IPs displaced as conflict in Mindanao intensifies
Sultan Kudarat and Davao del Sur —- Fighting between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the New People’s Army broke out last July 19, 2009 in the mountainous areas of Columbio on the boundary between Sultan Kudarat and Davao del Sur, lasting almost 8 hours, according to the Disaster Response Center (DIRECT SOCSARGEN).
Military operations have been ongoing since July 19, resulting in the displacement of over 350 families. Many of these families came from the 3 communities of Barangay Sinapulan. Additionally, 100 families were evacuated from different communities in Davao del Sur due to continuous military operations and bombing in the mountainous boundaries of Sultan Kudarat and Davao del Sur.
Surigao del Sur — Gunfire was heard in the forested areas around 360 meters away from the community in Barangay San Isidro, Lianga on June 17, 2009—a week after the military’s arrival in the area. Successive gunfire was heard on the next day causing panic and prompting evacuation to Lianga municipal gymnasium according to Bread for Emergency Assistance and Development, Inc. (BREAD). The elderly and children alike, along with other residents, abandoned their farms and animals and walked more than 5 hours to the gymnasium.
Ongoing military operations in the communities of Barangays Diatagon in Lianga and Magkahunao, San Agustin disrupted the daily activities of the residents, prompting evacuations. Food blockades at military checkpoints contributed to the growing number of sick and hungry children and nursing mothers prompting the Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa Sumusunod (MAPASU), a Lumad organization, to evacuate them from their homes..Most residents remain afraid to return to their homes.
At present, a total of 281 families or 1,659 persons including 105 children from the ages of 0-6 years old are staying with relatives since the municipal gymnasium in Lianga is already filled to capacity.
Appeal for assistance:
Evacuees in Columbio and Davao del Sur are indigenous B’laans. Assitance from the local government is very limited and could hardly survive at the evacuation centers. Most of the farms are destroyed by the bombing and shelling, while some others were attacked by wild pigs and affected by continuous rain.
On the other hand, evacuees in Lianga suffers food shortage and medicines. Some children have fever, cough and colds. Minimal food aid was given by the local government units because of lack of funds.
Families staying inside and outside evacuation centers are currently in need of emergency and relief goods. Much needed immediate relief for the evacuees and affected families consist of the following: FOOD ITEMS: rice, canned goods, dried fish, mongo beans, cooking oil, sugar, biscuits, milk, bottled water, etc. and NONFOOD ITEMS: sleeping mats, blankets, medicines (for common evacuation center diseases such as fever, colds and diarrhea).
Donations for the evacuees may be sent through the Citizens’ Disaster Response Center at 72-A Times St., West Triangle Homes, Quezon City. Concerned individuals and donors can easily reach us at 929-9822. Donations may also be sent through the following bank accounts:
Dollar Account Account Name: Citizens’ Disaster Response Center Account Number: 2636-0015-83 Bank: Metrobank, Examiner Branch Bank Address: Corner Examiner and Quezon Avenue, West Triangle, Quezon City, Philippines Swift Code: MBTCPHMM
Peso Account Account Name: Citizens’ Disaster Response Center Account Number: 1560-6430-16 Bank: China Bank, Examiner Branch Bank Address: Corner Examiner and Quezon Avenue, West Triangle, Quezon City, Philippines
Disaster Response Center (SOCSARGEN) Bread for Emergency Assistance and Development, Inc. (BREAD) Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa Sumusunod (MAPASU)