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PIA Press Release

IDPs need encouragement to go home

ICC Iligan City (6 November) -- The government had better employ other strategies so that the internally displaced persons (IDP) will be encouraged to go back home to their places of origin.

Thus lamented Lt. Col. Agane Adriatico, Civil Military Operations (CMO) Chief, G7, First Infantry Division (IID), Philippine Army, Perhaps, who said there should be other ways that would make the IDP's vacate the evacuation centers (EC), particularly, those of Munai in Lanao del Norte (LDN).

"Or perhaps, it is only the outpouring of relief goods from civilian and non-governmental agencies that make them remain and continue to stay inside the EC's than go back to their homes," he said.

Adriatico said as early as two (2) months ago, during a dialogue in Munai, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) thru Maj. Gen. Nehemias Pajarito, Commander of the First Infantry Division (IID), Philippine Army, have already advised the IDP's who were not directly affected by the armed-conflict to go back to their homes.

That dialogue was attended by Gov. Khalid Dimaporo of Lanao del Norte, Congressman Abdullah Dimaporo of the LDN's 2nd District, Senator Juan Miguiel Zubiri and even Mayor Moamar Maquiling of Munai who told the evacuees to go home.

At that instance, we have even offered to provide the IDP's protection and security, in case they would like to harvest their farm produce, as long as they can present proof that the farms really belong to them, Adriatico said.

"So it is really incorrect to say that the AFP has not given them clearance to go back to their places of origin and that they should never use it as a reason for their continued stay in the EC's," he said.

But instead of tilling back their farms, they only wanted to partake of the dole outs provided by the Dept. of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC), such as, the food items and non-food items, Adriatico added. (RCA/PIA 10) [top]

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