Sumilao farmers complete eighth day of 40-day march caravan

ILIGAN CITY – The Sumilao farmers entered the eighth day of their scheduled 40-day march-caravan on Monday, completing their march from Sumilao, Bukidnon to this highly urbanized city in Northern Mindanao.

Sumilao Farmers at the Mandulog Bridge as they passed through Iligan City on their 8th of the 40-day march-caravan all the way to Lanao del Norte and Zamboanga Sibugay. (Bonita L. Ermac)

The group marched from the historical Mandulog bridge -- a ground zero during typhoon Sendong where more than 2,000 Iliganons died or went missing in the flood -- and were warmly welcomed by the different groups who are supporters of Leni-Kiko2022 tandem.

Robredo People’s Council - Iligan City Coordinator Jake Gerona led the warm welcome and generous gift giving.

A former De LaSalle student Andrew Pamorada treated the group with a breakfast at his restaurant Fev's Diner near the bridge before the proceeding to march.

"The Sumilao Farmers are personally close to my heart when I met them, when I was still a student in DLSU when they were still fighting for their lands. We even went overnight with them at Quezon Memorial Circle", said Pamorada on his FB post.

The march-caravan from Sumilao to Manila begins with 17 core marchers composed of 10 from Panao Sumilao Multi-Purpose Cooperative and 7 representatives of 7 organizations from various provinces who have signed the declaration of objectives of the 40-day Lakad Ng Pamilyang Magsasaka Laban sa Gutom at Kahirapan before the start of the march in San Vicente, Sumilao Bukidnon on March 28.

PAKISAMA (Pambansang Kilusan Ng mga Samahang Magsasaka) chair Noland Penas expressed gratitude for the warm welcome extended to them in Iligan.

He emphasized though that on April 10, a group of farmers from Banasi Farmers association based in Bula Camarines Sur will start their 400 kilometer walk.

On April 20, the two groups will merge at Gumaca Quezon and there starts the walk of the remaining 222 kilometers all the way to meet other thousands of workers on May 1, 2022.

“Kami ay maglalakbay at maglalakad upang ipahayag gaano kahalaga at makabuluhang ipatupad ng susunod na administrasyon ang repormang agraryo at kaunlaran sa kanayunan,” he said.

"Maglakad na kami, that's the remaining 17 days of 40-day eventually makarating sa kilometer zero sa Luneta which we dreamed na doon i-held and meeting the Avance or grand rally', he added.