Get our free emagazine!

My Cry from the Islands of Blood

After losing two friends in the recent massacre, a Filipina leader speaks out for the future of her homeland.

“It is a constant struggle of uncertainty for those of us who are left behind, of choices between life and death.”

Malayapinas | The Philippines

"We call on the international community to support us in our quest for justice and peace in our homeland."

Since childhood, Malayapinas has seen the dark side of globalization and violence in the Philippines. She walked to school barefoot after early morning hours selling eggs and cigarettes to ship passengers in her nation’s ports. She toiled in the banana plantations to earn her way to college and became a young mother. Since secret military forces abducted her trade-union husband, she has raised her voice for local health, fair trade, and food security. Her dream is to see the Filipino people live to the fullness of their potential and women free to chart their own destiny. She faces numerous death threats for speaking out.

I am crying with anger at the shocking news of Monday’s mass slaughter in Maguindanao, a province not far from my home in the southern Philippines. Ever since I learned that my two women lawyer friends were among the casualties, my body has turned numb.

Concepcion “Connie” Brizuela, 56, and Cynthia Oquendo, 35, were stalwart human rights defenders on cases of extra judicial killings in Mindanao under the Arroyo government until the very end. We were together in our advocacy to stop political killings here in the Philippines.

I will never forget the laughter of Connie. She was so gentle in her ways but so firm and brave in confronting human rights violators. Cynthia was a quiet one who stood proudly for what she believes in.

On that fateful Monday, they had been traveling with a delegation of mostly women and journalists that were stopped by armed troops. They were on their way to file a Certificate of Candidacy for the May 2010 election for Buluan Vice Mayor Ishmael Mangudadatu in the provincial capitol of Maguindanao. Mangudadatu is vying for a governatorial seat against the incumbent Governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. of Maguindanao Province come May 2010 national election.

Their bodies were among the fifty-seven found buried in shallow graves, allegedly murdered by one hundred policeman and para-military troops of the Ampatuans, the ruling warlord clan in Maguindanao. Some were reportedly raped, decapitated, and chain-sawed. Two of the bodies were pregnant women. Faces of the some of the victims were so mutilated they couldn’t be identified by families.

The torture was horrific. “My wife's private parts were slashed four times, after which they fired a bullet into it,” said Vice Mayor Mangadadatu in an interview published by the Philippines Daily Inquirer. “They speared both of her eyes, shot both her breasts, cut off her feet, fired into her mouth. I could not begin to describe the manner by which they treated her.”

Is this is the kind of democracy the Arroyo government is proud to show the international community? Reporters Without Borders states that this is the darkest day of journalism in modern history—the largest single killing of journalists ever recorded.

Sadly, the death of colleagues is not strange to me. I have lost countless, including my beloved husband twenty years ago. He was a trade-union organizer. Some of my disappeared colleagues still visit me in my dreams at night, like brave Luing, who left behind two beautiful daughters.

Under the Arroyo government, violence has worsened as more military forces have become involved in the lawlessness and culture of impunity that reigns all over the island. At least sixty-seven journalists, not including the Maguindanao massacre, and more than thousand activists have been killed, disappeared and tortured during her reign.

Activists in my country are often labeled “Enemies of the State.” Usually, they were shot to death or forcibly taken, even in broad day light by believed military agents wearing bonnets, brought into safe houses, tortured, interrogated and silenced forever.

Not one has been sentenced to jail and justice has not been served. This impunity paved the way for the mass carnage we have seen this week.

Mindanao: Land of Promise and Conflict

I grew up against the backdrop of a dangerous world of war and poverty in Mindanao, the second largest island of the Philippines.

Mindanao is marked with richness in natural resources in land and in water. It is endowed with mineral resources of gold, nickel, copper, lead and chromium. The gold mines alone in Mindanao account for almost half of the national reserves. It is home to the almost twenty-seven indigenous cultural tribes of Moro and Lumads.

Yet, in contrast to its beauty and abundance, Mindanao is considered the country’s poorest region. More than 60% of its people are impoverished. Much of the island is dominated by large multi-national corporations such as the DOLE Philippines and Del Monte-Philippines. Big local and foreign mining and logging companies control vast tracts of land.

