• Melo Acuna

Contrary to earlier reports, Echanis did not die of gunshot wound

Peasant leader Echanis was not shot dead says Dr. Raquel Fortun

MANILA – Forensic pathologist and UP Professor Dr. Raquel Fortun said peasant leader and former NDFP consultant Randal Echanis was not shot to death as previously reported.

In a virtual press briefing Friday morning, Dr. Fortun said she conducted an autopsy four days after Echanis’ death. She explained contrary to the initial death certificate, the late peasant leader did not have any gunshot wound in the head.

A long stab wound from the back punctured his aorta, affected his esophagus and a part of his heart.

The stabbing, which resulted in the wound would lead to an instant death.

“You cannot survive this,” she said. She added there were superficial stabs on the victim’s back and several blows with a blunt instrument to the head which fractured his skull.

Dr. Fortun said indications prove the victim sustained the injuries while still alive. She declined to say whether it was torture as the term is not a forensic phrase.

The victim may have been killed on a bed. The fatality was 71 years old when the killing took place. No suspects have been identified nor motive has been discussed during the briefing.

The family and friends of the former peasant leader and consultant to the NDFP Peace Panel hope to receive updates from parallel investigations being carried out by the Commission on Human Rights and the Department of Justice. (Melo M. Acuña)

Forensic Pathologist Dr. Raquel Fortun. (Screen grab from BAYAN Press Conference Friday morning)

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