ARMM provides assistance to families affected by conflict in Basilan
Cotabato City (April 15, 2016) – The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) government has provided relief assistance to more than 700 families displaced by the military operation against members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Tipo-Tipo, Basilan.
Secretary Rahima Alba of the ARMM’s Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said that as of Thursday, April 14, the fighting has already affected over 700 families or more than 3,000 individuals in the barangays of Baguindan, Silangkum and Bohe-Piang.
She said their department and the ARMM’s Humanitarian Emergency Action and Response Team (HEART) validated the number of affected families in the area to provide relief assistance and other appropriate intervention. The ARMM-HEART has already provided 260 sacks of rice to the affected families.
ARMM Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman has instructed the ARMM-HEART to closely monitor the ongoing military operation and prepare for necessary aids to the civilians.
He had earlier expressed grief over the death of 18 soldiers during the initial encounter on April 9.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with our soldiers and their families, and in this time of mourning we would like to express our deepest condolences to those who have lost their loved ones to an act of cowardice committed by a terror group that has brought nothing to our shores but death and grief,” Gov. Hataman said.
The fighting broke out when elements of the Joint Task Group Basilan caught up with the ASG headed by Isnilon Hapilon and Radzmil Jannatul alias Kubayb in in a pursuit operation on April 9.
Hataman said his administration “will continue to tread the path of peace as we work harder to bring justice to the people of our region. We will not cease in our efforts towards peace and we condemn this act that betrays our faith and our values — an act to which we will respond with justice swiftly and rightfully served.” (Bureau of Public Information)