CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – An estimated 300 internally displaced persons from lumad groups in Northern Mindanao communities, and Maranao evacuees from Marawi City, are joining forces to participate in the nationwide people’s caravan of the national minorities to press their rights for self determination, call for just and lasting peace and the lifting of martial law in Mindanao.
The Higaonons, Banoa-on, Talaandig, Matigsalug, Manobos and Maranao evacuees held an interfaith prayers and offered a ritual during the send off ceremony Tuesday, August 22, at the Press Freedom Monument, here.
Datu Jomorito Goaynon, chairperson of the Lumad organization Kalumbay in Northern Mindanao, said the group are to board a ferry bound for Cebu, where protest rallies are set on August 24-25.
From Cebu, the group will travel to Masbate, then to Sorsogon, Naga City; and onward by land to Mendiola near Malacañang in Manila.
Other delegates from Visayas and Mindanao are expected to arrive in Manila on September 1.
Goaynon said the delegates from Mindanao number 1,500, but participants from different tribal groups all over the country may swell that number to about 3,000 people.
The lumad leader said they will set up camp inside the UP compound in Diliman, Quezon City, from September 1-21.
Goaynon said the ‘Lakbayan’ aims to underscore their call for respect of IPs’ and Moros’ rights for self-determination; the lifting of the military rule in Mindanao; and lasting peace.
“We wish to bring the message to President Rodrigo Duterte that there are residual issues, such as stopping extrajudicial killings and violation of the human rights in our lumad and indigenous communities,” he said.
The Northern Mindanao delegates are expected to take the same route on their way back home on September 23.