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.
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.
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.
Kimberlie Ngabit Quitasol, editor-in-chief of Northern Dispatch, delivers our statement on the attempt on Brandon Lee’s life during the protest in Baguio City on August 7 at the People’s Park to condemn the attack and demand justice.
Ronalyn V. Olea is the managing editor of Bulatlat, Philippines’ top alternative online news site. Bulatlat covers politics, human rights, indigenous people and Filipino culture from a critical angle towards the regime of President Rodrigo Duterte. That position has labeled them “enemy of the state” by the Army. In collaboration with other targeted organizations, and supported by the forensic investigation of Qurium, Bulatlat filed a lawsuit against Suniway, the Philippine company who’s infrastructure enabled the cyber attacks.
Most reports provided the basic information about the clashes, enough to inform the readers of what transpired. However, straight news that dwells only on the firefight and the casualties tends to create further division among the people. It leaves a data gap on the circumstances that caused the events and the reasons why the war in the countryside continue to rage.
Members of alternative media, digital rights activists, and artists picketed the National Computer Emergency Response Team (NCERT) of the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) office to protest the negligence of the office to respond the cyber-attacks against groups critical to the Duterte administration.
The National Union of Journalist of the Philippines denounced the relentless cyber-attacks to disable online alternative news outfits Bulatlat and Kodao, saying it is “meant to stifle criticism and dissent.”
Cyber-attack against Bulatlat, an alternative online news site has been relentless but like House Martell in the HBO Original Series “Game of Thrones”, the site and its editorial staff remain “unbent, unbowed and unbroken”. With the organization’s resolve and help of a Sweden based group of digital forensic investigation expert, the attackers did not succeed to bring the site down.