Over 300 people in Mindanao, along with hundreds from the Southern Tagalog region, marched to Manila, punctuating their journey from Mindanao dubbed as Manilakbayan ng Mindanao: Food and Peace in MindaNOW! (Mindanao People’s Journey) 2014.
Once again, as they did a couple of years ago when more than 70 individuals from the same sectors first staged the Manilakbayan ng Mindanao, they are demanding for the pull-out of 59 combat battalions of AFP as well as US troops in Mindanao, the stop of the unabated and destructive incursions of foreign and huge agro-industrial projects in the island, the dismissal of trumped-up charges against militant leaders and human rights and environment defenders, the cessation of attacks on schools by military forces, the disbandment of paramilitary groups, among others While in Southern Tagalog region, there are 29 combat battalions of AFP resulting different cases of human rights violations. The Manilakbayan ng Mindanao Network has documented at least 213 violations of military attacks against schools as of October 2014. This has been increasing in frequency and gravity during the second half of President Aquino’s four-year term.