The Philippine Task Force for Indigenous Peoples’ Rights express indignation at the attempt on the life of indigenous peoples’ human rights defender and advocate Brandon Lee. Brandon is a staff of the Ifugao Peasant Movement (IPM) and a paralegal for the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance.
The shooting incident that led to Brandon’s severe injuries is the latest incident of attacks against indigenous peoples’ rights defenders and advocates under Duterte’s de facto martial rule in the whole Philippines. The IPM and some indigenous leaders in Ifugao were continuously harassed and threatened by state agents. They were accused as being commanders of the New People’s Army (NPA) and were even included in order-of-battle lists by the AFP units based in Ifugao. Lately, they were maliciously named as terrorists with their names and even photos posted around the streets in the province.
Brandon Lee and the staff of IPM are development workers. They conduct education and information dissemination on pressing peoples’ issues such as big dam projects, effects of climate change, human rights violations, among others. They frequent schools and communities and enjoin the people to be aware and act as they will be the ones who will inherit and enjoy the rich Ifugao in the future. We believe that these are not acts of terrorists but by people and organizations concerned for the genuine development of Ifugao communities.
We hope that Brandon recovers soon and may he continue his work as an indigenous peoples’ rights defender. Stop the attacks against Indigenous peoples, human rights defenders and development workers!
#Justice4BrandonLee #StopTheAttacks #UpholdIndigenousPeoplesRights