Michael Withey


“Attorney Mike Withey creates a story line of International intrigue linking the murders of two Seattle union activists to the Philippine government.  Its back drop takes the reader into the lives of Filipino American activism in the 1980’s.  Activists,  Silme and Gene were in the midst of democratizing a corrupt sector of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union when they were killed.  This book helps one appreciate the various layers of international law, the FBI, the inner workings of the ILWU and the Filipino activist national organization, the Union of Democratic Filipinos. Withey’s legal and political courage garnished an unprecedented victory, holding the Philippine government responsible for its role in the murders of two young union leaders.”

Maria Abadesco

Maria L. Abadesco, UC Berkeley Labor Center

“Summary Execution is a fascinating, fast-paced, and highly readable book. That is true whether the reader approaches it as a broad tale of holding a dictator accountable, or an effort by friends and family to obtain justice for two individuals, or as the personal story of one man’s efforts on both counts (including the significant impacts on his own life and those close to him), or, lastly, as simply an exciting crime story with overlays of international intrigue. In the words of a well-known judge describing what he thought an attorney’s argument should be, it is a good tale, well told.”

Peter Danelo

Retired shareholder of the law firm Heller Ehrman and a member of the Board of Directors of the ACLU of Washington.

“It’s an amazing story and a great read. Enjoy this inspirational book. It honors the work of Gene and Silme and explores what it takes to achieve justice.”

Randy Aliment

Chairman of the American Bar Association’s Tort, Trial and Insurance Law Section

Summary Execution reads like a murder mystery novel, yet this is a real life story about the assasination of outstanding activists and the movement that was built to seek out the perpetrators of the crime.  There were times when I had to shake myself and remember that this was not a work of fiction, but a story that ends with victory but only because of the courageous work of the activists who were determined to win.  What a powerful and great read!”

Bill Fletcher, Jr.

Labor activist & writer, former president of TransAfrica Forum.

”To read of the many twists, turns and complications faced by the legal team and the Committee for Justice for Domingo and Viernes is to follow the unwinding of a complex web of governmental cover-up, intimidation and obfuscation which stretches from the Malacanang Palace in Manila to national security agencies in Washington, DC and the streets of Seattle. Summary Execution is an important story about seeking justice and exposing governmental malfeasance which should be required reading for all aspiring law students and activists.’

Rebecca Cate

Legal Counsel for Youth and Children

“I and Co-Producer Carol Palakoff first met Mike Withey, Terri Mast and Cindy Domingo in 1986 as part of a film project we hoped to bring about.  We had heard of their work in their quest for justice for the murders of Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes, and felt strongly, as we do now, that a movie should be made describing their courageous work in proving that Marcos regime was behind the murders and confronting those who wanted to see their justice efforts fail.  We were heartened by their victories in court but remain convinced that there are others who need to be held accountable.  I am really looking forward to the publication of Mike’s book and hope a movie can eventually be made of this amazing story of struggle, survival and success. “   Elizabeth Daley, Dean, School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California.

Elizabeth M. Daley

Dean, School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California

I have known Mike Withey for many years, and have been inspired by his passion for justice.  He now sheds light on a fascinating story that not only exposes how the Marcos regime murdered innocent people, but how an FBI informant was sent to the scene of the murders, and eventually testified for the hit men. As a filmmaker and storyteller, I am looking forward to reading this book, and know that Mike will do everything possible to hold those responsible for these murders accountable.

Susan Saladoff

Filmmaker, “Hot Coffee"

The Domingo and Viernes Story needs to be told – and Mike Withey is the perfect person to tell it. Public Justice became involved in this extraordinarily important, precedent-setting case to help find out the U.S. government’s role in these tragic murders and their cover-up.  But the court dismissed the government from the suit before the truth could be known. The fact that an FBI informant was both at the scene of the murders and a direct part of the cover-up is amazing — and truly disturbing.