I was five years old when Martial Law was declared by Marcos in 1972. Battalions of the Philippine Army were deployed in our communities making Mindanao a battlefield of government forces and Moro resistance forces. I grew up witnessing military personnel killing innocent civilians anytime of the day. Bombings became a natural phenomenon every day of our lives.

As a little girl, I remember that whenever we heard news of Muslim attacks in the night I would constantly shake from nervousness. Tatay (Father) had to wrap me in a blanket just to keep me warm and stop me from shaking.

The injustice I have witnessed has fueled my passion to see peace rising above poverty in my country. It has catapulted me to the world of social activism and women’s activism even in the face of political persecution. I have survived several attempts on my life. It is a constant struggle of uncertainty, of choices between life and death for those of us who are left behind.

Yet, I only want to help ourselves as Filipinos having three square meals a day, a roof over our heads, a medicine for our sickly bodies and decent jobs for a living.

I just want to have a community where there is no violence against women and children, where women are dignified and respected instead of being raped and massacred. . . .

Comments

sunita.basnet's picture

I am moved from your story

Dear Malaya,

Happy Eid!

I am very moved from while reading about oyur post. I can realized your situation and difficulties of your life. This post is the clear picutre not only of your life but also patriarchal country and those countries where wars are still going on. We all need to speak out for the change. I am very inspired from your commitment "I just want to have a community where there is no violence against women and children, where women are dignified and respected instead of being raped and massacred..."

Keep raising your voice. We all are with you to support and bring positive change in every corner of the world.

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

malayapinas's picture

For the World to know

Hi Sunita! Thank you for reading my piece and inspiring you to raise our vioce. Your support is truly a gem in this trying times of our country. Keep raising our voices for the world to know!

love,
malaya

Dear Malaya,

I will light candles for you and share your story with my community. My heart is so heavy for you and your people, and my vision, undaunted, in direct flow with yours. Your vision is part of a great river, flowing strong and swiftly in these times, unifying and nourishing us all.

Thank you for your courage and strength. May great peace be with you. Please know that you stand with millions of women worldwide who shine brightly in these times, lighting the way for peace and wisdom to thrive within their communities and in the world.

May the combined inner strengths of woman birth this world into an era of great peace, creativity and sustainable abundance for all. I weep with you, Malaya. And I celebrate the love, light and vision we hold for the land and the people.

In warmth and light,
Genevieve Emerson

malayapinas's picture

Lighting Candles

Dear Genevieve,

Your inspiring words empowers me. Thank you so much for being with me in this very challenging times. We will be lighting candles together till we celebate the coming of coming peace not only in my land but for the world.

Keep your light burning with love and courage.

love,
malaya

jap21's picture

Stunned by terror

Terror and violence have hit again dear Malaya. My mind cannot allow such terrible thoughts and yet they are true. How can someone consider herself a human being, or even a living thing, while her hands are tinted by the blood of innocent people? I wonder if the killers find a way to sleep through the night.

God's love is nurturing and against ALL killings. And the death leaders shall not remain. Not because of the opposition but because of their own wrong doings. Will they ever understand that? It is unknown. But most certainly, they do not care.

I hear your voice and feel your spirit. Violence's worst face has been undoubtedly shown this time. But you are here to tell the world this must stop. And we are with you. We know that whatever the reason for this killings, there is only one word for the answer: Stop!!

Can you provide us with a way to make our statement to your government? If so, please do and we will all be happy to tell them to STOP.

Love and support,

Jackie

Jacqueline Patiño FundActiva
Tarija - Bolivia
South America
www.jap21.wordpress.com

malayapinas's picture

Hi Jackie! Thank you so much

Hi Jackie! Thank you so much my friend! Yes, those perpetratores are not human anymore! Those are monster created by no other than he woman president of our country. While the whole world is grieving for the gruesome murders of women , journalists and supporters of Mangindadatu, President Gloria Macapagal Arroy is busy in filing for her candidacy running of Congress seat next year after her presidential term ,

She doesn't care what happen to our people as long that she will get electoral post as Congress woman in her district and stay in power!

We need to work together in fighting for peace not only in Mindanao but to the whole Philippines and the word.

love,
Malayal

Khushbu's picture

Stay Brave

Dear Malaya

It is such a horrific news, and i cant even imagine how you must be feeling right now...this is slaughter and inhuman. I feel so proud to have known you, a person who has such undaunted courage.You are a brave soul to have endured so much, and still having the strength to fight like a warrior.

