April 27, 2014


An open letter from widows in the Philippines to the US President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
NW Washington , DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

PHILIPPINES: Culture of impunity continues

Dear Mr. President Barack Obama,

Greetings with the music of the bamboo flute…

We write to you with much hope that your attention will bring light to our search for truth, justice and healing.

We are women widowed by the extra-judicial killings and massacre of our beloved husbands.

We strive to reclaim our wholeness even as our capacities to rebuild peaceful and loving homes have been compromised.

On your upcoming country visit to the Philippines , please advise our President Benigno Simeon Aquino III on his promise of justice to the victims of the extra-judicial killings and massacre that desecrated the lives of the fathers of our children.

As we endeavour to transcend the brokenness brought upon our lives and in our children, we also affirm our children that the killings are wrong. Yet, we continue to usher them to weave dreams of love, joy and peace amidst the difficult situations we are in.

Even as we manage to bring the cases before the court of law, the cases drag on and become cold as witnesses are silenced and also get killed.

We ourselves face threats and risk losing our lives as we persist with our appeals that those who were responsible for the senseless violence and killings we so abhor be called to account before humane and just courts.

We are equally concerned that despite the commitments of our government to uphold human rights, the killings in our country continue, and a culture of impunity prevails. We cannot afford to be silent for so long as the vicious cycle of violence propagates untold misery and suffering.

We are further wounded as we witness how those who are accused of committing acts of massive corruption and plunder which we equally detest are accorded full protection and premium medical attention paid for with public funds and granted upon their whims. It is in exposing and critiquing the system that allows these wrongful acts and joining the voices for a just social order for our children and grandchildren that many lives including those of our husbands were sacrificed.

Nevertheless, we move on in dignity with gratefulness for the kindred hearts and hands sharing their time and spaces for sanctuary and renewal in moments we need most.

We believe that the settlement of our humble concerns will contribute to the flourishing of peace in our lives, our nations and the whole human family.

May the Great Force of Love and Light bless you and your family as we journey together towards a life of fullness and abundant life for all.


Florence Macagne-Manegdeg
(Widow of Jose Pepe Manegdeg III
Human Rights Defender,
EJK Victim in November 28, 2005
Luzon , Philippines )
Contact :

Myrna Parangan-Reblando
(Widow of Bong Reblando
Ampatuan Massacre Victim in
November 23, 2009
Mindanao , Philippines )

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