We, members of the La Via Campesina gathered together in Maputo, Mozambique in its V International Assembly hereby express our deep concern and support for the immediate release of RANDALL ECHANIS, the Deputy Secretary General for External Affairs of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) or Peasant Movement of the Philippines. The KMP is one of the LVC member in Philipines. Based on the information we have on January 28, 2008 Randal Echanis was arrested in Bago City, Negros Occidental on charges that is politically motivated. Randall, 60 years old, more popularly known as “Ka Randy” among his peers and colleagues was arrested by suspected military and police elements wearing bonnets (ski masks) and in civilian clothes while attending a consultation with farmers and farmworkers belonging to the National Federation of Sugar Workers and Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) on the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (House Bill 3059) and in preparation for the National Rural Congress to be spearheaded by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on July 2008.
The injustice committed against Randall should not be tolerated. Let us all stand up and fight for the immediate and unconditional release of Ka Randy, and the subsequent dropping of all charges filed against him by the Philipines government.
Let our voice be heard in the name of truth, justice and peace.