The government in your country should be ashamed of what they have let happen. I, like Genevieve, will also light candles for your people our people and pray that may justice prevail, because that is what we need...that is what we demand.

I cant thank you enough for sharing your story, and giving us such a first hand read of this brutality.

In support and solidarity
Khushbu

Khushbu Agrawal

malayapinas's picture

Dear Khusbu, Thank you for

Dear Khusbu,

Thank you for being so proud of me! The candles that you will light will surely give us more strength to carry on in our fight for jusice.

The Arroyo government is shameless! She still intends to stay in power despite all the criticisms to her governance.

But I'm sure your support to us will make a big difference. Join us in our 10 days vigil and indignation ralies unti December 10, International Human Rights Day.

love,
malaya

JaniceW's picture

International Human Rights Day.

dearest Malaya,
If you have some time, it would be great to post this announcement of the Vigil as a separate journal entry, in your journal and in our action alert section (http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire/exchange/actions). What could be interesting is to have everyone who will stand in solidarity with you, to add a comment affirming their support. That way, you create almost a "petition" of sorts where each comment is a protest against the Arroyo government and a cry for justice.

My thoughts and prayers are with you, your friends and the families of those who perished. With love,
Janice

malayapinas's picture

Dear Janice, Thank you so

Dear Janice,

Thank you so much for the suggestion. Today started the daily vigil and indignation rallies against the Maguindanao massacre and the Arroyo government, Just this evening, in Manila - thousands of militants organizations and journalist march to Malacanang. A high ranking official from the president's office went there and offer his condolences and sympathy, but he was met by resistance from the group. Objects were thrown aginst him and he was booed by the protesters.

I think the outrage is getting wider here in the Philippines and in the international level.

Thank you for supporting us and staying with me in our most trying times.

love,
malaya

Nusrat Ara's picture

Dear Malaya, Your grief is so

Dear Malaya,

Your grief is so great that I find no words to soothe you and same is the case of your countrymen. It is really couragous of you to come and speak out. The VOF award will provide you a platform where you can speak not only for yourself but on behalf of all the people who suffered and still suffer in your country and also for those who laid down their lives, infront of people who matter. I wish and pray you become an intiation for a change, a revolution that will bring peace and happiness to your country.

You have put it in the best way
" And so, the ultimate hope for us Filipino people is ourselves, holding on to the belief that we as a people can make social change even in the darkest years of our history"

With lots and lots of Love,

Nusrat

malayapinas's picture

Dear Nusrat, Thank you once

Dear Nusrat,

Thank you once more! Your words inspired me . My hope for the Filipino people is forever. I don't want that the hope we have for our future will be robbed from us by those people in power!

Keep writing and empowering women!

love,
malaya

Dear Malaya,

as I read your story, I cried. But I wasn't sure what to say you. I felt the urge to do, and meanwhile realized no word would be ever sufficient.

A fact is, we don't know. We never know... Never enough.

What the Philippines are, for us? A place, far away. The kind and sweet woman living upstairs of my house, who works as servant somewhere (so quietly lovely, despite the way she's treated, despite sons and daughters far away. Despite maybe a degree, and surely a voice. It's name of politicians or few other big peoples. And so seldom of the real reality...

Malaya, your words made me discover a world, needing so much attention.
So, you see, I even have no words enough to thank you!

Isn't it crazy, that the most subversive thing in these days is just love?
So, we "have" to be subversive...

Love,

Mauri

malayapinas's picture

Dear Mauri, Thank you so much

Dear Mauri,

Thank you so much for the giving me more inspiration to continue writing! I'm sorry if I made you cried but I'm also happy that my voice touches you. I'm sure this will be the beginning of joining hands together to work for a better and brighter tomorrow for Filipino women and children.

We will be celebrating the International Human Rights Day and we will be raising our voices internationally to stop killing our women ,journalists and activist here in the Philippines. Please join us!

As I read your profile, I'm so happy that aside from women and children advocacy your an environmentalist. I just finished attending a two day national conference on coal fired power plant and coal mining here in the Philippines. We are campaigning to top coal fired power plant here in our place at the same time campaigning against mining. Would you like to know more about our enviroment campign here? I would be very happy to send you raeding materials or posting aticles on environment in my journal.

