Around 13,000 families or 64,000 individuals had been displaced as of Wednesday in ongoing all-out offensive by government forces against Muslim separatists from the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Maguindanao province, according to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao’s Humanitarian Emergency Action Response Team (ARMM-Heart).
But humanitarian aid has been given to the affected families in 11 towns of the province who had been evacuated to safer ground.
ARMM-Heart media liaison officer Myrna Jo Henry said the evacuees were from the municipalities of Shariff Saydona, Mamasapano, Datu Unsay, Shariff Aguak, Datu Salibo, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Rajah Buayan, Talayan, Guindulungan, Talitay and Datu Anggal Midtimbang.
Henry added that almost all of the 12,920 families moved to evacuation centers have been served by the response team under the first phase of its mission.
The second phase dubbed as Tabang Sibilyan was started also on Wednesday by ARMM-Heart workers led by the governor of the autonomous region himself, she said.
Lynette Estandarte, team leader, said they had provi- ded food packs containing rice, noodles, sardines and dried fish to and conducted medical missions in seven of the affected towns.
Estandarte added that the medical missions were organized with the help of doctors and health workers from the Philippine National Police and Ateneo de Davao.