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PIA Press Release
2009/06/16

ARMM gov orders probe on diversion of foreign relief goods

Koronadal City (16 June) -- Alarmed by the media report, Regional Governor Zaldy Ampatuan of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has ordered an immediate investigation into the alleged diversion of foreign relief goods intended for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Maguindanao.

This was following the confiscation of some 200 bags of rice by army soldier manning checkpoints along a national highway in Maguindanao last week.

The rice supplies bearing the logo of the World Food Programme (WFP), some of which found its way to the public markets, were found to be part of the relief assistance or ration intended for the evacuees for the month of May.

The WFP in one of the foreign donor agencies extending and supplying food assistance to the internally displaced persons/evacuees.

Ampatuan ordered the Food Cluster of the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council (RDCC) led by the Department of Social Welfare and Development to immediately probe the reported diversion of relief assistance for the evacuees in Datu Saudi Ampatuan municipality.

It was learned from local officials that some unidentified individuals are in cahoots with some traders who bought the rice at very cheap prices and would later sell the same at much high prices.

Director Ramil Masukat of the Technical Management Services of the Office of the Regional Governor said the RDCC-Technical Working Group-Food Cluster came up with recommendations to improve and strengthen coordination and feedback mechanisms among the humanitarian agencies concerned. (pbc/PIA 12) [top]

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