NPA-Army encounter displace 186 families in Magpet

MAGPET, North Cotabato-At least 153 families were evacuated to safer grounds following an encounter between government troops and the New People’s Army (NPA) in sitio Dalag, Barangay Manobo here Saturday afternoon.

The town’s Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) reported to Mayor Efren Piñol that residents of at least six sitios - Linaysing, Kisimbit, Dallag, Olingan, Mahitang and Ponong - evacuated to Barangay Manobo proper to avoid being caught in the crossfire during the incident.

Mayor Piñol said the evacuees stayed at the barangay and tribal hall while the rest opted to seek temporary refuge with their relatives in the village.

Mayor Piñol said 33 families also evacuated to nearby Barangay Kinarum due to the incident last Saturday.

The mayor immediately sent a team from the MSWDO to conduct validation and provide assistance to the affected families.

The MSWDO personnel brought with them sacks of rice and medicine for the children and the elderly, some of whom were found to be sick due to the unfavourable weather condition brought by the monsoon rains that continue to affect the place.

“We gave rice and cash assistance to the evacuees as our immediate actions while our MSWDO is set to distribute additional goods on Wednesday morning,” Mayor Piñol said.

The MSWDO will also provide psychosocial services particularly to children during the whole day visit to help them deal with the trauma caused by the incident.

Mayor Piñol has already instructed the PNP and Philippine Army units to check the peace and order situation in the area to ensure the safe return of the evacuees to their homes.

“We sacrifice the security of our constituents that is why we want to make sure that they are safe when they return to their respective places of origin,” Mayor Piñol said.