Philippines: Dialogues with IDPs to continue in LDN

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ICC Iligan City (22 October) -- The dialogues with the internally displaced persons (IDP) in the most conflict-affected municipalities of Lanao del Norte (LDN) will continue in coordination with the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer (MSWDO) in the area.

Thus declared Capt. Alonto Maamo, Civil Military Operaions (CMO) Officer of the 4th Infantry Brigade, First Infantry Division (IID), Philippine Army, during a press briefing today at the Information Command Center, Philippine Information Agency, this city.

He said they will also confer with the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) in the municipality to make sure what they have been doing their part to convince the IDP's to go back to their homes.

"The assurance from the ABC and the local officials themselves may help in trying to convince those in the evacuation centers to really go back to their homes and live a normal life again," Maamo said.

This, after doing some rounds of talks with the IDP's in the evacuation center where they are briefed of the real situation in their area.

"If they will ask our help to be able to go back to their homes, we will certainly assist them," Maamo said noting the willingness of the IDP's to return home because they are no longer afraid of another attack by the lawless MILF group (MILG).

One such group of IDP's are the 63 families of Paiton, Kauswagan, who recently pulled out from their evacuation center in Iligan with the aim of living peacefully in their barangay.

He said, however, that there's still more work to do regarding the 11 families of IDP's from Poona Piagapo who want to leave the evacuation center just like the Paiton IDPs and go home to their town.

We still have to coordinate it with the Poona Piagapo MSWDO of the said town as to the arrangements and date when they will be brought back to their homes, Maamo added.

(OSM - Radyo ng Bayan)