The Philippine Commission on Human Rights (CHR) will conduct an audit of the investigation into Brandon Lee’s attempted assassination by suspected Philippine State Security Forces in 2019, despite it being previously archived without explanation. This is a result of a growing movement to demand justice for Lee, who was a volunteer with the Ifugao Peasant Movement (IPM), paralegal in Ifugao for the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA), and community journalist at the time of the attack against him. Brandon wrote a letter to the CHR to express his concerns and frustration with the archival of his case, explaining that this assassination attempt was not a unique experience to him. “Prior to this incident, were the extrajudicial killings of my colleagues in the IPM and Cordillera Human Rights Alliance – William Bugatti (2014) and Ricardo Mayumi (2018).” 

Members of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance and Cordillera Human Rights Alliance traveled to Manila to raise the issue of Brandon’s case as well as human rights violations that continue to worsen under the Marcos regime, particularly against communities resisting corporate development aggression like mining and dams, and militarization across Northern Luzon. 

Rep. Susan Wild also wrote to the CHR, urging them “to consider the gravity of Mr. Lee’s injuries and the implications of determining that no degree of justice or accountability is warranted in this matter.“The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), among other state agents, continue to benefit from a culture of impunity. Brandon Lee says he suspects “member/s or agent/s of the Philippine State Security Forces“ to be behind his attempted assassination in August 2019.  Given the culture of impunity in the AFP, it is no surprise the case was dismissed without reason. In his letter, Brandon asks what difficulty was there “in accessing police or military records for a more impartial investigation.”However, the war crimes committed by the Philippine government did not start nor stop at Brandon and his colleagues who were civilians violently targeted to chill dissent in violation of international humanitarian law. There are also numerous reports of rural villages being aerially bombed and strafed, other activists tortured, abducted, murdered, and sick and elderly National Democratic Front representatives also murdered. 

ICHRP-US demands the Commission on Human Rights live up to its mandate to be an independent human rights institution and address the culture of impunity in the Philippines by conducting an impartial and thorough investigation into Brandon’s case and other human rights violations perpetrated by the Philippine state!

ICHRP-US also demands that the US Government hold the Philippine government accountable for the crimes committed against Brandon and the many other victims of the Duterte and Marcos regimes, including ending US military aid to the AFP and PNP by passing the Philippine Human Rights Act.

#PassthePHRA #Justice4Brandon #CutUSAidPH

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