Monday, December 2, 2013

PHILIPPINES: Massacre victims' family to mark 4th year anniversary by protest, candle light, Nov. 23

(Four years ago on November 21st a horrendous massacre took place in Maquindanao in the Southern Philippines on the island of Mindanao. The family members of the victims still seek justice with no help or assistance from the government of President Aquino. I was proud to have been asked to assist in the writing of this Press Release by the Philippines Desk of the Asian Human Rights Commission)

November 22, 2013


(Hong Kong, November 23, 2013) Myrna Reblando, widow of journalist Alejandro "Bong" Reblando, one of the journalists killed in Maguindanao massacre, will join the victims' families and lawyers' group as they commemorate the 4th year anniversary of the massacre in General Santos City from Hong Kong.

Speaking to the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), Atty. Gilbert Bandiola, a member of the Union of People's Lawyer in Mindanao (UPLM), said the victims' families will hold a protest, forum and light candles at cemetery in General Santos City.

For her part, Myrna said since she could not be physically present with the other families; she will monitor the local activities and will also light candles here in Hong Kong in solidarity with other families.

Bandiola said some of the victims' family had already visited the scene where the massacre took place four years ago on November 21. His former colleagues, Atty. Concepcion Brizuela and Atty. Cynthia Oquendo, human rights lawyers, were among those killed in the massacre. See the list of victims here.

He further said they will also conduct a forum on "Warlordism and Impunity" at the Mindanao State University (MSU)-Gensan campus tomorrow, November 23. The forum will discuss how and why extrajudicial killings and impunity remains pervasive in areas where warlords continue to exist.

Myrna said of these events: "This incident (the Maguindanao massacre) and the families of the victims are part of this tragic history. We need to keep on reminding the people that we are still continuing the fight."

Myrna said she hopes she could also air her sentiments at the forum, notably the difficulties she is facing after leaving from her country due to threats on her life, via long distance communications from Hong Kong.

Earlier, Myrna wrote and read the poems to pay tribute to her husband and all the families of the victims of the massacre.

To read and view her videos, please see:

Maguindanao massacre widow's poem - "You and me against the world"

Maguindanao massacre widow writes a poem to pay tribute to her husband and other victims

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