Baguio City, Philippines – Brandon Lee was shot in front of his house in Lagawe, Ifugao. He was immediately brought to the hospital after the shooting on Tuesday night.
Who is Brandon Lee
Lee, 37, is a human rights defender at the Baguio-based Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA) and a paralegal volunteer of the Ifugao Peasant Movement (IPM).
He is also a contributor to a newspaper and online news site that covers the Ilocos, Cordillera and Cagayan Valley regions, the Northern Dispatch.
He took over the role of a known IP leader, Ricardo Mayumi at the IPM after Mayumi was killed on March 2, 2018.
Tagged as rebels
The paralegal volunteer was among the activists whom the military supposedly tagged as supporters and members of the New People’s Army in 2015.
Barangay officials and members of local people’s organizations are also tagged as rebels, including Montabiong (Lagawe), chairman Edwin Bumolyad, Tulludan (Tinoc), kagawad Nonoy Bangtiwen, and Tpaya (Lagawe) kagawad Dick Tangid who is also the vice-chairperson of IPM.
The CHRA reportedly said on the Northern Dispatch that weeks and days before the shooting, the 54th (Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army) frequently visits the IPM “conversing with them, gathering data, and intimidating them.”
Killings in 2014 and 2018
Before Ricardo Mayumi was killed in 2018, government militiamen allegedly visited his house several times. The militiamen supposedly asked his family members about his location.
Mayumi transferred to Kiangan after receiving threats in Tinoc where the IP leader stood against a hydropower project.
William Bugatti, another IPM staff member who was shot dead earlier after being allegedly included in an “order of battle” and “target list” of the Philippine army’s 86th IB. Bugatti was reportedly tagged as “Utak ng NPA (Brains of the NPA)”.
He died in 2014 and Lee took over some of his works. These include extending paralegal and direct service assistance to political prisoners in Ifugao province.
In its report on the shooting, Northern Dispatch said that the publication has also been labeled as “the official publication of the communist rebels” by the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency.
Source: The Philippine Star