Peace advocates to walk barefoot vs violence

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COTABATO CITY: Hundreds of peace advocates including government workers in the five provinces of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will walk barefoot today to call for peace and to denounce violence.

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The activity dubbed as ‘YapaKapayapaan’ is being organized by the ARMM government with the support of civil society groups, religious organizations and the indigenous community.

ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman said the activity, which carries the theme “Ituloy ang lakad, don’t give up on peace,” aims to magnify the call to end the needless loss of lives and displacement of thousands of families in Mindanao due to armed conflicts.

Hataman said it is also the region’s way of denouncing a military solution to the January 25 incident in Mamasapano, Maguindanao that led to the killing of 44 members of the Philippine National Police–Special Action Force (PNP-SAF), 18 combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and 5 civilians.

Hataman stressed that the incident should not lead to the derailment of the peace process between the government and the MILF.

Although the YapaKapayapaan will be held at the ARMM government compound in Cotabato City, it will also be simultaneously held at the Quezon City Memorial Circle in Metro Manila shortly after the Muslim Friday congregational prayer in the afternoon.

Peace advocates from civil society organizations, religious groups including Ulamas (religious scholars), indigenous community, and the academe are expected to join in the solidarity walk for peace.

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  1. As a Muslim and husband of a Muslim woman I want to let it be known and record that I totally forbid my wife to walk barefoot anywhere in Cotabato. The probability of breaking the skin on her feet is high and such injury could allow all types of infection to enter her bloodstream thus risking her health and safty. I do give my permission for her to march in solidarity with her colleagues providing she wears slippers. Under Muslim law she must obey her husband at all times!

    Paul Fuller