ARMM provides assistance to families affected by conflict in Basilan

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - News - (Bureau of Public Information)

BASILAN - The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has provided relief assistance to more than 700 families displaced by the military operation against members of the Abu Sayyaf in Tipo-Tipo town here.

Secretary Rahima Alba of the Department of Social Welfare and Development-ARMM, said the fighting affected more than 3,000 people in the villages of Baguindan, Silangkum and BohePiang.

She said the DSWD and the ARMM's Humanitarian Emergency Action and Response Team (HEART) validated the number of affected families in the area to provide relief assistance and other appropriate intervention. The ARMM-HEART has already provided 260 sacks of rice to the affected families, according to Alba.

ARMM Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman has instructed the ARMMHEART to closely monitor the ongoing military operation and prepare for necessary aids to the civilians.

He had earlier expressed grief over the death of 18 soldiers in the clashes on April 9.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with our soldiers and their families, and in this time of mourning we would like to express our deepest condolences to those who have lost their loved ones to an act of cowardice committed by a terror group that has brought nothing to our shores but death and grief," Gov. Hataman said.

The fighting broke out when elements of the Joint Task Group Basilan caught up with the ASG headed by Isnilon Hapilon and Radzmil Jannatul alias Kubayb in during a pursuit operation.

Hataman said his administration “will continue to tread the path of peace as we work harder to bring justice to the people of our region. We will not cease in our efforts towards peace and we condemn this act that betrays our faith and our values -- an act to which we will respond with justice swiftly and rightfully served.”

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