Thousands benefit from HEART Basilan mission PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 22 July 2016 13:52

More than a thousand conflict-stricken  Yakan families  benefitted from a relief mission in Tipo-Tipo town in Basilan by the Humanitarian Emergency Assistance and Response Team (HEART) on Wednesday.

The HEART, an emergency outfit of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, is operating under the office of ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman.

The relief mission in Tipo-Tipo was jointly led by Hataman and his spouse, Anak Mindanao Party-list Rep. Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman.

Three tons of food supplies were distributed to more than a thousand ethnic Yakan evacuees during Wednesday’s relief operation of the HEART in Tipo-Tipo.

The evacuees were forced to abandon their villages in four barangays in Tipo-Tipo the Abu Sayyaf repeatedly attacked last week.

The relief operation was just the start of the ARMM government’s three-day humanitarian mission in Tipo-Tipo and in nearby Albarka and Ungkaya Pukan towns.

The three towns, located southwest of Basilan, were rocked by a series of firefights last week between marauding Abu Sayyaf bandits and personnel of different Army units.

The hostilities erupted when bandits attempted to get close to the town center of Tipo-Tipo to hoist their black flag identical with the banner of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

The firefights forced thousands of villagers to relocate to safer areas for fear of getting trapped in the crossfire.

The HEART aims to extend relief and rehabilitation services to no fewer than 3,000 families affected by the strife, which resulted to the deaths of several Abu gunmen and soldiers.