All-youth alliance formed

VARIOUS youth groups from all over Mindanao on Monday organized an all-youth alliance that envisions the sector's active role in defending and protecting the environment and human rights.

Senubaden Mindanao Youth Alliance was formed during the Mindanao-wide youth conference dubbed as "Pangiyak Ki! Mindanao Youth Shout Out for Human Rights and Ecological Justice" at the Homitori in Davao City on August 9 and 10.

The Senubaden is an indigenous Bagobo term meaning "unity arrived at after an assembly".

Senubaden Mindanao Youth Alliance spokesperson Fritz Vegas said about 300 delegates representing youth formations, student councils, publications and organizations from various regions in Mindanao attended the two-day conference.

Vegas said Mindanao and foreign youths witnessed the strings of human rights violations perpetrated by state forces during their immersion in different lumad communities for the International Solidarity Mission.

"The alarming human right violations in some parts of Mindanao are undeniable proof that justice and genuine peace remain elusive," Vegas said.

He added that delegates of Pangiyak Ki definitely committed to defend the ancestral land and the rights of the people of Mindanao.

"We made resolutions and plans for the alliance, including the strengthening of the international and local youths and students solidarity, participation in responding to the issues of militarization and environmental plunder," Vegas said.

Vegas added that they also carried out solidarity projects to support lumad schools that have been under attack, echo the pressing ecological issues and spread the advocacy for human rights and peace.

"We also join and support the Manilakbayan 2015, a march protest from Mindanao to Luzon, in defense of Mindanao from militarization and environmental plunder," Vegas said.

The all-youth conference concluded Monday after a series of activities including torch parade, cultural night out at the lumad evacuation center and a sportsfest with the international delegates playing indigenous games. (ICT)
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