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Advocates to walk barefoot for peace

Cotabato City (04 February 2015) – Hundreds of peace advocates including government workers in the five provinces of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and in this city will walk barefoot this Friday to amplify the call for peace and denounce violence.

The activity dubbed as YapaKapayapaan or “barefoot walk for peace” is being organized by the ARMM government with the support of civil society groups, religious organizations and the indigenous community.

ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman said the activity, which carries the theme “Ituloy ang lakad, don’t give up on peace”, aims to magnify the call an end to the needless loss of lives and displacement of thousands of families in Mindanao due to armed conflicts.

He said it is also the region’s way of denouncing a military solution to the January 25 incident in Mamasapano, Maguindanao that led to the death of 44 police officers, 18 combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and 5 civilians.

Hataman said the incident must not lead to the derailment of the peace process.

YapaKapayapaan will be held at the ARMM government compound in Cotabato City, designated locations in the region’s five component provinces and two cities, and at the Quezon City Memorial Circle in Quezon City on Friday afternoon.

Peace advocates from civil society organizations, religious groups including Muslim Ulamas, indigenous community, and the academe are expected to join in the solidarity walk for peace.

In a flag ceremony at ARMM’s seat in Cotabato City on Monday, Hataman said the ongoing peace process between the government and the MILF presents the most durable solution to the conflict in Mindanao as he offered his condolences to the families of all those killed in the Mamasapano encounter.

He said that war is not the solution and the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) “is for the interest of peace” and Filipinos must support it.

However, he added that peace must be based on justice, and there can be no justice without the truth. (Bureau of Public Information)
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