Maitum, Sarangani Province – The attack of bandits in Maitum, Sarangani Province over the weekend has caused the evacuation of 127 individuals.
According to Maitum Mayor Elsie Perrett, the attack of the bandits was led by Salindatu Binago alias Datu Ingig last October 6 at 6 in the morning. It resulted to the wounding of one person and the evacuation of 40 families with 127 individuals from Sitio Nalipay, Brgy Ticulab. “The local government is providing the basic needs of the affected families, who are at the evacuation center in Sitio Bem of said barangay”, she said.
"The local government has to respond to the attack, which is already second in the series of attack by the said group that started last August 16 wherein Kagawad Freddie Macatin, his wife and brother-in-law was killed. We called on the military and the police to act upon and resolve the conflict. With that, the local government is extending its full support to the clearing operations being jointly conducted by the military and the PNP", Perrett added.
“The attack of the bandits is entirely law enforcement and security concern, thus, the military and police was called upon by the LGU to restore stability in the area. Through the Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Committee (JPSCC) of the military and the PNP, troops were deployed to ensure that the barangay will be free from the clutches of the heavily armed bandits. And as the military conducts all its operations, the primacy of human rights is always at the forefront", said Col. Glorioso Miranda, 1002nd Infantry Brigade Commander.
Meanwhile, the local MILF, Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG) and the Coordinating Committe on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) invoked that the bandits are not associated with the MILF, thus, the joint operation will not hamper the on-going peace talks.
While clearing operations is being jointly conducted by the military and police, the local government is attending to the concerns of the evacuees. This is a clear manifestation of the IPSP "Bayanihan" in effect wherein the military, police and local government work hand-in-hand for the preservation of peace and security in the area, Col Miranda added.