Yes, the most subversive thing in these days especially here in the Philippines is Loving our country, loving our people, loving our environment . Our government hated our country , hated us , hated their responsibility to be of servant to the people. It is their very reasons that they are selling our natural resources, our soveriegnty, our women and children, our very soul to foreign multi-national investors.

Thak you Mauri, wish we could be always change notes.

best wishes,

Malaya

Dear Malaya,

I'm grateful you made me cry. Cry, and think.

It's a joy for me joining the activities on the International Human Rights Day. I see, the situation in the Philippines is terrible, and in some way is deteriorating here too. Subtly: we don't see many people killed or vanished. But you may perceive clearly hatred and intolerance mount, while real problems of real people remain unsolved. And violence becoming something accepted. Is there something I may do to support you from here?

About what's happening at your site with coal, yes, I'm interested, and glad if you can send me material. We in Italy are facing the same dilemma, for geopolitical reason. We don't have significant productive coal mines active in Italy today, but there is a growing tendency to use heavy and very polluting "oil" (actually it's a sort of solid asphalt) in place of methane in large power plants. That, because methane supplies are considered potentially unreliable.

What's terrible in my view, this asphalt is extracted from bituminous schist, of which enormous volumes are needed to extract some bit of oil. This process is not made in Italy, at least not yet (bituminous schists are quite common in the Pre-Alps). But this matters very little: somewhere else some place is being devastated... Economies seem sometime local, but damages are always worldwide.

The problem is not simple to solve for us. Our reservoirs of coal/oil/gas are very small, and use of energy quite irrational (no one has made serious energy demand analyses, so at some sites we are overproducing electrical power to sell Croatia, while buying part of what we use from France). It may seem a joke, but in Italy (land of Sun, we claim) we use solar energy minimally - governments have on some times no interest in developing renewable energies, and when they have an immense public debt hinders incisive actions. And so...

All is intertwined and complex, and our politicians always try to convince us it's all "simple" - we just should have to be optimistic, wear some sunglasses with pink lenses, and think nothing. Officially, in Italy seems to be "no crisis" (although many companies, small especially, are closing; and with them, so many people are losing their jobs).

I'm wondering on the many "how" to do, but sure, let's definitely stay in touch.

And, Malaya, continue to write! Let the World know!

Hugs, with love

Mauri

malayapinas's picture

The future is Bright

Dear Mauri,

Sorry for not responding you immediately. Just got so much work in preparation of our human rights activities and our campaign against the massacre and the newly declared martial rule in Maguindanao.

Thank you so much for the solidarity and your interest in supporting my advocacy . I'm so happy for allowing me to touch your heart and for letting me in in your big heart! I'm sure this will be the start of our lasting friendship.

Yap! I do cry too even in my sleep . I cried with all these harsh realities. Everytime I write I cry bringing me back memories and the continuing challenging times. I cry just looking at the face of my daughter thinking what will be her future in situation like this. I always saw her face in every child of poor families struggling to make a living. I saw the face of my son in every Filipino youth struggling for a better future. Whenever I heard sad news of Overseas Filipino Workers abused , the face of my younger sister reflects in my imagination. She left home and her kids to us for fifteen years for overseas work to support our family - I always cry.

But, I'm sure the future is bright as long as we remain steadfast in our struggle for social change.
All these sufferings will come to an end and our cries for pain will turn to be cries of happiness and freedom. And my tears will be tears of joy and laughter just as yours.

Thank you also for the interest in our campaign on environment and human rights. Please do sent me your email - ad so that I can send you reading materials .

More power to you!

best wishes and love,
Malaya

Malaya, is always a pleasure and an inspiration reading from you.

And as I read your reply, I reflected on how the many types of injustice and stupidity are closely related.

Spoiling and devastating nature (pretending it's just commodities), and doing the same on people. "Dominating", as a way to state existence, maybe feeling grand. Dividing, too, and pretending to command.

Meanwhile, the immense (and immensely fragile) forces driving our lives flow almost undisturbed. Whatever horrible they'll do, in the end it's love to prevail. It's very hard, and yet necessary.

I see our human kind an endangered species. We feel so powerful, yet we know very little. So many pretend to "control nature" and people, under the false assumption all can be explained linearly and in simple ways (so simple, that even the self-appointed dominators may understand). It isn't! The more we collectively try to "control", the less reliable our place becomes, uncertainties rise, and the harder the struggle.

It's a self-amplifying, "positive" feedback, unstable by its very nature.

