We were seated at the island along Batasan Road, resting while waiting for the pack up of the stage when we were approached by the PNP who asked us to go with them. The PNP did not say where and why. We just followed thinking they wanted to just discuss something. Turns out we were brought to a lounge where the President was waiting. He wanted to meet the activists gathered outside. Many had left though. Kami ni Beng yung na-pick up ng PNP. The Mindanao delegation had to walk back to Batasan to catch up as they too were going home. In the meeting with the President, we talked about peace and how the president wanted to devote more resources to social services once the armed conflict was resolved. He talked about how the Lumad can return home without fear for their safety. It was a long meeting, starting at 7pm and ending at 830pm. It was a gesture we truly appreciated. A lot of firsts indeed in the president's first SONA. - FB post from Renato Reyes Jr.
Duterte meets with lumad, Muslim leaders after SONA
|CONVERSATION. President Rodrigo Duterte meets with activists, lumad, and Moro leaders after his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 25, 2016. Photo courtesy of Renato Reyes Jr|
In a Facebook post, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) secretary general Renato Reyes said that Duterte "engaged them in a conversation."
Thousands of marchers from Mindanao traveled to Manila hoping to bring to Duterte's attention their concerns about alleged militarization in their communities.
|Post from Renato Reyes Jr|
"Kinahanglan nga magpadayon kami sa pagpanawagan sa paghunong sa militarisasyon sa among mga komunidad ug sa pagpaningil sa saad sa bag-ong Presidente nga ipull-out ang mga military sa among komunidad. Lisod, kapoy, ug puno og sakripisyo kining Manilakbayan 2016, apan dili kini babag para sa amoa nga mga lumad na ipaabot sa bag-ong administrasyon ang padayon namo nga panawagan alang sa among katungod para sa kaugalingong paghukom uban ang among katungod diha sa among yutang kabilin."
(It is important for us to continue our call against militarization in our communities and to ask for the President's pronouncement to pull out the military troops in our communities. Manilakbayan 2016 is hard, tiring, and full of sacrifices, but these should not be a hindrance for us lumad to register our calls for our right to self-determination along with our right to our ancestral lands for the new administration. In addition, our participation in this Manilakbayan 2016 is a show of support for the campaign of the resumption of the formal peace talks between the government and the National Democratic Front to attain substantial change in society by the time the root causes of the armed conflict will be addressed.) – Rappler