NAGA CITY, Philippines – Thousands of indigenous and Moro people from Mindanao crossed San Juanico Bridge on Sunday, October 9 for the national minority caravan to highlight their calls for peace.
At least 2,000 Lumad and Moro from all over Mindanao marched in Naga City and converged at the Plaza Quezon for a solidarity night hosted by local human rights groups.
Vince Casilihan of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan in Bicol Region lauded the cause of the caravan, saying that the power rests on the people, and not on elected officials.
“All Filipinos, Christians, Lumad or Moro must assert their rights, because we are the government, not the elected officials,” Casilihan said.
Delighted with the show of support Datu Jomorito Guayno, chairperson of Kalumbay, a regional organization of indigenous peoples in Northern Mindanao reiterated their objective in joining the caravan.
“For as long true freedom and democracy is not achieved, as long as the government does not respect the rights of the indigenous peoples to their self determination, we will continue our fight, Guayno said.
The caravan, dubbed as the National Journey of National Minorities for Self Determination and Just Peace will be moving to Santa Elena in Camarines Norte and will stay inside the University of the Philippines Los Baños campus. The journey will end at the University of the Philippines Diliman for various activities scheduled on October 13 to 28. (davaotoday.com)