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PIA Press Release
2008/02/21

Int'l peace monitors hold medical mission in Sarangani

Kiamba, Sarangani (21 February) -- The Malaysian contingents of the International Monitoring Team (IMT) held a medical mission for Indigenous People (IP) in depressed communities Tuesday, February 19, in partnership with the local government.

Around 358 Tbolis from barangays Maligang and Gasi availed of free medical services from the "Joint Medical Mission for Peace".

The activity was sponsored by the IMT for the GRP (Government of the Republic of the Philippines)-MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) peace process, the municipality of Kiamba and Kalinaw (Peace) Sarangani Unit (KSU) under the office of Governor Migs Dominguez.

Malaysian doctor Meor Adzary was joined by Dr. Harry Famular from the Department of Health-Region 12 in providing free medical check up.

The IMT medical team brought boxes of medicines that could cater to 600 beneficiaries.

Cough, fever, flu, headache, skin allergy and diarrhea were the common illness among kids, while adults complained of gastritis, flu, body ache, migraine, sleeping disturbance and difficulty in urination.

"The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process and the Malaysian Government provided the medicines and vitamins," said Cmdr. Zainudin Mat Zain, leader of IMT's Site 4.

Zainudin, a colonel, thanked the local government units of Kiamba and the Office of the Governor for the assistance to the medical mission. "This has clearly shown that if we work as a team, we can achieve whatever we have planned before," he pointed out.

Zainudin said the IMT from Malaysia, Brunei, Libya and Japan "were very pleased to see doctors and all medical staff voluntarily coming for work in giving services. Without their support our program today may not be successful."

The IMT is tasked to monitor the ceasefire agreement between the GRP and the MILF while the peace talks is ongoing. The Malaysian government facilitates the GRP-MILF peace process.

With the presence of the IMT for more than two years, there has been a remarkable reduction of incidence of skirmishes between forces of government and MILF. The MILF is the largest group of Moro secessionists in the country.

Governor Dominguez and Kiamba Mayor Rommel Falgui thanked the IMT for their humanitarian mission.

Maligang is one of the 35 Peace and Development Communities (PDCs) of the province. PDCs receive intervention from the Peace and Development Program of the province through the KSU such as seminars on mediation, culture of peace, provision of Tindahan para sa Kalinaw, Botika ng Barangay, and other social services.

T'bolis comprise 95% of the population of both villages with high illiteracy rate among adults. Abaca, corn and copra are the major crops of the two villages. Farming is the major economic activity of the constituents. (Sarangani IO/GCK/PIA 12) [top]

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