FREE RANDALL ECHANIS, FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS!

FREE RANDALL ECHANIS, FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS!

KD70 Statement
October 20. 2008

FREE RANDALL ECHANIS AND ALL POLITICAL DETAINEES!

lLos Angeles - The executive clemency granted by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to Claudio Teehankee Jr.and other high profile criminals reflects the ills of a justice system under the semicolonial and semifeudal rule of the puppet US-Arroyo regime.

We in the Kilusang Dekada 70 asks: how can this government release a man who brutally killed two young people while it continues to detain more than 200 political prisoners on trumped-up charges? Why is it so easy for this government to show mercy to a convicted murderers than to listen to the cries for justice coming from victims of enforced disappearance, torture and unjust imprisonment?

Until now more than 200 human rights, peace and justice activists are languishing in jail under harsh conditions. More than 200 are still missing and cannot be found.

For the Kilusang Dekada 70 the case of peasant rights advocate Randy Echanis, a veteran activist since the Ferdinand Marcos years stands out. It’s almost a year now since he was imprisoned on trumped-up murder charges filed against him by the government.

Echanis was arrested in Negros while attending a consultation on the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill, he was transported by helicopter to Leyte, where he was charged with multiple-murder. Last July, he was brought to the police general headquarters Camp Crame and, in August was illegally transferred to the Manila City Jail.

Ka Randy is already 60 years old. He spent the best years of his youth in promoting justice, peace and human rights, and in defending and advocating the civil, political, economic and social rights of the marginalized at the height of brutal persecution during the martial law years. He never gave up his principles even though they caused him his freedom.

We ask,why let him suffer this fate? Ka Randy,was in solitary confinement from 1984 to 1986,. He was released after People Power I. Like a true servant of the people, he went back to peasant organizing upon his release. But in 1990 he was arrested again by the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Naval Intelligence and Security Force. He was released in 1992 only after a case filed against him for illegal possession of firearms was dismissed by the Manila Regional Court.

Throughout those years of imprisonment, Ka Randy suffered physical, psychological and mental torture and humiliation but his spirit remained strong. Though separated from his loved ones, he never wavered in his commitment. He helped found Karapatan, an alliance for the advancement of human rights.

The KD70 hold high Ka Randy for his the people. We join the call of our compatriots in the Philippines:

FREE RANDALL ECHANIS AND ALL POLITICAL DETAINEES!

JAIL THE TRUE CRIMINALS!

KILUSANG DEKADA 70
(First Quarter Storm Network-USA]
New York/New Jersey