GUINOBATAN, Albay: In classified red zone areas of Bicol, the presence of soldiers often sends fear to the villagers as it may trigger an exchange of gunfire with the rebels.
But for Mayon evacuees who are going back to their respective villages after almost two months of staying in cramped evacuation centers, the sight of soldiers gives them a calming presence.
After all, the soldiers have been assisting them especially in carrying their personal belongings, as they return to their houses.
As the Mayon evacuees outside the six-to-seven-kilometer radius permanent danger zone were sent back home a few days ago, soldiers helped out in the decampment of 10,797 families or almost 43,274 people.
Carlito and Marites Palermo and their five children were decamped and sent back home in Muladbucab Grande in Guinobatan town along with other evacuees by riding a military truck.
“Thank you for your help for bringing us back home safely,” Marites said as she bid goodbye to the soldiers.
Army Col. Raul Farnacio, commanding officer of the Army’s 901st Infantry Brigade and Task Force Mayon Team Army chief said that they are always ready to help the people.
More than 12,000 families were evacuated from the danger zone of Mayon in September 15, when Phivolcs raised the Alert Level to 3.