Feature: Peace power day in Mindanao
By Mai Gevera
Davao City (5 March) -- A Mindanao-wide peace rally is set to gather all civil society organizations and communities on March 18 as a call for the resumption of peace talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Its ultimate goal is to pressure both parties to go back to negotiations as the number of internally-displaced persons has reached half million.
Mindanao Peoples Caucus secretary general Mary Ann Arnado stressed that while both parties had declared interest to resume the peace talks, there seemed to have difficulties to start talking especially when each of the party has set pre-conditions.
"This peace rally will be Mindanao's way of calling for an unconditional ceasefire. We invite all Mindanaons to come and join this cause," Arnado said.
Aside from the peace talks resumption, the rally will also serve as a venue for the society to air out related issues affecting them such as mining, human rights, agrarian reform, housing, environment and others.
The rally is expected to generate more support for the peace process in Mindanao from Luzon, Visayas, and even the international community.
This event will also serve as the culmination of the International Conference on Mindanao which will be held in Davao City.
The conference will allow participants to come up with resolutions for the government and the MILF to exhaust all measures to resume the talks with a third party guarantor from the international community.
The conference will also allow them to revisit coordinating mechanisms to maximize peace and development interventions in Mindanao.
Participants will also be asked to identify a third party guarantor that will ensure the implementation of the agreements by both parties. (PIA XI) [top]