IDP Protection Assessment Report - Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) vs New People’s Army (NPA) in Iligan City (Issue No.1; 17 Jan 2019)

Report
from UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Protection Cluster
Published on 17 Jan 2019 View Original

On 15 January 2019, an estimated 144 families (around 720 persons) were displaced from their homes in Barangay Mainit, Iligan City due to an armed encounter between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and elements of the New People’s Army (NPA) in the area.

INCIDENT BACKGROUND

An armed encounter occurred (NPA) at around 6:00 am on 15 January 2019 in the area encompassing the boundaries of Barangay Rogongon, Barangay Mainit, and Barangay Digkilaan, all in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte. The most affected sites are Sitio Lower, Sitio Pudog, and Sitio Bucana in Barangay Mainit, where most of the IDPs come from. According to the Barangay Chairperson of Barangay Mainit, there have been previous sightings of armed men, allegedly from Barangay Rogongon, near the periphery of their barangay.

CURRENT SITUATION

At least 143 families (approximately 715 persons) were displaced from Barangay Mainit and are staying in three different evacuation centers, also in Brgy. Mainit: Ampokaw Multi-purpose Hall in Sitio Ampokaw, Covered Court, and Mainit Elementary School. In addition, one (1) family who was also displaced from Barangay Mainit is currently hosted in a home within the neighboring Barangay Digkilaan. Other reported evacuation centers (such as one in Caribao) are still being validated. None of the IDPs interviewed have confirmed that they saw armed men in the area, but they stated that they fled their homes after hearing gunfire.

The City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) conducted an initial assessment, and is in the process of validating the numbers and locations of IDPs. The local government unit (LGU) of Iligan City distributed food packs to the IDPs, while the Philippine Red Cross provided psychosocial support services. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs also conducted a field visit to the area to monitor the situation of the IDPs.

As of this report, further documentation and assessments are still being done by the CSWDO, in coordination with the barangay officials, to determine the updated number and current locations of the displaced population. The evacuation centers (ECs) that received the IDPs do not yet have assigned camp managers. Verification is also ongoing to identify whether any IDPs have been displaced to other areas.