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IDPs affected by BIFF atrocities in Pigcawayan get aid

 • 00:23 AM Tue Jan 12, 2016
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North Cotabato provincial gov't news release
Internally displaced persons queue to receive aid from North Cotabato provincial govt. (Photo by PGO media)

PIGCAWAYAN, North Cotabato–- Families displaced by armed hostilities launched by lawless
Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in North Cotabato have received
relief assistance from the provincial government, officials said today.
Almost
200 families have deserted their communities in the villages of Malagakit and
Simsiman, all in Pigcawayan, North Cotabato on December 24 last year when BIFF
attacked the villages and killed a village kagawad.”The affected
families went to the town center and stayed there during Christmas Day until
after the New Year revelry was over.
Some remained in evacuation sites at night but return to their farms at
day time.Marchita
Capilitan, provincial social welfare focal person, and Jessie Enid, provincial
health and legal matters focal person, led the relief distribution of food
packs that contained rice, sardines, noodles and other immediate necessities
for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS).
Marian
Joy Quilban, Pigcawayan town social welfare officer, said the IDPs have been
staying temporarily at the municipal gymnasium.
Quilban
was elated to see the office of the provincial governor immediately responded
to her request for augmentation of relief assistance.
The
provincial government has immediately provided assistance to the IDP’s which
eased their difficulties after running away from their houses. We are very
grateful that even during holiday the PSWDO and the PGO sent their personnel to
give much needed help”, Quilban said.
Besides
Barangays Malagakit and Simsiman, adjacent barangays of Banucagon and Central
Paatan were also attacked by BIFF bandits as they fled toward the Maguindanao
marshland.
Quilban
said Pigcawayan social welfare office listed 232 families or 1,039 individuals.
Gov.
Emmylou Lala” J. Taliño-Mendoza has condemned the atrocities by the BIFF and
directed the police to ensure the safety of civilians.
It
is heartbreaking to know that the attack occurred on Christmas Eve and that
some lives were lost with hundreds of innocent civilians left their homes, but
this will not deter us from doing our duties and responsibilities to our
constituents with continued hope that long-lasting peace will soon prevail in
the province,” she said.
She called
for vigilance and calm amid threats from lawless groups in the North
Cotabato-Maguindanao borders, assuring villagers provincial government is doing
everything to restore normalcy in affected barangays and for evacuees to return
safely to their homes.
I
urged everyone to maintain their calmness and continue to be alert and
coordinate with the authorities if you have monitored untoward incidents or the
presence of suspicious looking individuals,” Mendoza said.

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