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ARMM provides relief and medical aid to displaced families in Sulu

Cotabato City (September 9, 2016) – About 4,000 families affected by intensified military operations against members of the Abu Sayyaf Group in the province of Sulu in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) received relief goods and medical assistance.

ARMM regional Vice-Governor Haroun Alrashid Lucman Jr. led the delivery of the humanitarian assistance with Sulu Governor Abdusakur Totoh Tan II and Director Ramil Masukat of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office and ARMM – Humanitarian Emergency Action and Response Team (ARMM-HEART).

As of September 5, close to 4,000 families have been displaced by the military’s offensive against the Abu Sayyaf with most of the evacuees coming from five municipalities namely:

Patikul with 1,122 families;

Maimbung with 1,321 families;

Indanan with 400 families;

Parang with 1,113 families; and

Panamao with 29 families.

Myrna Jo Henry, ARMM-HEART information officer, said the agency’s convergence team validated the number of affected families that received the region’s relief and medical assistance.

“We closely coordinated with the provincial government of Sulu to ensure the safety of our constituents,” regional Vice Governor Lucman said.

ARMM-HEART is a convergence of agencies that oversees disaster preparedness and response in the region. The team includes the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Office of Civil Defense, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Science and Technology, The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the Regional Planning and Development Office, among others.

The government has intensified its operations against the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu following orders from President Rodrigo Duterte. The Philippine Navy has also deployed its largest vessel to lead the naval blockade against lawless elements who were reported as planning an escape via the Sulu Sea

To ensure coordinated efforts between government troops fighting terrorism and illegal drugs, President Duterte placed the entire country on September 3 under a state of lawlessness. (Bureau of Public Information)

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