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174,000 still in Maguindanao evacuation centers (tags)

174,000 still in Maguindanao evacuation centers Philippine Daily Inquirer First Posted 00:15:00 12/22/2009 Filed Under: rebellion, Armed conflict, Evacuation(General) DATU PIANG, Maguindanao—Johana Maluba, 24, is not sure if she could be back to her home to give birth before the end of the month. The mother of four is one of the 174,370 persons or 38,874 families referred to by humanitarian agencies as internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Maguindanao. The IDPs are scattered around the 103 evacuation centers. They fled their homes when fighting between government soldiers and Moro Islamic Liberation Front forces broke out August last year. It was not clear, however, how many evacuated following the Nov. 23 massacre of 57 civilians, including 31 journalists, in Ampatuan town, allegedly led by Datu Unsay town Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. The incident led to the weeklong imposition of martial law in the province. Some of the evacuees, those who fled their homes in Shariff Aguak after the massacre, are living with relatives, while others have set up camps in nearby towns. For the evacuees, it is safer to be away from home. “I am afraid to go back to our own house because we might get caught in crossfire,” Maluba said as she waited in line for the relief goods being distributed by the Act for Peace, a humanitarian organization. Diosita Andot, chair of Act for Peace, said their main intervention for the Maguindanao evacuees remains focused on “early recovery and rehabilitation program.” She said several core shelters have been constructed for families whose houses were razed in last year’s fighting. Presidential Assistant for Mindanao Secretary Jesus Dureza, who also joined the distribution of relief assistance, tried to convince evacuees to go home. “It is now safe to go back to your own homes,” he told them. But Dureza said not all could be given a house and that the relief assistance “is just temporary and you cannot be given every day, so it’s a must that you go home and start making a living.” Lt. Gen. Raymundo Ferrer, chief of the Military’s Eastern Mindanao Command, assured the evacuees that the police and military would respect the ceasefire with the MILF. “We will work to restore your normal lives,” he said.

Filipino journalists remember 'Maguindanao massacre' (tags)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – Dozens of journalists held a prayer rally Wednesday in Zamboanga City to remember and seek justice for the brutal slayings of 57 people, among them at least 30 journalists massacred last month in Maguindanao province in the southern Philippines.

Absurd,’ says MILF on Ampatuan claim that MILF behind the Maguindanao massacre (tags)

The Alliance-Philippines or the AJLPP learned today from news sources that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front branded as “absurd” claims by the prime suspect in the massacre in Maguindanao province that the Muslim rebel group was behind the killings. "This is absurd, even a small kid would not believe it," said MILF vice chairman for political affairs Ghadzali Jaafar.

Atrocities creep into Maguindanao fighting (tags)

Pesante-USA/AJLPP prints new reports of atrocities that have begun to surface in Maguindanao as fighting between militia and rebels of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) continued to escalate. A lone gunman killed the wife of a senior MILF leader implicated in a failed attempt to kill the provincial governor, the military said Thursday.

Stop the war, Maguindanao folk cry (tags)

Pesante-USA/AJLPP joins the people of Mindanao in their urgent call to stop the US-Arroyo Regime's war against the people. “They are suffering and they want the fighting stopped,” Ruby Sahali, social welfare secretary of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said of the more than 4,000 families displaced by fighting between militiamen and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels in Maguindanao.The evacuees came from the towns of Shariff Aguak, where the hostilities started last week, and from Mamasapano, Datu Piang, Datu Unsay, Datu Saudi, Ampatuan, Sultan sa Barongis and SK Pendatun towns, where it spread.

AFP war widens into two fronts as Maguindanao battle goes on (tags)

Pesante-USA reprinted the news about the increased fighting in Mindanao. The counter-insurgecnyw ar being waged by the Arroyo goverment is escalating not only against the NPA but also against the Moro people in Maguindanao. THE Armed Forces’ war against rebels has widened into two fronts as fighting between government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front forces continued on Monday in Maguindanao province despite efforts of peace negotiators to end the clashes that have left dozens of people dead and wounded and displaced 3,000 families.

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