Archives West Finding Aid
Table of Contents
Michael Withey papers, approximately 1974-2010
Overview of the Collection
- Withey, Michael (Lawyer)
- Michael Withey papers
- approximately 1974-2010 (inclusive)19742010
- 54.13 cubic feet (43 boxes)
- Collection Number
- 6376 (Accession No. 6376-001)
- Materials related to the murders of Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes and subsequent trial against Ferdinand Marcos
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
- Access Restrictions
Access restricted: For terms of access, contact Special Collections.
Biographical NoteReturn to Top
Michael Withey is a Seattle-based lawyer who served as a representing attorney in the Domingo v Marcos court case. He is a public interest lawyer who has made a career representing the “little guy” against powerful interests to protect constitutional rights, civil rights, and human rights for the past 42 years. He is the former president of the Public Justice Foundation and received numerous prestigious awards.
Gene Viernes was born in Yakima on August 16, 1951, the eldest of nine children born to Felix and Betty Viernes. Felix had emigrated from the Philippines in the 1920s. He was a fruit picker and also worked in canneries. His son Gene grew up picking fruit before going to school. Gene joined Local 37, ILWU in 1966 at the age of 14, after lying about his age and paying a $50 bribe to a cannery foreman. He spent many summers as an "Alaskero," working in the Alaskan salmon canneries along with his father and brothers. In the 1970s, he met Silme Domingo and they became close friends. Together they formed the Alaska Cannery Workers' Association, a workers' legal advocacy group. Within Local 37, Gene Viernes played a crucial role in the formation of the Rank and File Committee, the group that spearheaded the reform movement in 1977.
Silme Domingo was born in Killeen, Texas, on January 25, 1952. His father had emigrated from the Philippines in the 1920s, and had joined the Army and fought in the Pacific during World War II. Silme was the third of five children born to Nemesio and Adelina Domingo. He grew up in Texas and Germany in accordance with his father's military career, and the family moved to Seattle in 1960. Silme attended Ballard High School and graduated with honors from the University of Washington. Silme, following his parents' social activism, participated in the effort during the 1970s to save Seattle's International District, and joined the work to establish social services for people in the district. In 1974 Silme joined the Union of Democratic Filipino (KDP) and established the Seattle KDP chapter, which organized the first protest in Seattle against the Marcos dictatorship. He was best known for his work in the Alaska Cannery Workers Union. He was survived by two children, Ligaya and Kalayaan.
[Source: https://michaelwithey.com/about/; https://www.historylink.org/File/412]
Historical BackgroundReturn to Top
On June 1, 1981, Seattle-based Filipino American labor activists Gene Viernes (1951-1981) and Silme Domingo (1952-1981) of Local 37 of the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union(ILWU) are murdered near Pioneer Square in downtown Seattle. They were attempting to reform the union, which they thought was corrupt, and were calling for better working conditions in the canneries.
The murders were originally thought to be an isolated act of violence, but friends and family organized a Committee for Justice for Domingo and Viernes (CJDV) eventually found links between the murders to Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos and his wife Imelda, who had ordered the murders in retaliation for the victims’ anti-Marcos organizing. In 1989, and a federal jury agreed with the CJDV, finding Marcos guilty of the murders.
[Source: https://www.historylink.org/File/412; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silme_Domingo]
Content DescriptionReturn to Top
Documents, including depositions, court documents, drafts, notes, exhibits, and other material, tapes, video, and photographs relating to Michael Withey's role as a representing attorney in the Doming v. Marcos court case. The case came as a result of the 1981 assassination Seattle labor leaders Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes in a plot involving Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos and a Seattle union leader Tony Baruso. Domingo and Viernes, in addition to serving as cannery union officers, had been organizing as part of a Filipinx diaspora organization to oppose the Marcos Regime. After the murders, a Committee for Justice for Domingo and Viernes was formed and a legal case against Marcos made its way through the US judicial system.
Other Descriptive InformationReturn to Top
Forms part of the Labor Archives of Washington.
Use of the CollectionReturn to Top
Restrictions on Use
Creator's copyrights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries Special Collections.
