ARMM extends relief, rehabilitation support to Maguindanao evacuees PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 08 February 2014 13:31

The Humanitarian Emergency and Relief Assistance Team (HEART) in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao distributed on Friday 2,450 more relief packs to evacuees dislocated by last week’s hostilities in the province between the military and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

ARMM Regional Executive Secretary Laisa Alamia, who is helping oversee the HEART, said the relief goods were dispersed to internally displaced people (IDPs) in Maguindanao’s adjoining Salibo and Shariff Saidona towns by volunteers led by the region’s social welfare secretary, Haroun Al-Rashid Lucman.

Representatives from the office of Lucman, who is also the ARMM’s incumbent regional vice governor, and HEART volunteers facilitated early this week the dispersal of more than 5,000 relief packs to evacuees in the towns of Datu Piang, Mamasapano, and Guindulungan, all in Maguindanao.

Each relief pack is comprised of rice, canned goods, instant noodles and other vital food provisions.

There are thousands of IDPs cramped in squalid makeshift relief sites in Datu Piang, Mamasapano, and in Guindulungan, driven away from their homes by the five-day skirmishes between soldiers and members of the BIFF.

Alamia said the HEART, which is under the ministerial control of ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman, will continue to attend to the needs of the evacuees until they have returned to their homes.

Alamia said the Army’s 6th Infantry Division and its component brigades have actively been helping in the HEART’s relief and rehabilitation efforts in the towns affected by the recent BIFF-Army skirmishes.

Soldiers, led by Col. Edgar Gonzales and Brig. Gen. Edmund Pangilinan, commanding officers of the Army’s 1st Mechanized, and 601st Brigades, respectively, hoisted the Philippine flag last February 1 at the BIFF’s main enclave in Barangay Ganta in Shariff Saidona, which fell after five days of air, artillery and ground assaults.