“Manilakbayan sa SONA” Caravan: Some 5000 Mindanaoans to Rally in Support of Duterte’s Pro-People Prnouncements

“Manilakbayan sa SONA” Caravan: Some 5000 Mindanaoans to Rally in Support of Duterte’s Pro-People Prnouncements

manilakbayan sa sona 2016

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Consisted of farmers, Lumads, activists and human rights advocates, an estimated 5000 Mindanaoans started on Monday, July 18, 2016, the caravan to Manila to indicate President Rodrigo Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Manila.

According to Bai Ali Indayla, one of the delegates and third nominee of Gabriela Women’s Party, they aim to submit a Mindanao People’s Agenda to Duterte which 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 above agenda has been presented to Fidel Agcaoili of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and government peace panel chairman Secretary Silvestre Bello of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines during the gathering held last month at the Davao City Recreation Center.

Called “Manilakbayan sa SONA”, the caravan will be participated among delegates from Northern and Southern Mindanao, Caraga, SOCCSKSARGEN, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and Zamboanga Peninsula.

Indayla cited the recent killing of Hermie Alegre, community school leader, and Datu Danny Diarog, who survived the incident, last Friday, July 15, 2016, in Barangay Manuel Guianga, Tugbok District, Davao City and that will appeal to the President “to act on the recent cases of Lumad attacks.”

“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,” said Indayla.

It was in October 2015 when Manilakbayan was launched by hundreds of Lumads and support groups crying for the previous Aquino administration to end the lumad killings. And with this year’s participating delegates, most of them were also present last year.

Indayla added that the caravan will “not be a protest, not a rally against,” but “a rally in support of (Duterte’s) pro-people pronouncements,’ taking a positive note as Duterte promised to welcome the progressive and Lumads to witness the SONA as he swears to make reforms.

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