RELEASE KMP LEADER RANDALL ECHANIS- Pesante-USA
Los Angeles--The Philippine Peasant Support Network (Pesante)-USA. a Filipino peasant., human rights and environmental advocacy network in the United States and a member organization of the AJLPP, strongly condemns the arrest and detention of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) deputy secretary general Randall Echanis, 60 years old in the island of Negros last Monday, January 28,2008 in the Philippines.
Pesante Coordinator Arturo Garcia said : “the arrest of Echanis, is a strong warning to legal activist to stop organizing the Filipino peasantry. It is also a strong arm tactic of the AFP and the PNP to implicate legal mass leaders to the Communist Party of the Philippines and the NPA as a part of their legal offensive.”
“With the extension of Esperon as AFP Chief of Staff, the US-Arroyo regime will try to make out KMP and other legal mass organizations as “communist organizations” in order to present them as war trophies.
We in Pesante-USA vehemently condemn this scheme to link Echanis to the communist movement and pass him off as a CPP central committee member.”
Garcia further said: “ Echanis have been with KMP as its deputy secretary general since 2001 and the attempt to implicate him with the CPP is disgusting. He also was an NDFP consultant in the peace talks since 2002. How come now the PNP is implicating him with the CPP? This is the height of absurdity.”
“ The obvious reason is simple. Attack the legal leaders even the NDF consultants like Elizabeth Principe from Nueva Ecija . Principe was also arrested in Quezon City and being linked to the Magdalo group and the CPP.
It is easier for the PNP and the AFP to attack legal personalities than to go after the NPAs. To them, that is their easier way how to destroy the people’s movement.
But for Pesante-USA and the Filipino people, they will not succeed. This Marcosian tactic is worn-out and outmoded. Marcos failed, thus Arroyo will fail too.”
For more information please contact Al P Garcia at (213) 241-0906 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org