The problem is, where will it stop?

I'm optimist (I want to be). My dream is, we'll get rid of all that.

It's so hard! But the alternative is extinction, or losing our humanity (which after all is right the same).

Meanwhile, we all suffer. The more we are sensitive and aware, the more we and our beloved do...

Will Italy turn again in a land of emigration? Many Italians are terrorized by the idea of people with different background coming in. But as time passes, this place becomes less and less attractive to many (the most audacious, typically). I remember well a young woman, mother of two, from Sri Lanka, who after having tried hard to live here decided to return home. I say "home", as she faced discrimination not on herself, but on her children - not the best way to feel "in your place". She went back, then, her children with more perspectives in Sri Lanka than in Italy. I wish her the best possible, so loving as she is. And hope will be able to write, sooner or later.

I owe this woman an urge, to restore a bit of beauty and attractiveness in Italy. To resist surmounting hatred without letting it to corrupt me (I try, at least). And in the same time I try to give some little seeds. They are not so many, nor effective as the stupid person I am, but I'm sure they will germinate.

So my friend, what else than thanking you again? My concern, I see, are so little if compared to yours and your country...

My best wishes, then!

With love and immense respect,

Mauri

Michelle Vesser's picture

My heart is with you

Malaya,

I thank you for your courage and hold you in your deep grief for yet another tragedy of this scale to come to your community and the Philippines as a nation. When I heard about this massacre on National Public Radio my conflicting love for the Philippines and my sadness for the violence, greed, and corruption surfaced once again. I lived in the Philippines in 1983-1985 as a Peace Corps volunteer and have had the opportunity to visit twice since that time. I know that women like you that live in and with the truths of Philippines are what are needed to make a difference. Yet I hear/know the danger. I send you much love and courage as you have chosen a path of grace for the love of the women, children, and caring men that are the heart of the Filipino people.

I am taken by the concept of "fierce compassion", by China Galand. Your dream “that we will not suffer this poverty anymore, that there will be no women discriminated against, that there will be no Filipino women selling their bodies for food on the table, that we won't have any modern slaves working as overseas domestic helpers,” as you know requires this and perseverance. The Philippines has such a long history of domination, militarism, patriarchy, and loyalty.

Please continue to bring these events and your understanding of what is happening forward.

My heart is with you.
Michelle

malayapinas's picture

Welcome Back Home

Dear Michelle,

Thanks for sharing with me my grief and my courage! It's nice to hear from someone who had been here in my country and had lived for a time. Welcome back home Michelle! It's just sad that what is happening is getting worst than the situation you had when you're still here. Oh ! it was still martial law at that time during the Marcos dicrtatorship.

And now, we have a woman president worst than the Marcos administration declaring another Martial Law in selected place like Maguindanao. She still want to hold on to power and still have the support of the military and some section of the church.

I'm happy to have you here in PulseWire, what a wonderful small meeting place for us. Thank you for inspiring me and giving me more courage to continue raising my voice. Thank you for meeting me here! I'm so happy!

love,
Malaya

olakitike's picture

So Touching

I am so sorry about the loss of your friends. You story is so touching and yet so alarming. i share your grief and sadness and pray that Peace will rise above poverty in your land. May you be one of the catalysts of this change. In fact, by sharing this, you are already one of the catalysts.

May Goodness and Mercy abide with you.

Love and Admiration,

Ayobami

malayapinas's picture

Dear Ayubami, Hi dear! How

Dear Ayubami,

Hi dear! How are you? Thank you for sharing with me my grief and sadness. Thank you for your prayers.

People united can never be defeated and I think this is what we are working on. We need to empower and strengthen ourselves together to get over violence and fight for peace in our lands.