Administrative InformationReturn to Top
Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top
|2||Freedom of Information Request Documents
Original box labeled "Box 2- FOIA, KDP". Includes materials labeled "Box 19".
|43||"The Domingo Viernes Story" DVDs
19 copies of the DVD. Originally included in "Box 2-FOIA, KDP"
Original box labeled "Box 3". Includes film and audio tape.
Original box labeled "Box 4". Includes materials labeled "Box 3".
|5||Witness Files (Marcos)
Original box labeled "Box 6"
Original box labeled "Box 8"
Original box labeled "Box 9". Also includes materials related to "Summary Execution", Committee for Justice, and Faith Ireland v Building Industry Association of Washington.
|8||Research and Articles
Original box labeled "Box 17"
|9||Freedom of Information Request Documents
Original box labeled "Box 19"
|10||Federal Trial, Transcripts
Includes materials labeled "Box 19"
|11||Depositions, clippings, Committee for Justice materials,
Original box labeled "Box 24". Includes materials labeled "Box 5", "Box 9", "Box 16", "Box 40", "Box 51", "Box 57", "Box 61", and "Box 64".
|12||Documents: Mabuhay Corporation, Forsythe
Original box labeled "Box 35"
|13||Documents: Original U.S. Documents, Psinkisi FBI
Original box labeled "Box 40"
Original box labeled "Box 42"
|15||Documents from the Philippines
Original box labeled "Box 44"
|16||Documents from the Philippines
Original box labeled "Box 45"
|17||Experts, Witness Files
Original box labeled "Box 46"
|18||Committee for Justice materials, Depositions, Documents
from the Philippines, Falk, and other materials
Includes materials labeled "Box 45", "Box 46", and "Box 59". Includes photographs and Committee for Justice audio tape.
|19||Depositions (Marcos) and Freedom of Information Request
Original box labeled "Box 49". Includes 2 VHS tapes of KGO-TV Domingo/Viernes report.
Original box labeled "Box 50"
Original box labeled "Box 51". Includes materials labeled "Box 58".
Original box labeled "Box 52"
|23||Freedom of Information Request Documents and
Original box labeled "Box 53"
|24||Documents from the Philippines
Original box labeled "Box 56"
|25||Deposition, Economic Expert, Clippings, and other
Original box labeled "Box 57". Includes 3 VHS tapes and 1 CD.
|26||Articles, Committee for Justice, Fee Dispute Documents,
Murder Conspiracy, and other materials
Original box labeled "Box 58"
|27||Documents related to Baruso, Press Releases, Financial
Records, and other materials
Original box labeled "Box 59"
|28||Malabed Depositions and other materials
Original box labeled "Box 60"
|29||Malabed Depositions, photographs, and other
Original box labeled "Box 61". Includes VHS tape.
|30||Police Records, Closing Statements, Expert Witnesses,
Notice of Appeal, and Miscellaneous documents
Original box labeled "Box 64"
|31||State v Dictado
Includes materials labeled "Box 1"
|32||Freedom of Information Request Documents, and other
Original box labeled "Green Covers & FBI Discovery"
|33||Freedom of Information Request Documents, and other
Original box labeled "Green Covers & FBI Discovery"
|34||Domingo v Marcos Correspondence and Court Documents and Materials Related to Malabed||approximately 1980s|
|35||Complaints and Motions to Dismiss, Philippines Summary Judgement||approximately 1980s|
|36||Financial Records, Fundraising, and Freedom of Information Request Documents||approximately 1980s|
|37||FBI Discovery, Pleadings
Includes audio tape and 3 CDs/DVDs
|38||Motions to Dismiss, Drafts, Proposals, Notes, and other materials||approximately 1980s|
|39||Materials Related to Appeal, Malabed Deposition, and other
Includes audio tape
|40||Federal Trial Appeal||approximately 1986-1990|
|41||Documents from the Philippines (Discovery)||approximately 1980s|
|42||Documents related to the NSA, Forsythe, Correspondence, Exhibits, and other materials||approximately 1980s|
Names and SubjectsReturn to Top
- Personal Papers/Corporate Records (University of Washington)
- Labor Archives of Washington (University of Washington) (host institution)