Malaya Movement strongly condemns the violent attack on human rights defender, Brandon Lee, in Lagawe, Ifugao. on Aug 6th. Lee’s involvement with the Ifugao Peasant Movement (IPM), Peace Advocates of Ifugao, and as a writer for Northern Dispatch, an online news outlet, rose attention of the AFP’s 54th IBPA in which there has been reports of harassment, threats and surveillance upon him as well as other members of Cordillera Human RIghts Alliance (CHRA). Lee is a U.S. citizen who chose to move to the Philippines to dedicate his time towards causes such as defending the rights of indigenous peoples and peasants in the Cordilleras. He fell in love with a local organizer and grew a loving family together with the community.
Why would this get the attention of the AFP you might ask? Under Duterte’s counter-insurgency plans: Oplan Kapayapaan and Oplan Kapanatagan he has directed his attention to attacks on legal organizations in his attempt to violently silence his opposition and any organization providing services to the majority of people whom the government has neglected. In addition, Duterte has signed an Executive Order 70 “Institutionalizing the Whole of Nation Approach in Attaining Inclusive and Sustainable Peace, Creating a National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC) and Directing the Adoption of a National Peace Framework”, a “Whole of Nation” approach that has also spanned beyond the Philippines as we saw with the government sponsored MIPCEL Tour in the U.S. vilifying organizations such as Bayan USA, Anakbayan USA, Migrante USA and our own organizations Malaya Movement.
The need to take a united stand together against Duterte’s fascism and tyranny grows more urgent each day his administration is waging a war against common people in the form of the “drug war,” Oplan Kapanatagan, martial law in Mindanao, and the recent spate of killings and violence in Negros Oriental. We must be on high alert and prepare for quick mobilizations given Duterte now controls the three branches of government and could swiftly move towards full on dictatorship with or without declaration of martial law upon the whole country. We can already see that he is abusing his power and his violent fascism has been felt by the whole country.
We call on all Filipinos to call for Justice for Brandon and defend all human rights defenders! Stop the attacks! Stop the Killings! Cut all U.S. aid to the Philippines!
There is also an urgency to contribute to Brandon Lee’s hospital and family fund, please donate directly by clicking this link.
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