Philippines

Philippines: 104th Brigade always ready to help IDPs go back to their homes

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ICC Iligan City (22 October) -- Aside from the on going law enforcement operations against the lawless MILF group (LMG), the 4th Infantry Brigade, First Infantry Division (104th Bde), Philippine Army is always ready to assist the internally displaced persons (IDP) who want to go back to their homes.

This was the message of Capt. Alonto A. Maamo, Civil Military Operations (CMO) Officer of the 104th Bde during the recent pull out of the IDP's of Paiton, Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte from Madrasah, Ceanuri Subdivision, Tomas Cabili, this city.

The Madrasah served as evacuation center for the Paiton IDP's who sought refuge two (2) days before the attack by the lawless MILF group (LMG) of Kumander Bravo in Libertad (Lapayan), of the same town.

Composed of 63 families, the Paiton IDP's were given transport and security services back to their barangay on board the 104th Bde Army trucks.

"Actually, the IDP's had asked our assistance to bring them back safely to their homes. So we coordinated with the local government unit of Kauswagan and the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer (MSWDO), hence their return to Paiton," Maamo said.

Meanwhile, he said it has become the thrust of their unit to help the IDP's live normally after an armed conflict and give the assurance that nobody would touch them once they are back in their villages..

On the fear of some of the IDP's that an alleged armed civilian group who call themselves ILAGA might harm them in retaliation of the LMG atrocities in some of the coastal areas, Maamo said these are only speculations.

He said there's really nothing to fear once they go back to Paiton because the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will always be there to protect them.

"Our Christian brothers will never do that to any Maranao because it was everybody's knowledge that the atrocities were done by the LMG," Maamo said.

(OSM - Radyo ng Bayan)