Rebel leaders in the Cordillera said the government would fail with its plan to make the region as a model of the “whole of nation” approach in ending the communist armed revolution. They also called on guerilla units of the NPA to launch more offensives to counter Oplan Kapanatagan.
The family of journalist and rights activist Brandon Lee expressed worries about his safety and the impartiality of the ongoing investigation. They also voiced disbelief on the military’s denial of its involvement in the shooting nor its claim of having a “harmonious relationship” with the victim.
New People’s Army guerillas attacked a detachment in Sallapadan, Abra on the morning of August 15 killing two paramilitary members.
Barely a week after Ilocos Sur Governor Ryan Singson facilitated a dialogue where leaders of Timpuyog ti Umili iti Karayan Buaya (People’s Unity in the Buaya River) told the military to stop visiting them, army personnel intruded in their meeting.
Church and peasant leaders told the military to stop harassing their members and tagging their organizations as communist-rebel fronts during a dialogue facilitated by the Provincial Government of Ilocos Sur.
Abra representative Joseph “JB” Bernos said that as the new chairperson of the Special Committee on North Luzon Growth Quadrangle, he would give importance on the continued economic growth and delivery of social services to make Northern Luzon a super-region.
In an interview in 2018, during the International Solidarity Mission in Ifugao, Bandon Lee made it clear that state agents and their minions are the only ones that have the motive to inflict harm to him and members of the Ifugao Peasant Movement. Meanwhile, the 5th Infantry Division and its 54th Infantry Division have recently made a statement calling the accusations of Brandon Lee’s colleagues on the military’s involvement in the shooting as “devoid of logic and factual basis”. Here is part of that interview.
New People Army rebels operating in Ifugao denied that the four individuals presented by the military as rebel returnees during the Independence Day commemoration in the province are their comrades, and called the incident a “desperate effort” of the military to present the rebel movement in the province as “weak” and “losing the support of the people.”
International groups condemned and expressed concern on the intensified attacks against activists after the recent shooting of local journalist and paralegal volunteer Brandon Lee by unidentified gunmen in Lagawe, Ifugao.
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and former Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguilat, Jr. joined the call to stop the attacks against activists, and for the government to ensure their protection and safety.
Indigenous groups led by the Cordillera Peoples Alliance said that the best way to commemorate the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People is to continue their defense of their ancestral domain and assertion of their rights amid the intensified attacks.
A member of the Religious of the Good Shepherd, working with the Vicariate of Bontoc-Lagawe and worked with Lee on human rights concerns in the province, said she is convinced that the military is behind the shooting.