MANILA -- Over a thousand residents of Basilan convened on Sunday to call for a ceasefire in the war in Gaza.
Students, government workers, private organizations and many others started the protest action through a motorcade where hundreds of motorists bearing the flag of Palestine went around the main thoroughfares of Isabela City.
They then converged at the Isabela City Park for the program, where various leaders of different faiths gave their messages of support to end violence, where children are mostly the victims.
Basilan Representative Mujiv Hataman says, based on data gathered, over 12,000 people have been killed since October 7. Of this number, 5,000 are children.
Isabela City Mayor Sitti Djalia Turabin could not hold back her tears while giving her message. She said: "I am here not as the Mayor of Isabela City, but as a mother."
The activity was organized by the Free Palestine Movement-Basilan. Usodan Salasim, who heads the group, says they expected at least 5,000 people to join them and the number of people who showed their support to their call was more than their expectations.
At 6pm, the program was put on hold to allow the participants to pray without leaving the venue.
Meanwhile, the police and military were visible in and around the activity area to ensure the safety of the protesters.
- report from Queenie Casimiro