Since 2008, the Philippines remained among the top five countries around the world where killings of journalists are unsolved based on the World Impunity Index published annually by the freedom watchdog Committee to Protect Journalists.
So let those responsible for — or contemplating — violence against journalists, hear this loud and clear: long after the world’s attention may have moved on, you may think you have gotten away with murder. No. Those of us committed to fighting impunity are persistent. We do not give up. So you can never rest easy.
Veteran journalist and activist Luis V. Teodoro leads this year’s recipients of the prestigious Titus Brandsma Awards, from the media ministry of the Carmelite Order in the Philippines.
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.