The United Nations’ Human Rights Office challenged the Philippine government over recent killing of two activists—peace consultant Randall “Randy” Echanis and rights defender Zara Alvarez—calling for transparent investigations.
“The UN Human Rights Office stresses the need for independent, thorough and transparent investigations into the killings and for those responsible to be held to account,” said Liz Throssell, spokesperson for UN High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet.
“We have raised our concerns with the Government and the Commission on Human Rights on these cases, and look forward to continuing to engage with them.”
Echanis was killed in his own home last week with his autopsy recently revealing signs of torture. A few days later, Alvarez was shot dead in a private village in Bacolod city.
Meanwhile, Malacañang strongly denied claims that President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the Philippine National Police to withhold from the CHR any information on these attacks.
“The administration is equally interested to unmask those behind these brazen killings, which are being blamed to state agents, and we will leave no stone unturned to put these people behind bars,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.
The CHR previously condemned denial of access to police case files and information on alleged extrajudicial killings connected to the government’s war on drugs.