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May 26, 2015


Dear Team GK,

Peace be upon us!

By now, most of us are aware that there is a massive exchange of statements and sentiments circulating in the different social media channels brought about by a statement coming from University of Hawaii Center for Philippine Studies regarding a speech given by Tito Tony last month in Hawaii.

It pains me to read through the vicious statements against Tito Tony, whom I have known and worked with for the past 20 years of my life.  Many of us have had moments with him, whether on stage, in the GK sites or in personal conversations and know that his respect for women, and his love for country and the poor are beyond question.  It is just sad that some people chose to take his words out of context.

I am disturbed to note how quick people judged and very much saddened how statements and counter statements became viral.  But I was also inspired to see how people, including those who barely know Tito Tony or GK, also sent words of encouragement and support.  How I wish that we can use this as an opportunity to talk about hunger, poverty, the environment and get everyone involved.

We would like to share Tito Tony’s statement on the matter. What is certain my fellow workers, is this – some will continue to attack him and the work despite his statement.  The work of Gawad Kalinga is nowhere near perfect, and we simply take criticism and victories with humility.

More importantly, I say let’s do as much work on-ground, even more than what we do online.  It is my firm belief that our partners, volunteers, communities and the poor themselves will be the testament of our commitment to the principles of GK.  

Let us support and encourage each other to strengthen our resolve to end poverty.

Take courage to stay the course.

WALANG IWANAN!
    

Sincerely yours,




Jose Luis M. Oquiñena
Executive Director
Gawad Kalinga
www.gk1world.com





* You may read the Official Statement of Tony Meloto HERE.


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