Sunday, August 11, 2013

Evacuation centers opened in Cotabato for families displaced by fighting - GMA News

The government has opened at least four evacuation centers in Pikit town in Cotabato province for families displaced by fighting between government forces and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, MalacaƱang said Sunday.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the Department of Social Welfare and Development set up the facilities for the affected families.

"The DSWD has opened four evacuation centers in the municipality of Pikit so we can accommodate some of the families that had been displaced," she said on government-run dzRB radio.

She said many families had chosen to stay with of relatives and friends, but those who have nowhere to go to can seek out the evacuation centers.

Government troops and the BIFF had been engaged in fighting over the weekend, prompting many families in some areas of Cotabato to flee their homes.

The BIFF is a breakaway faction of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. Its leader, Ameril Umbra Kato, had led attacks in Mindanao in 2008 following the Supreme Court's rejection of a Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain.

Fake text messages

Meanwhile, Valte cautioned the public against text messages supposedly from the headquarters of the Philippine Marines regarding the situation in Mindanao.

She said the Armed Forces of the Philippines does not issue such text messages.

"So let us be forewarned, and let us be vigilant about those who want to spread disinformation about the situation in Mindanao," she said. — BM, GMA News
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