Sumilao farmers meet with students in Mendiola and CDO

The program was opened with a prayer.  Sister Grace Namocat gave a moving opening remarks. She said in part that, "bulahan ang tawo nga magadamgo ug andam sa pag-ula sa iyang dugo aron ang maong damgo mahimugso." (blessed are the people who dream and ready to shed their blood to make such dream a reality).  Moreover, the congregation of the daughter of charity thanked the Sumilao farmers for giving them the space where they could join them in their continuing struggle.

 At 6:15 am today, they attended a mass celebrated at the same college.  It is also there that they took their breakfast.

From Sta. Isabel College, the farmers walked heading towards Holy Spirit College, where they are scheduled to talk to the students and faculty of said college.  They were accompanied by nuns, students, faculty and staff of St. Isabel College.

While walking towards the Holy Spirit College, they  spread their streamer for the people to see.  As they passed by Mendiola, the police were alerted.   They were not allowed to pass by the main road of Mendiola, but were instead advised to pass the other way.

They arrived at the Holy Spirit College at around 9:00 am.  At the time when the mass celebrated at said college was finished, Bajekjek Merida was asked to speak before the presence of the whole studentry of the college, together with their faculty and staff.

Bajekjek shared that she is jealous of the opportunity that the students of Holy Spirit are enjoying, especially their opportunity to get a college education.  Instead of going to school, she instead finds herself fighting for the land, which her parents have been fighting for ten years ago.

After the sharing of Bajekjek, the Sumilao farmers divided themselves into 3 groups to conduct a room to room campaign among the college students of the Holy Spirit.

In Cagayan de Oro City, the Sumilao farmers and their support group met with the staff of the Kristohanong Katilingban Alang sa Pagpakabana (KKP) and its volunteers.  Before the start of the meeting, there was an audio visual presentation (prepared by Peter Bergado and Kim Quiluingging) of the Sumilao Farmers' "Walk for Sumilao Land, Walk for Justice" Campaign.

The meeting with KKP elicited discussions on how Xavier University can creatively continue its support to the Sumilao farmers in the coming days.  Various activities have been eyed by KKP to help advance the struggle of the Sumilao farmers primarily among the students of Xavier, as well as other groups and institutions in Cagayan de Oro City. (BALAOD Mindanaw)

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