Arthur Bryant

Chairman, Public Justice Foundation

This is a story which must be told. It not only will reveal the full story of these killings, but will show how the U. S. government turned its back on efforts to uncover the conspiracy to commit murder on U. S. soil, but actively hid evidence that would have led to a much earlier discovery of this terrorist act. Michael Withey, the attorney who led the investigation and successful prosecution of this amazing case, is the one person in the world best situated to tell this story.

Michael J. Fox

Retired Superior Court Judge

The U.S. government role in the Seattle murder of two young anti-Marcos labor leaders from the
Philippines tells this grisly story of how American intelligence agencies collaborate with foreign
authoritarian leaders to crush democratic opposition. Mike Withey who orchestrated the historic trial against the Marcos family on behalf of the victims has the knowledge and commitment to narrate these
extraordinary events, culminating in a great victory for the wives of these fallen heroes.

Richard Falk

American Professor Emeritus of International Law, Princeton University

More than three decades after the Seattle murder of Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes at the hands of Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos, new possibilities exist for holding tyrants – including even heads of state — accountable. Keeping the story of Gene and Silme alive, not only the story of their death but the story of their lives as trade unionists, as husbands and brothers, as activists, as fighters for a democratic Philippines, will play a huge role in broadening that potential for accountability even further. Perhaps even more important, the story will expose the role that United States government agents and agencies may have played in the killing of Gene and Silme — and that exposé remains a key component of our own fight for real democracy here in the United States.

Phyllis Bennis

Director, New Internationalism Project , Institute for Policy Studies

The Charles Horman Truth Foundation supports the telling of the Domingo and Viernes Story in the hope that the complete truth of US involvement in the murders may be determined.  The covert ‘hand’ of United States intelligence agencies which support brutal dictatorships, is difficult to detect and costly to investigate, even when it targets Americans and provides weapons to kill those who publically criticize and call out the crimes committed on behalf of the dictatorship.  In the case of the Domingo and Viernes Story, the US Navy appears as a possible player, just as it did in the case of the deaths of my husband Charles, and fellow-American Frank Teruggi, in Pinochet’s 1973 coup in Chile.  Illegal and covert acts taken by US intelligence agencies to spy on and collude in the murder of Americans on foreign soil, rather than protect their lives, must be brought to light and to justice.

Joyce Horman

Founder, Charles Horman Truth Foundation 501(c)(3)

Mike Withey is a great lawyer and a fantastic story teller. When Mike first told me this tale several years ago I was amazed. This story of international intrigue involves murder, conspiracy, and reaches into the highest levels of government. And, the story is true. Sure to be a page turner, you will be frightened and stunned. This is a story that must be told and should be heard. I support Mike’s efforts to reach a broader audience. When you hear the story, you will too.

Oliver Diaz

Retired Mississippi Supreme Court Justice, Featured in the award-winning documentary HOT COFFEE.

I look forward to the publication of The Domingo and Viernes Story and its expose of the role of the US Naval Investigative Service in providing information to the Marcos regime leading to the murders of two American citizens.  The Navy had no busy spying on Americans and the idea that the FBI had an informant at the scene of the murders who testified for the murders is repugnant to me.

Stephen Dundas

Navy Seal, Vietnam War Era

“When I heard Mike Withey describe his experiences in exposing and defeating the cover-up of the Marcos regime’s murders of Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes, the similarities between that story and what I have written about in “Assassination on Embassy Row” involving the Orlando Letelier and Ronnie Moffitt murders were striking.  Both were murders committed by a repressive regime seeking to extend its murderous reach into the U.S. to suppress opposition to their regimes.  I am confident Mike is as good a story teller as an human rights attorney. His description of how he and the Committee for Justice for Domingo and Viernes were obstructed in their justice efforts sent chills up and down my spine. I can’t wait to read this book!”

John Dinges

Cabot Professor Emeritus of Journalism, Columbia University