New York, NY – Members of the Philippines community in New York and New Jersey gathered outside the Philippines Consulate in NYC on August 9, 2019 to demand justice for Brandon Lee and all human rights defenders and Indigenous rights’ Advocates attacked and killed in the Philippines.
On August 6, Brandon Lee—a Chinese American journalist and indigenous rights’ advocate in the Philippines—was shot four times, in front of his home after picking up his daughter from school, by suspected elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
He is a U.S. citizen, father, and husband as well as a longtime community organizer with League of Filipino Students and a San Franciso State University alumni from the Bay Area.
In 2010, Brandon moved to the Philippines to support the indigenous Ifugao tribes in their fight against large-scale mining companies, foreign agribusinesses, and hydro-dam projects in the Cordilleras of Northern Philippines.
Prior to the August 6 shooting, Brandon faced military harassment and surveillance due to his activism. He was also red-tagged by the Philippine government, in addition to other leaders part of the Ifugao Peasants Movement, like Ricardo Mayumi, who were consequently killed by the Philippine government in recent years.
Through Duterte’s Executive Order 70, which has formalized a new counterinsurgency program, “Oplan Kapanatagan”, the Philippine government has taken on a “whole of nation approach” by enlisting all government agencies and institutions to intensify surveillance, harassment, and attacks against ordinary people they deem as anti-government or “communist rebels”.
In reality, it is people like Brandon who are simply organizing to defend the rights of oppressed and exploited peoples and demand genuine change that are being targeted and killed by US-backed Philippine security forces and government-sponsored armed vigilantes.
We call on all people who believe in human rights to join us in condemning this violent attack on Brandon Lee and all human rights defenders in the Philippines and hold the government accountable!
© Erik McGregor – firstname.lastname@example.org – 917-225-8963