Bikers set “Run for Peace and Solidarity in Mindanao”

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/20 August) – Bikers from Visayas and Mindanao are holding a “Run for Peace and Solidarity for Mindanao” to generate public awareness and support for the ongoing peace talks between the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Aldrin Abdurahim, executive director of the Inter-Religious Solidarity Movement for Peace (IRSMP) said Thursday that the bike run, which will kick-off here on Sunday, August 21 and end in Cotabato City on August 30,  is also the aimed to strengthen solidarity among the peace process’ stakeholders.

Abdurahim said the bike marathon will be preceded by a Culture of Peace briefing and Citizens’ Peace Forum to be held on Saturday, August 20, at Western Mindanao State University (WMSU).

The theme of the forum is “Duyog Mindanao: Generating Citizens’ Participation in the Peace Process.”

The biking campaign is part of a series of activities dubbed as “Duyog Mindanao 2011,” spearheaded by the Mindanao Peace Weavers, the Davao-based International Initiatives for Dialogue (IID), and the Zamboanga City-based Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ) and the IRSMP.

The bikers will stop at significant points and institutions along the highway routes to hold dialogues with local citizens on topics related to the peace process, Adburahim said.

He said the participants of the bike run will inform them on their understanding of the peace process as well as to get inputs and “how the people understand the peace process.”

The event will coincide with the resumption of peace negotiations between the Philippine government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) next week in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) peace panel and the MILF panel are meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on August 22 to 24.

The bike run will kick off at 6 a.m., Sunday, August 21, from the WMSU open stage, make a symbolic pass at the PAZ’s peace monument in Barangay Sta. Maria, this city, and move on to Curuan, 50 kilometers east of this city, where the participants will spend the night.

The following day, August 22, they will drive up to Tungawan, Zamboanga Sibugay.

The rest of the schedules and stop over areas are: August 23, Tungawan to Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay; August 24, Kabasalan to Buug, Zamboanga Sibugay; August 25, Buug to Dumalinao, Zamboanga del Sur; August 26, Dumalinao to Pagadian City, the capital of Zamboanga del Sur; August 27, Pagadian City to Sultan Naga Dimaporo, Lanao del Norte; August 28, Sultan Naga Dimaporo to Pikong, Lanao del Sur; August 29, Pikong to Parang, Maguindanao; and, August 30, Parang to Cotabato City. (MindaNews)