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You are here: Home Archive 2008 Ethics in Action Vol. 2 No. 1 - February 2008 I know

I know

I know

Florence Manegdeg

I do not know

      What you mean by Human Rights

      When in your time

      My loving, gentle husband-comprehensive friend

      Was assassinated with 22 gun-shot-wounds

      Despite his cries and pleas for mercy.

I do not know

       What you mean by Modernization

       When He who worked for upliftment

       Of the toiling farmers and the sweating workers

       Was placed in the order of cattle,

       Hounded, demonized, and treacherously murdered

I do not know

       What you mean by Peace

       When you draft more public funds

       For bullets and bombs

       Even as you hand tokens of food bags

       To those who despair in abject poverty.

I do not know

       To which God you pray

       When you kneel so saintly

       And pledge to kill, maim and rid my land

       Of terrorists and communists

       That you yourself attract and create.

I do not know 

       What breeding you have been made of

       When you parade your royal family

       In my Sacred lands yet oblivious of history

       And with much pomp and pretense

      Your entourage splurge on bloody people’s  tax.

I do not know

       Where your neurosis and greed

       Would lead you and your generals

       Compulsively obsessed with positions of power

       Mongering for war and celebrating victory

       For the slaughter of my children’s father.


       That no bullets nor golden coins

       Could ever silence nor conceal

       the Cosmic, Divine and Humane Spirit


       That  I breathe, I live and I cherish



**This poem was written by Florence (above, second left) on 9 January 2008, to remember her husband Jose Managdeg III (above, right), a layworker of the Rural Missionary of the Philippines, who was killed by the military on 28 November 2005. The AHRC has issued numerous statements and urgent appeals regarding his case, as well as other cases of the killings of human rights activists; please see for details.

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