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Govt assures enough help for IDPs in Marawi conflict

Internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Lanao del Sur will get enough assistance from the government following the liberation of Marawi city from the Maute terrorist group, according to Task Force Bangon Marawi Spokesperson Kristoffer James Purisima.

Speaking at the Mindanao Hour press briefing in Malacanang,  Purisima said relief assistance to IDPs and the construction of transitional shelters to provide IDPs with comfortable dwellings would continue despite the sporadic fighting with remaining members of the terrorist group.

“We’re prepared to stretch our resources and to augment our resources as needed,” he said.

According to Purisima, the National Housing Authority is “on target” to complete the first phase of construction which include 1,500 transitional shelters.

Purisima also said the government continued to provide trainings and livelihood for IDPs to help them recover from the Marawi siege. They were also offered psychosocial intervention like art and play therapy, and health intervention such as water, sanitation, and hygiene services

IDPs likewise continue to get relief supplies consist of hygiene kits, clothing, food and slippers from government and other non-governmental organizations.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella cited the first mass held at Saint Mary’s Cathedral in Marawi on October 1 was a welcome development in the government’s tenacity to liberate the Islamic city.

“Saint Mary’s Cathedral had been damaged during the siege of the city; and the terrorist group posted propaganda video of their desecration of the cathedral’s religious images,” Abelle said. The Cathedral was retaken by government troops after 95 days of fighting.

“We call on all Filipinos to pray for our soldiers, displaced residents; and that we might continue to respect and live with each other peacefully,” he added.

 

In another development, Abella said the fresh attacks of New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Sarangani, South Cotabato, Surigao del Sur, Palawan and Masbate   “fuels the public’s doubt” about the group’s sincerity to talk peace.

The NPA reportedly abducted a tribe leader and a CAFGU member in Surigao del Sur, ambushed a military convoy in Palawan and killed a policeman in Masbate.

“The government will undertake appropriate steps to deal decisively with these forces that seem to have lost their sense of nation-building,” he said.