By KYLE EDWARD FRANCISCO
BAGUIO CITY — An international media watchdog and environmental protection institution expressed condemnation and concern on the recent attack against Brandon Lee.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide, condemned on Friday, August 9, the shooting of Lee, who writes for Northern Dispatch and a paralegal volunteer of the Ifugao Peasant Movement.
CPJ’s senior Southeast Asia representative Shawn Crispin urged the authorities to “leave no stone unturned” in their investigation.
“Until President Rodrigo Duterte shows he is serious about protecting journalists, all the talk of investigations will come to nothing and violent attacks on the press will continue,” he said.
The Police Regional Office Cordillera formed a task force to conduct a thorough investigation of the case. To date, the police have yet to release the progress of their work to identify the perpetrators and motive for the attack.
Meanwhile, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature National Committee of The Netherlands (IUCN NL), expressed shocked over the incident. The institution has been working with local organizations in the country to increase the safety of environmental defenders.
The institution said that Brandon is one of their local partners “who stands up for the rights of people and nature.”
“Violence against environmental defenders in the Philippines is increasing at an alarming rate,” said Antoinette Sprenger, Senior Expert Environmental Justice of IUCN NL.
The Philippines recorded the most number of killings of environmental and land defenders in 2018 according to the recent report released by Global Witness. #