‘5,000’ Mindanaoans start caravan for Duterte’s first SONA

Jul. 18, 2016


DAVAO CITY – An estimate of 5,000 Lumads, farmers, activists and human rights advocates from Mindanao started their caravan to Manila on Monday, July 18 to mark President Rodrigo Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address in Manila.

One of the delegates and third nominee of Gabriela Women’s Party, Bai Ali Indayla said in a press conference that they aim to submit a 10-point Mindanao People’s Agenda to Duterte.

The 10-point agenda was  presented to government peace panel chairman Secretary Silvestre Bello of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines, and Fidel Agcaoili of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in a gathering held at the Davao City Recreation Center last month.

“We call on Duterte, who is very vocal that he wanted peace,  to push forward the peace  talks to address the root causes of armed conflict,” Indayla said during Monday’s Kapehan sa Davao held at the SM Mall in Ecoland here.
The 10-point Mindanao People’s Peace Agenda are as follows:

1.      Implement Genuine Agrarian Reform in Mindanao

2.      Achieve national industrialization and genuine ecologically-sound development

3.      Generate decent employment, ensure security of tenure, and promote workers’ rights

4.      Uphold social, economic-democratic rights and welfare on Women and Gender, Urban Poor, Teachers, Transport

5.      Respect the rights of National Minorities

6.      Adopt a Nationalist, Scientific, and Pro-people culture

7.      Adopt and Foreign Relations Policy Based on Sovereignty, Mutual Respect and Independence

8.      Pursue Full Accountability of Public Officials and Stamp Out Corruption

9.      Uphold equitable resource allocation for Mindanao Peoples from the national budget and promote democratic consultations on Federalism

10.  Promote the pro people, pro envi proposals and plans of SMEs in Mindanao

The caravan, dubbed “Manilakbayan sa SONA”, will be joined by delegates from Southern Mindanao, Northern Mindanao, Caraga, Zamboanga Peninsula, SOCSKSARGEN, and the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.

Indayla said that they will also appeal to the President “to act on the recent cases of Lumad attacks.”

She cited the killing of community school leader Herme Alegre and Datu Danny Diarog, who survived the incident, in Barangay Manuel Guianga, Tugbok District, Davao City last Friday, July 15.

“The immediate demand to the President is to order the pull-out of military troops from the communities and schools and send thousands of Lumad evacuees home,” Indayla said.

On October 2015, hundreds of Lumads and support groups also launched a Manilakbayan, calling for the previous administration of Aquino to stop lumad killings.

Indayla said that most delegates of this year’s Manilakbayan are also present last year.

“But this Manilakbayan sa SONA takes on a positive note as Duterte promised to invite the progressive and Lumads to watch the SONA as he vows to make reforms,” Indayla added.

Indayla clarified that the Manilakbayan sa SONA will “not be a protest, not a rally against,” but “a rally in support of (Duterte’s) pro-people pronouncements.” (davaotoday. com)

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