A rally was held Friday for Brandon Lee, a 37-year-old San Francisco native who is believed to have been targeted and shot in an extra-judicial assassination attempt by the government of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.
Lee is alive but in critical condition after taking four shots to the back and spine outside his home Tuesday in the Ifugao province of the northern Philippines, as the Chronicle reports. For years Lee has been a journalist and environmental activist, and his friends and family believe that the shooting was an assassination attempt by the Philippine military.
Lee was reportedly walking with his 7-year-old daughter when the shooting occurred, and, per the Chronicle, he "survived the shooting but suffered multiple cardiac arrests during surgery to remove the bullets."
As ABC 7 reports, via the office of Supervisor Gordon Mar, "Lee was 'red-tagged' by the Philippine military in 2015 for his advocacy to protect the land and rights of indigenous people in the Cordilleras, and has been subject to surveillance and threats over the past four years."
Prior to moving to the Philippines, Lee grew up in the Sunset District where his family still lives, and he went to both Lincoln High School and San Francisco State University.
Friday morning's rally on the steps of City Hall included Mar as well as Filipino and Chinese community leaders, all of whom say they want to get Congress to put pressure on the U.S. embassy in the Philippines to provide protection for Lee.
Duterte's regime has been widely known to conduct extra-judicial killings of its citizens — and Duterte has bragged about murdering drug dealers. Last month, as the New York Times reported, the United Nations’ Human Rights Council voted to investigate these "wide-ranging abuses, including killings, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests, and persecution of rights activists, journalists, lawyers and members of the political opposition." The Philippine police have said that they have killed 6,600 people in shoot-outs, however human rights groups believe the number of people killed in the last six years of Duterte's presidency could be as high as 27,000.
Photo via Faye Lacanilao