DSWD to assist evacuees displaced by Lanao encounters

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MANILA, Feb 28 -- Malacañang gave the assurance that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will assist communities affected by the ongoing military operations in Butig, Lanao del Sur province.

It was reported that people have fled from conflict areas and some of them have lost their livelihood.

In a radio interview on Saturday, Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office said he will let the Armed Forces release information on the ongoing operation.

"You can be sure that in the refugee areas and mga areas where ang mga kababayan natin are finding refuge, mga evacuation centers, that the DSWD will be there and the various LGUs (local government units) upang mabigyang lunas ang kanilang paghihirap sa panahon na ito," he told dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

"And it is only through the achievement of peace na makababalik ang mga kababayan natin sa kanilang mga tahanan upang hindi lang bumalik ang katahimikan kundi para manatili ito," he added.

Undersecretary Quezon said they are also glad that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has been coordinating with the military as it repositioned its troops to give way to military operations and avoid misencounters.

"There have been many successful cases where the MILF has shown good faith and has cooperated with the authorities, precisely to avoid untoward incidents and let us give them their due in this regard," Quezon said.

Asked to comment on strong indications that the fighters in Butig are influenced by the ISIS, he said it is difficult to make a conclusion. He however noted that they will let the Armed Forces inform the public about this. (PCOO)