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Maguindanao del Norte Provincial Government Extends Relief Aid to Over 1,000 Displaced Families

CAMP SIONGCO, Awang, DOS, Maguindanao del Norte – The provincial government of Maguindanao del Norte distributed relief assistance to an estimated 1,300 families who were displaced due to recent conflicts in several barangays in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao del Norte on April 6, 2024.

Governor Abdulraof A. Macacua, represented by Provincial Administrator Tomanda Antok, PhD, spearheaded the distribution of food packs to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). They received support from personnel of the 6th Civil-Military Operations (Kasangga) Battalion, barangay officials, and members of the 2nd Mechanized Infantry (Makasag) Battalion, led by Lt. Col. Jerome D Peñalosa, alongside the 6th Infantry (Redskin) Battalion and the 601st Infantry Brigade.

The relief assistance included 1,500 packs of rice and approximately 1,300 boxes of dry goods such as noodles, canned sardines, sugar, and native coffee.

Beneficiaries of the relief efforts were from Barangay Kakar (367 households); Barangay Ambolodto (87 households); Barangay Dados (190 households); and Barangay Bongued (639 households), all located in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao del Norte.

According to reports, armed groups entered the affected barangays, resulting in skirmishes on March 4 and 6, followed by intermittent firefights. The situation escalated, leading to a Municipal Peace and Order Council Meeting on April 2, 2024, convened by the local government of Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao del Norte.

Brigadier General Nasser P. Lidasan, Assistant Division Commander of the 6th Infantry Division (6ID) and Chair of the GPH Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH), intervened by reaching out to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) leadership to address the presence of armed groups. Approximately 300 armed MILF members were reportedly sighted in the affected barangays.

Swift action from local authorities and the military helped ease tensions, with armed personnel withdrawing from the area after a series of negotiations.

Major General Alex S. Rillera PA, Commander of the 6ID/Joint Task Force Central, stated that with the assistance of security forces, displaced residents gradually returned to their homes. Military personnel continue to monitor the area closely to ensure the safety and security of residents.

“We, in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), remain committed to preventing lawless elements from disrupting civilian life. Our troops are prepared to protect our citizens and are currently assisting in the gradual return of affected residents to their homes,” said Maj. Gen. Rillera.

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