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An Open Letter To Barack Obama From 17 Filipinos

July 29, 2009

7 senators

Seventeen Filipinos led by a former Vice President and two former Senate Presidents issued an open letter today hours before the scheduled meeting at the White House of US President Barack Obama with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

The Filipinos urged Mr. Obama to tell Mrs. Arroyo that “a Government that does not comply with Principles of Democracy and respect for Human Rights cannot have the approval and support of your administration. “

The writers of the open letter included former Vice  President Teofisto ‘Tito’ Guingona, ex-Senate Presidents Jovito Salonga and Franklin Drilon together with former senators Agapito ‘Butz’ Aquino, Wigberto ‘Bobby’ Tanada, Serge Osmena  and Vicente ‘Ting Paterno.

The letter was also signed by former Arroyo cabinet members Corazon ‘Dinky Solima, Josefina Lichauco and Juan Santos.

The strongly-worded missive to the Americsan leader called his attention to Mrs. Arroyo’s “legacy of corruption, extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture, bribery, election cheating, among others.”

The 17 signatories told President Obama how Filipinos  “also yearn for change from the effrontery of hopelessness and the curse of decadence that Mrs. Arroyo represents, “ pointing out how their countrymen stressing that “share the same morals and ideals, and aspirations that define the envied way of life of the American people.”

“Filipinos yearn for the same kind of leaders that the American people yearn themselves, leaders who are imbued with the right values, lead principled lives and govern with the highest ethical standards. The ideals of justice, democracy and the upliftment of human lives animate the Filipino people’s dreams of a better life in much the same way that these ideals animate the dreams of the American people,” the 17 writers of the open letter said.

I have no information whether the open letter has been transmitted to the Obama White House either by fax or courier in time for the Obama-Arroyo summit talks.

Here is the letter in full:


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