Mr. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III

Dear Mr. President,
As the gentle breeze of the bamboo nose flute reaches you, we raise our plight to your attention as we anticipate your report during your 5th annual State of the Nation Address on Monday, July 28, 2014.

We commend you for embarking on the campaign to cleanse the government of corruption and gearing governance towards ‘tuwid na daan’ (straight path) which we fully support by our humble means. We know that this campaign could outlive the presidential term just as it outlived our husbands, friends and neighbors who were killed for bringing these issues to the fore in the time of the Arroyo administration.

Yet we also believe that these efforts as well as the lives of our loved ones shall not be in vain.

We recall your promise in 2010 to end the impunity on extrajudicial and journalist killings and deliver justice to the families of the victims which has given new hope to many people to rise above the fear and terror that the killings have caused to our society.

We know that our quest for truth, justice and healing faces historical and structural challenges that are not easy to transcend. Witnesses, advocates, family members and we ourselves continue to face threats to our lives and our health. But we do not stop calling for an end to the culture of impunity and joining efforts to bring forth a culture of accountability even as we are striving to transform our tragic experiences to endeavors for healing and growth for ourselves and our country.

We do not forget that those who arbitrarily deprived the right to life of our loved ones and the system that perpetuates it also compromised our children’s right to family, to education, to safety and protection, to health and happiness, attempting to push us to the pits of misery and suffering.

We choose not to be reduced to meaningless numbers but resolve to move on with forgiveness, loving kindness and peace. We also face challenges in this journey and we count on your full support and wish our support to you as well.

We cherish this moment that we can work together towards understanding, peace and healing of our people and our land.

Florence Macagne-Manegdeg
Myrna Parangan-Reblando

of, respectively:
Kasiyana Peace and Healing Initiatives. Widow of Jose “Pepe” Manegdeg III, Human Rights Defender, EJK Victim – November 28, 2005
Widows for Peace and Healing. Widow of Bong Reblando, Journalist, Ampatuan Massacre Victim – November 23, 2009

Issued by:
Kasiyana Peace and Healing Initiatives, 2619 Sagada, Mountain Province, Cordillera Administrative Region, PHILIPPINES