ANC on Tuesday, August 11, that the identity of Echanis has to be proven through a "fingerprint or DNA test."
Cops earlier identified Echanis as Manuel Santiago, based on an ID recovered from the crime scene.
"We are appealing to whoever his relative is to cooperate with the CIDU (Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit) for possible identification if he really is Echanis or Santiago through fingerprint or DNA test," Sazon said in an interview with ANC.
Echanis' wife, Erlinda, identified the cadaver as that of her husband on Monday, August 10, the day he was killed.
When Anakpawis announced Echanis' killing on Monday, the QCPD could not confirm it, saying they only knew of a stabbing incident that led to the death of two people, whom they identified as Manuel Santiago and Louie Tagapia, in Novaliches, the same area where Echanis lived.
On Monday afternoon, Echanis' wife and lawyers identified Manuel Santiago to be Echanis and then brought his body to a St Peter's funeral home in Quezon City.
In the evening, QCPD policemen "forcibly took" his body again and brought it to another funeral home, Pink Petals, in La Loma, Quezon City. It was there that QCPD policemen arrested paralegal Pao Colabres – who was guarding the body while participating in a vigil – for alleged obstruction of justice. – 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.