Palace affirms commitment to help decommissioned combatants, families

BBL UPDATES • Wed Jun 17, 2015 09:06 PM  •  481   0
By PNA
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(Part of the decommissioned firearms of the MILF. (Photo by Samsodin Amelia)
(Part of the decommissioned firearms of the MILF. (Photo by Samsodin Amelia)
MANILA -- Malacañang on Wednesday affirmed its commitment to help the decommissioned combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and their families begin a new life after decades of conflict in Mindanao.

The Aquino administration is fully committed that no one should be left behind, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said during the daily press briefing at the Palace.

After President Benigno S. Aquino III led the initial phase of the decommissioning of MILF fighters and weapons in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao on Tuesday, some of the combatants and their families expressed hope that the government would provide them livelihood and help their children gain access to education.

Secretary Lacierda noted that during last year’s launch of Sajahatra, an initiative to help families in the Bangsamoro restart their lives following many years of violence, the government granted Muslim families PhilHealth coverage, livelihood and scholarships.

"We are also identifying CCT (conditional cash transfer) families within this group, kasi kailangan natin talagang tulungan sila dahil ilang taon silang panay bakbakan. Walang seguridad ang buhay nila dahil any time, magkakaroon ng bakbakan," he said. "Now, they are assured of peace, and they can now be assured na tutulong ang pamahalaan and that is why the government is fully committed."

Lacierda further said that President Aquino went to Maguindanao on Tuesday to show that he is one with them and that he is the President of the entire Philippines, including Muslim Mindanao.

Having such commitment is important in attaining lasting peace in Mindanao, he said, underscoring the government's dedication to help the region. (PNA)
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