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Pinoys gather in The Netherlands to mourn slain activist Willem Geertman


Filipinos and Dutch people in The Netherlands gathered recently at the Old Catholic Church on Ruysdaelstraat in Amsterdam to remember 67-year-old Dutch national Willem Geertman, who was murdered in the Philippines on July 3. Willem's brothers wore identical white t-shirts with the words: “Katarungan para kay Kuya William.” Their brother Ton brought these from the Philippines when he and their sister Maria went to bury their brother.  
Ton told GMA News Online,"For me it was very special to experience that in spite of the sadness, there was the strength of the Filipino people. While still crying, they were already going ahead with their work and planning what has to be done after the death of my brother.” 
Ton said he knew that many people were supporting their call for justice for their brother.  
"I know that there are a lot of forces behind him and I won’t be surprised if the case will not be solved. But for us it’s important to tell the story of what happened, to protest against impunity, to tell the government to end this impunity,” Ton said.
 
Herman, who failed to go to the Philippines for the funeral because of a freshly operated knee, said their family would continue to search for Willem’s killers. “We will continue to search for justice and help the people to change the system there,” Herman said.
 
The Geertmans were grateful to those who attended the memorial service for Willem. During the Mass, which lasted nearly two hours, an audio-visual presentation was presented by the people with whom Willem worked with in Alay Bayan, a non-government organization.
 
His former colleagues and comrades also gave tributes to Willem. Dutch-Filipino Solidarity Group leader Theo Droog handed over to the Geertmans a colored stone with an artwork symbolizing Willem’s advocacy.
 
International League of People’s Struggle Chairperson Jose Ma. Sison said Willem’s death “serves to inspire the Filipino people to fight ever more resolutely and militantly for national and social liberation”. 
 
More than 1000 euros was raised from the money collection, which will go to Willem’s project in the Philippines. The Geertman family, along with all those present, vowed to continue Willem’s work in The Philippines. - VVP, GMA News
 
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