The brutal killing of another Filipino rights activist is fresh in the mind of Sr Patricia Fox, spurring the 73-year-old Australian Sister of Our Lady of Sion to keep campaigning against oppression in the Philippines. Source: The Catholic Leader.
Randall Echanis, 72, a peasant leader who chaired the left-wing Anakpawis party-list and was a peace consultant, was stabbed many times and shot in the head in his apartment on August 10, adding to a long list of suspected extrajudicial killings that target political activists, and are rarely investigated thoroughly.
Mr Echanis had been a long-time friend of Sr Fox, who worked for 27 years in the Philippines, but is now blacklisted and banned from entering the country.
“I was really shocked when I heard about his killing. He was brutally tortured and murdered,” Sr Patricia said from the Convent of Our Lady of Sion in Melbourne’s Box Hill, where she keeps in close contact via Zoom with Church activists across South East Asia.
Sr Patricia earned the ire of Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte because of her human rights work supporting disadvantaged farm and factory workers.
She made headlines around the world when she was forced to flee the country in November 2018 – despite decades of Church service, co-founding and leading the Our Lady of Sion order there.
Sr Patricia said the killing of Mr Echanis illustrated how the Philippines had become a place of violence and terror as the Duterte Government undertook a “clamping down” – silencing the media and “red-tagging” (naming of people as terrorists and enemies of the government).
Now she wants to know the real story about his torture and killing, and is using her network of justice advocates across Asia to lobby for a proper investigation.