October 13, 2012 News: Grassroots leaders from Moros, Christians, and indigenous communities in Mindanao will launch a peace caravan from Davao City to all the way to the Malacañang Palace where the signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro will take place on October 15.
Dubbed as “Lakbay Kalinaw Caravan, literally translated “Peace Travel Caravan”, the four-day travel by land and sea kicked off yesterday.
The caravan will follow the route via Lipata port to Liloan, Allen to Matnog, Bicol and Quezon province and Manila. They are expected to arrive in Malacañang on Sunday afternoon and join the peace advocates there in the Peace Vigil to welcome the ceremonial signing on Monday.
In a press statement, Mariel Andrea "Ayyi" V. Gardiola, Networking and Liaison of the Mindanao People’s Caucus, a member of the Civilian Protection Component (CPC) of the International Monitoring Team (IMT), said that the caravan has drawn young and old, women and men, Muslims and Christians from all tribes and faiths in Mindanao.
She said the long journey will convey to the world that they are a big part of this historic event.
“We travel by land and sea and spend long days and nights of travel to show our deep gratitude and thanksgiving that we have finally reached the light at the end of the long dark tunnel,” she explained.
“We represent the hopes and dreams of the civilians in the conflict-affected areas who have never expected this victory for peace could still happen in this generation. It is only through God's wisdom and boundless generosity that we are given this opportunity to reconcile as brothers and sisters,” she stressed.
“This is a legacy President Aquino has finally fulfilled,” the statement added.
Representatives from peace networks, church, CSOs and the ARMM line agencies with the active support of Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman have joined a caravan of twenty vehicles from Cotabato City, Maguindanao, North Cotabato, Marawi City, Lanao Del Sur, and Davao City.
As key stakeholders in the peace journey in Mindanao, the participants have embarked on this literal journey to witness and show our support to the ceremonial signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro recently forged by the government and the MILF, the group further noted.
The group also calls upon all political leaders not only to express support but also to provide avenues wherein people will be able to take an active part in discussing and debating on the substance of the agreement.
It also proposed that the Agreement be translated into major languages and dialects in order to promote better understanding of the contents thereof.