Malaya Movement in Canada

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Statement for the Immediate and Unconditional Release of Amanda Echanis and Baby Randall Emmanuel!

December 13, 2020

Malaya Movement Canada denounces the illegal arrest and detention of Amanda Socorro Lacaba Echanis, a new mother and her month-old son.  Amanda is a peasant organizer under the Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women Cagayan provincial chapter, a group that actively works for the welfare of small farmers, especially peasant women, and engages in the struggles for genuine land reform.  Social activism is not a crime.

Malaya Movement Canada condemns in the strongest terms all decisions and activities towards this illegal arrest: the vilification and red tagging of Amanda Echanis before the illegal arrest, the planting of specific evidence towards a nonbailable offense, the falsified warrant, and the illegal arrest and incarceration of Amanda along with her month-old baby.

The baby is Randall Emmanuel named after his grandfather, former National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultant and Anakpawis Partylist National Chairperson, Randall Echanis, who was tortured and slain in the middle of the night only 4 months ago, and after his other grandfather Emmanuel Lacaba, poet and activist, turned guerilla fighter who was killed during the Marcos dictatorship. The Echanis family has not gotten over grieving the gruesome fate of Randall Echanis, and now, Amanda has been illegally arrested and detained with her baby.

Based on various publications on this illegal arrest, Amanda Echanis was illegally arrested and detained by the combined forces of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police in Baggao town, Cagayan province. Amanda was charged with trumped-up charges such as Illegal Possession of Firearms and Ammunitions and Illegal Possession of Explosives which are non-bailable offenses. Like other activists and people’s organizations, Amanda and Anakpawis were subjected to red tagging and vilification by the military, prior to her arrest.

This illegal arrest follows a pattern already evident in previous unlawful arrests of other activists and journalists where the target is vilified and red-tagged before the arrests, then very specific evidence items are planted during the illegal arrests to create cases that are non-bailable offenses.

How feasible is it for a new, breastfeeding mother to be able to collect and store the firearms and explosives supposedly found in her possession? How believable is it when similar modus operandi of planted evidence and falsified warrants are carried out in very similar arrests like the cases of Reina Mae Nasino and Lady Ann Salem? Voicing dissent is not a crime.

Malaya Movement joins the Filipino people and all freedom-loving and patriotic forces in demanding the immediate and unconditional release of Amanda Echanis and Baby Randall Emmanuel. We also urge the Philippine Commission on Human Rights to remind and pressure the military to give due consideration to the welfare of Amanda and her baby and treat her humanely while her case is being processed. More importantly, that the military observe the United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-Custodial Measures for Women Offenders or the Bangkok Rules.

Freedom for Amanda Echanis and Baby Randall Emmanuel now!

Stop Red Tagging!
Stop the Attacks on Activists and Journalists
Mabuhay ang malayang Pilipinas!

*Malaya Movement in Canada is the broad network of groups and individuals against the killings and dictatorship and for the cause of freedom and democracy in the Philippines. It has chapters in British Columbia, Quebec, Ontario, Winnipeg, and Alberta.

Send a Letter to Philippine Government Officials to #FreeAmandaEchanis
Please send the following letter or the document template with your name and signature to the Philippine government addresses indicated.
Malacañang Palace,
JP Laurel St., San Miguel
Manila Philippines
Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80, 784-4286
Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968
E-mail: Send a message through
Dear President Duterte:
I am writing regarding the much-reported arrest of 32-year old Amanda Echanis, and her detention with her month-old Baby Randall Emman. She was arrested in the wee hours of December 2, in Barangay Carupian, Baggao town, Cagayan province.
She is being accused of illegal possession of firearms and explosives and the evidence being used against her include an M16 assault rifle, 1 long plastic magazine for M16 rifle, 1 long steel magazine for M16 rifle, 20 live ammunition for an M16 rifle, and two hand grenades. We urge the Excellency to have a glimpse of the photos of Amanda with her child and discern that the very evidence being used against her, is the very evidence of her innocence, being a frail mother with her delicate child.
We are concerned that the armed forces have committed gross abuses, especially when some news reports that the raid was carried out at 3 o’clock early morning, but official police reports state that it was at 8:30 in the morning, only that time witnessing officials from the barangay council were present. Thus, the inconsistency invites doubt and serious questioning, making the arrest appear as illegitimate.
His Excellency should also note that Amanda is the youngest political prisoner when his father Randall Echanis was arrested in 1990. She was then two years old, detained with her mother in Camp Crame. Last August 10, her father was brutally killed in Quezon City and based on autopsy reports, he was tortured and months later, the police investigation has yet to accomplish significantly on solving the merciless crime. She is still in mourning, was not able to visit his wake and attend the internment because of the strict lockdown and now she is enduring this situation with her child.
In this light Mr. President, I am appealing for the immediate release of Amanda Echanis with her child, Baby Randall Emmanuel, on humanitarian grounds, to ensure that they are not separated to avoid a recurrence of the fate of Baby River Nasino, child of political prisoner Reina Mae Nasino. May you uphold the rule of law and basic rights of the citizens in our country.
Please urgently respond to this humanitarian appeal for the sake of Baby Randall Emmanuel who is vulnerable to unhealthy and adverse situations.
Yours faithfully,
[Name and Organization]
Padre Faura St., Ermita, Manila
Direct Line: 521-1908; 526-5462 Trunkline: 523-84-81 loc. 211/214 Telefax: (+632) 523-9548 Email:,,
SAAC Bldg., UP Complex, Commonwealth Avenue Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
Voice: (+632) 928-5655, 926-6188, 920-9510 Telefax: (+632) 929 0102 Email:
Please send us a copy of your email to the above-named officials at and