We, the Negros contingent in the “Duyog Mindanao Peace and Solidarity Caravan” that started last November 21 in Baguio City and stopped in Luzon, Iloilo, Bacolod and in Mindanao enjoin in solidarity with our Muslim, Lumads and Christian brothers and sisters to end armed hostilities in Mindanao.
Our 4 day caravan that started on November 26 in Cagayan de Oro and travelled to Bukidnon, Cotabato, Davao, Iligan, Lanao and Marawe has witnessed that majority of the people and communities in Mindanao want to end the armed conflict and to live in peace.
We also witnessed the grave conditions of our “bakwit” Muslim, Lumads and Christian brothers and sisters who are staying in evacuation camps for 4 months that is now deprived of basic human rights like water and sanitation, education, food and dignified living condition. Our internally displaced brothers and sisters in Datupiang, North Cotabato for example has already reached 600,000 and more are unaccounted for in different areas affected by armed hostilities.
With the worsening effects of the armed hostilities between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to our Muslim, Lumads and Christian brothers and sisters, we therefore call;
STOP THE WAR in MINDANAO! We call to our friends from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to Stop the War! War is not an option in the land of promise! Our Muslim brothers and sisters are friendly and gentle people and war creates a tag that they are hostile people, which is not true! War breeds indifference and hate. War divides people and communities! War destroys trust, respect and confidence of people.
- There is an ongoing petition signing to stop the armed hostilities in Mindanao and resumption of peace talks. With this initiative, we appeal to the Provincial Government, the rest of the Local Government Units in Negros, private and public organizations, corporations, schools and the Church to help out in the Petition to STOP THE WAR IN MINDANAO! We appeal to all sectors to sign up and urge GRP and MILF to end armed hostilities NOW!
RESUME PEACE TALKS! We appeal to the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to sit down and resume its peace talks instead of going into war! Peace process is still the best process in situation of conflict. We appeal to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Chairman Murad of MILF to again sit down and talk!
- We urge the Provincial Government and all the Local Government Units in Negros Occidental to write and appeal to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Chairman Murad of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to sit down and resume its peace talks. Whatever differences in the recent peaces talks can be addressed by a peaceful negotiation.
HELP THE INTERNALLY DISPLACED PEOPLE (IDPs)! Our internally displaced brothers and sisters living in evacuation and elsewhere need humanitarian aid in whatever means possible. Children, women and the elderly which are the most vulnerable in this situation needs food, medicines and other basic support like water, clothing, etc.
- We appeal to various organizations both public and private, corporations and schools or individuals to help tap and facilitate in responding to the humanitarian needs of our brothers and sisters. They need help the soonest time possible!
- We also urge our policy makers to legislate the facilitation of a humanitarian help from potential donors in Negros Occidental the soonest time possible so our brothers and sisters can be given their basic necessities.
STOP THE WAR IN MINDANAO NOW! GRP and MILF RESUME PEACE TALKS NOW!