Tribute to Ka Randall Echanis
In behalf of the Communist Party of the Philippines, the Executive Committee of the Central Committee extends its heartfelt condolences to the wife, children, relatives, friends and colleagues of Ka Randall Echanis.
We salute Ka Randall for his lifelong service and dedicated struggle to advance the interest of the peasant masses to completely break free from feudal and semifeudal exploitation, as well as of the entire Filipino from the domination of US imperialism, local feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism.
After his release from prison in 1992, Ka Randall served full-time in the legal democratic movement, first in organizations of political detainees, and from 1998 onwards, for 22 years, in the legal movement of peasants, workers and the toiling masses. He led the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), spearheaded the founding of the Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agikultura (UMA) and became the chairman of Anakpawis Partylist to address the issues and advance the legal and parliamentary struggles of peasants.
He exposed and opposed the reactionary government’s bogus land reform program and advocated for genuine agrarian reform at a time when neoliberal policies and “free market” fundamentalism reigned alongside the “war on terrorism.” The said global policies of imperialism are utilized by the local reactionary ruling classes to squeeze the toiling masses completely and further heighten militarization and fascism. Despite attacks, harassments and intimidation, Ka Randall led in advancing the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) within the reactionary parliamentary.
Ka Randall actively participated in the peace negotiations between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH). He served as a leading NDFP consultant on agrarian reform concerns and served as a member of the Reciprocal Working Committee on Social and Economic Reforms. He played a key role in preparing draft agreements on agrarian reform and rural development, and on the Comprehensive Agreement on Socioeconomic Reforms (CASER). These socioeconomic reforms are considered the core of the peace negotiations.
These contributions are huge and have a lasting impact in advancing the people’s struggle for national and social liberation.
Ka Randall comprehensively and deeply understood the history and present conditions of the Philippine society. He saw the primary problems of society and the root cause of the chronic crisis in the country clearly. He tirelessly studied and conducted social investigations, kept track of daily issues and events, integrated with the peasant masses and workers, and participated in their struggles.
Ka Randall’s firmness and determination, his ability to focus on essential matters, identify and not be swayed by sophistry and humbuggery, and make a stand based on truth and principle, came from a correct and scientific viewpoint. He was soft-spoken but stood firm on issues.
During his youth, Ka Randall was among the students from Manila who went to the countryside and joined the newly founded people’s army. From 1970 to 1982, he played a key role in founding and expanding the people’s army and the peasant movement in Isabela, Cagayan, Cordillera and Ilocos.
He led early successful mass campaigns against large haciendas, as well as open mass actions in the countryside against fascist abuses. By doing mass work in the countryside, he was able to fully understand the crucial role of the antifeudal peasant struggle in politics and the society.
Like other veterans in the people’s struggle, Ka Randall was repeatedly detained, thus the concerns and struggles of political detainees are close to his heart. He was first detained in 1983 and was released after the Marcos fascist dictatorship fell through the first EDSA uprising. He was again imprisoned in 1990-1992 under the Corazon Aquino regime, and for the third time in 2007-2009, during the crackdown of the Macapagal-Arroyo against the legal democratic movement.
Ka Randall was murdered in cold blood. The fascist masterminds and executioners of the Duterte regime chose to inflict their arrogance and lack of restraint on a leader of the progressive movement. Ka Randall was not only unarmed. He was protected by the agreements between the NDFP and the GPH signed by principals of both panels. He should have also been protected by the democratic and civil rights stipulated by the reactionary constitution and laws which are being blatantly violated by the regime and its highest officials.
The fascist regime wants to use the killing of Ka Randall to paralyze the democratic movement and instill fear among the people. However, they have only further exposed their alarm in the face of the people’s rising opposition and resistance.. The tyrant, murderous, corrupt and puppet Duterte regime is already further being isolated.
Fascist state terror cannot kill the patriotic and democratic aspirations and struggles championed by Ka Randall. The people are already extremely tormented by the regime’s brutality, puppetry, greed and ineptness. It won’t be long until the blood-thirsty regime will face the full fury and resistance of the people.
Ka Randall’s life and struggle is a shining and extraordinary example. All revolutionary and progressive forces must learn from his dedication, determination and bravery.
Long live Ka Randall!
Hold to account the fascist criminals!
Assiduously fight and overthrow the fascist, puppet and rotten Duterte regime!