Mindanawons stage peace caravan-A A +A
By Bong Garcia
Friday, October 12, 2012
CONSTITUENTS of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm) and Mindanao-based Civil Society Organizations staged Friday a "Peace Caravan" in lieu of the signing next week of a framework agreement between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
A convoy of 10 vehicles will travel for three days in a symbolic journey of unity and solidarity among Mindanawons to reach out to Manila.
The peace caravan, themed "Lakbayan ng Mamamayan ng Armm para sa Kapayapaan,” kicked off Friday as the convoy of 10 vehicles left Cotabato City en route to Manila, said Amilbahar Mawalil, head of Armm’s communications group.
A vigil will be held on Sunday evening at Mendiola until the awaited signing of the framework agreement in Malacañang on Monday morning, Mawalil said.
"The peace caravan is a collective effort of both the regional autonomous government and some Mindanao civil society groups," Mawalil said.
Former human rights lawyer and now Armm Regional Legislative Assembly (RLA) speaker Rasul Mitmug Jr. spoke of the significance of the framework peace agreement as a "guidepost to Bangsamoro destiny in its parliamentary quest for recognition."
"The Armm supports people's participation in the peace process and must provide avenues for awareness to be raised," Armm Executive Secretary Anwar Malang said.
Meanwhile, Manila-based groups are preparing for the convergence in Mendiola.
Jolly Lais of Ako ay Kalagan said they are ready to welcome the "people of Mindanao in Manila as a form of 'kapit-bisig' against spoilers of the agreement."
Earlier, Armm OIC-Governor Mujiv Hataman hailed the announcement of President Benigno Aquino III of the framework agreement, which “would pave the way to the region's new political entity named the Bangsamoro."
The caravan is just one of the many activities that the regional government plans to stage to support the ongoing peace negotiations, said Mawalil. (Bong Garcia)