Wish you all the best and keep in touch!

love,
malaya

alligator100's picture

I am here

Dear Malayapinas,
I thank you so deeply for sharing the details of this massacre - what can not or won't be expressed in other media sources. I live in the United States and was for a brief period in Maguindanao this past spring, April 2009. I work and study in conflict resolution and met an army captain at the Ramon Magsaysay awards last year. He took me on a tour of southern Mindanao - with the hopes of bringing new ideas and support to the many various peoples and communities in conflict there, (as he is very much concerned about developing humanitarian support within this area). We are building a partnership but what is to happen next is yet to be seen. I have much yet to learn but your letter helps me to both understand and also ponder in disbelief the capacities of all of us. War is an altered state, which many become addicted to. I hope to meet you Malaya and discuss further your work and ways that partnership or outside understanding, ideas, supports, etc. may be helpful. I will return to the Philippines within the next year to further alliances and my learning of the depth of conflict that has plagued both Mindanao and so much of the Philippines, in different ways over the centuries.
I should mention, my father is Cebuano - although we've only met once and do not have ongoing communication. Although I am Filipina on my father's side - I grew up in the US not knowing of my roots but dreaming of working in my country of origin. I will be there one day - because in my heart I have always been there. Of course, this is not to equal the experience of living in a country where there are so many hardships - as well as the thrilling community, love and beauty that the Philippines maintains so strongly.
Oh Malaya, my heart is with you and the people of the Philippines. I do hope that we will continue this discussion that you have begun by speaking out in courage and heartfulness. Know that there are other hearts that feel you and are with you as much as possible, from a distance. Again, I thank you for your words, information and wise feelings. Let's do be in touch.
With much care and love,
Jennifer
Portland, Oregon, USA

malayapinas's picture

Dear Jennifer, Hello! I'm so

Dear Jennifer,

Hello! I'm so happy reading your email. Thank you so much! I'm so excited to talk about possible alliances on how to support my work here in the Philippines. Above all, I'm so happy for you having all this notions of working here in the Philippines and finding your roots. Yap! I do understand how you feel about the Philippines especially you've been here once.

Our situation is getting worse everyday and I'm so happy being here in Pulsewire at least I could raise our voice and met women and people who are supportive of our plight just like you. I'm so eager to talk to you and share with you what's going on here . Hope we can continue having and can can concrete ways to help one another.

Wish you all the best and more power to you!

love,
Malaya

Tenbear's picture

I send my prayers and support

I heard you speak on our public radio CBC recently and was horrified of you accounts of this massacre . Your courage and strength fuels us and we who believe in truth and compassion for all support you . I have your friends and all the murdered in my thoughts and prayers . I will continue to help you change this ignorance and violence ,
stay strong , bless you
Love
Tenbear

malayapinas's picture

Dear Tenbear, I am so

Dear Tenbear,

I am so honoured for such a empowering mesage. Thank you so much for listening in my story. I wish you more strenght and power to keep on supporting my advocacy and our advocacy here at Pulsewire. I strongly believe that men and women must work together to fight violence in every vein of our society. Wish to hear more from you!

best regards,
Malaya

ellen's picture

Malaya, Thank you for

Malaya,
Thank you for bringing news of the injustices that people in the Philippines are suffering. It is hard to read about the brutal treatment of innocent men and women. And to think that a woman President is capable of such atrocities against her people is difficult to absorb. I guess I'd like to believe that women have compassion in their hearts for others. But alas this is not universally true.
My prayers are with you and your fellow citizens.
Best to you,
Ellen from America

malayapinas's picture

It's an honor

Dear Ellen,

Thank you so much for taking time reading my article. I'm so happy that I was able to bring the voices of our women here in the Philippines. It's an honor for me sharing your inspiring words. Yes, i agree that gender or being a woman is a guarantee of compassion and love for others. It's all about the kind of orientation where your hearts belong . An orientation of perpetuating power politically and economically at the expense of the poor. Thank you once more!

love,
Malaya

Cara Lopez Lee's picture

Thank you for spreading the word

Malaya,

I'm embarrassed, and outraged, that I had not heard this story before... even though I regularly read and listen to international news. Thank you for getting the word out about what is happening in your country. It's appalling. I admire your courage to speak out. I hope you'll continue to speak, and remain safe from harm.

The world you describe is terrifying, and you've made me very grateful that, whatever I might think of my candidate choices in this country, I can at least choose whomever I want without fear of imprisonment, torture, or death. Such a simple freedom, and yet so profound.

Thank you for standing up for human rights.

Take Care,
Cara

malayapinas's picture

Dear Cara, Hi! thank you also

Dear Cara,

Hi! thank you also for such a gracious time reading my article and of course the World Pulse magazine. I'm happy that I made a mark in your heart about the human rights situation here in the Philippines. No, don't be embarrassed not knowing the situation here in our country. It's just that the mainstream media took it very quickly and a plain news report. That's why I'm happy that the World Pulse magazine is an alternative media voicing out the unheard and the ignore women of the world.

