[Photo by 105.9 Balita FM]
There is peace in numbers, the farmers and Lumads believed.
Around 40,000 individuals in Mindanao expressed solidarity in their support to the resumption of the peace negotiation between the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in the “March for Just and Lasting Peace” rally yesterday.
“This is a part of our call especially on the resumption of peace talks between the NPA (New People’s Army) and the GPH (Government of the Philippines), a peace awakening of the long rested peace negotiation,” said Juri Jaime, spokesperson of the Exodus for Peace and Justice.
Jaime said that the event was participated mainly by peasants and indigenous people as they are the groups greatly affected by armed conflicts.
“This rally is participated by different sectors, mostly composed of farmers and Lumad who were directly affected by the prevailing armed conflict in the country. That is why we are supporting the talks and we are hoping that with the incoming administration, we will be able to achieve the peace we have long aspired,” he said.
He said they also wanted for the people to understand that the peace issues are everyone’s concern.
Other than the welcoming of the peace talks, Jaime said the march also commemorates the death of the NPA leader Leoncio “Ka Parago” Pitao who was slain in a raid on June 28, 2016 in Paquibato District, Davao City.
“The rally also served as a tribute to Ka Parago who led the people to fight against economic, political and social injustices in their communities,” he said.
Farmers, indigenous peoples, urban poor, women and militant groups who still hailed from Soccsksargen, Caraga, Central Mindanao, Western Mindanao, and Southern Mindanao Regions echoed their call for peace as they traversed from Magsaysay Park to Rizal Park in Davao City.
| Published in 105.9 Balita FM’s Facebook page: Thousand farmers, Lumads rally to support peace initiatives, June 29, 2016