BAYAN BICOL·THURSDAY, JULY 21, 2016

Press Release

July 21, 2016

Today marks the first day of Lakbayan: People’s Caravan for Just and Lasting Peace of more than 5, 000 Bicolanos who will take part in President Rodrigo Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 25.

The mass mobilization across the six provinces in Bicol Region is the next big event after their caravan on June 30 Inauguration Day March for genuine change and a just peace.

5,000 Bicolanos joins the People’s Caravan for Just and Lasting Peace and will take part in President Rodrigo Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address [SONA] on July 25, 2016. Photo by Bayan-Bikol.

5,000 Bicolanos joins the People’s Caravan for Just and Lasting Peace and will take part in President Rodrigo Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address [SONA] on July 25, 2016. Photo by Bayan-Bikol.

“We are pushing for the People’s Agenda for Change and support the upcoming peace talks between the GPH and the NDFP,” Dan Balucio of Bayan-Bicol said. According to him, a just peace can only be achieved if there will be meaningful changes in society, if the roots of the armed conflict are substantially addressed.

BAYAN – Bicol warmly welcomes 3, 000 Mindanawons who embarked their caravan on July 18. “Together with them, we are hoping that the Duterte government will hear the people’s cries and address their grievances,” Balucio said.

Mass Leaders of the progressive organizations in the region awaits Lakbayan Delegates from Mindanao at Matnog port, Sorsogon. Sorsoganons will welcome the delegates in Sorsogon city and will proceed to Busay, Daraga to meet the Albayanos.

Human chain of Solidarity will take place at Busay, Daraga to mark their strong alliance.

Bicolanos are also part of marginalized sectors and being oppressed by past governments.The country faces serious problems. There is no point in sugar-coating the dire situation they are confronting because the country faces serious problems with great effect of suppression in the local level.

Progressive groups in Bicol together with other groups in the country urge the Duterte administration to stay true to its promise of carrying out the necessary reforms so that a just peace can be achieved.

“Genuine freedom, democracy, justice and peace are our main demands,” Balucio said as they are looking forward to the President’s response to these urgent issues.

“We eagerly await his SONA on July 25. Most especially, we await the urgency of the resumption of the peace talks, the urgency of the release of political prisoners and the discussions on substantive agenda such as socio-economic, political and constitutional reforms,” Balucio concluded.