Best wishes and more power!

love,
Malaya

Mary_Jefferson's picture

Hero

She is a true patriot to her country. This takes great courage on her part to continue doing what she does. I cannot imagine living with daily death threats and still getting my work done. I hope she can accomplish much in her life time. casino online

malayapinas's picture

Life

Hello Mary! Thank you so much! You are an inspiration for me in my daily struggle for life.

love,
Malaya

Sophie's picture

Thanks

Words can say enough, your courage is so touching, wishing you blessings in this fight

Sophie Ngugi
Child of the Universe -www.sophiengugi.blogspot.com

malayapinas's picture

Welcome

Sophie my friend Hello! I've been seeing a lot of you here in Pulsewire. Thank you for dropping a line for me. You and Mary brightened my day !

take care,
Malaya

Sophie's picture

We are sisters here

Glad I brightened you day, we are sisters here!!

Keep up.

Sophie Ngugi
Child of the Universe -www.sophiengugi.blogspot.com

Vicki's picture

Thank You For Spreading The Word

Malaya, you are courageous to speak out. Thank you for informing the world. What is happening regarding the capture of the armed troops who did this massacre as well as those who helped them plan this atrocity? If 100 carried out this unimaginable crime I imagine many more were involved. How could so many avoid being held to account? I was very moved by your story and don't know how it is I did not know of it until now. I am horrified by the details and inhumanity and the thought that those who did this could be walking around as if nothing happened. I consider that a further crime to the victims and the people of your country.

What is happening with the May 2010 elections in Maguindanao, is finding justice for the victims a central part of the elections?

I live in the United States. Would it help if I wrote, and got other people to write to large multi-national corporations that are in the Philippines (yet headquartered here) to see what they are doing about seeking justice for the victims of this brutal massacre? Sitting on the sidelines because they do not want to get political is not acceptable. I think corporate america has a responsibility to support humanitarian rights in the foreign countries they operate in and profit from. Perhaps if they feel political pressure at home they will in turn (as major employers in your country) put pressure on the government to do what is right and not only stop the brutality and oppression but bring to justice those who have committed crimes. I am 'on the bleachers' so to speak in that I am so far away and so removed from what happened, so perhaps this idea would not be helpful, please let me know.

Most Sincerely, Your New York Sister,
Vicki

malayapinas's picture

Justice is Illusive

Hello Vicky,

What a great heart you have! First, I would like to apologize for this very late response. I've been so busy - super busy since the year started. I'm currently involved in the advocacy for electoral reforms in our country. We will have the national election in this coming May 10 - I just can't imagine myself now with so much load and pressures every day. With the new electoral systemn we have now - Automation Electoral System and the electoral related violence happening everyday - I get my self involved in organizing an advocay group on anti-fraud and anti-violence.

The challenge still remains on how to protect our votes and how to vote for the deserving candidates who will lead our country for the next six years. Yap, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is still clinging in power and she doesn't have any plan to resign or leave government. In fact , she will be running for congress representing her hometown district. Her sons are also running for Congress and local positons.

Four months had already past , but justice for the Ampatuan massacre victims remains illusive. Everyday, political violence are increasing filing up additional statistics of human rights violations committed by the Arroyo administration.
The Ampatuans remain allies of the president - their machinery remain intact in Mindanao and prepared for massive cheating and violence against their political opponents.

It is such a great feeling for me accepting your offer of support in lobbying to the business communities there in your place for the justice to the victims and all human rights violations. I'm so much more than willing to partnered with you on this advocacy. Please get in touch and more power to you!

best regards,
Malaya

malayapinas's picture

Hi Scott! I'm sure this is a

Hi Scott! I'm sure this is a late reply but I thank you for giving such a consoling words! We have a new government but killings still continue. We have 43 political killings under the new president and being an activist is always at risk. But, we should dare to struggle and dare to survive, if not , the future generation will have nothing but pain and miseries.

love,
Malaya

Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

PAKISTAN: They Went to School and Never Came Back

PAKISTAN: They Went to School and Never Came Back

Campaigns »

Be heard at influential forums

WWW: Women Weave the Web

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Programs »

Help us train women citizen journalists

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

Blog »

Read the latest from World Pulse headquarters

Announcing Our Prize Winners!

Announcing Our Prize Winners!

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative