Thursday Oct, 17 2019 01:13:08 PM

MILF members, dependents benefit from Lamitan outreach caravan

BANGSAMORO NEWS UPDATES • 16:30 PM Fri Oct 11, 2019
118
By: 
John M. Unson
Families of MILF members benefited from the outreach mission in Barangays Lebbuh and Ba-as. (contributed photo)

COTABATO CITY --- Soldiers on Wednesday broke through guerilla camps in Lamitan City --- off limits to state forces until the Bangsamoro region was created this year --- not to drive occupants away but extend to them humanitarian services.

For the first time ever, hundreds of settlers in enclaves of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in the adjoining Barangays Ba-as and Lebbuh in Lamitan City received free medical and dental services facilitated by the local government unit, the police and units of the Army’s 104th Brigade.

It was an on-sight outreach mission never done before in the two MILF bastions by the office of Lamitan City Mayor Rose Furigay due to stringent ceasefire regulations between the group and Malacañang that prevented the entry of third parties without prior coordination.

“We availed of services from the city government through facilities in the city proper before. This event is something new and we are grateful to its organizers,” said MILF leader Radjan Abdurahman.

The security agreements that restrained health and social welfare workers from getting through MILF lairs were superseded by the creation early this year of the MILF-led Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao that marked the start of the return to mainstream communities of Moro secessionist forces that fought the government for decades.

In a statement Friday, Furigay’s office said the Lamitan City local government unit is grateful to units of the Army’s 104th Brigade, the Regional Police Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and senior MILF officials in the city for helping push the October 9 outreach mission forward.

MILF official Hadji Sammad Ahaddin said besides the social welfare and health interventions, city government workers also provided them with vegetable seeds, slippers and food for children.

He said the outreach team, comprised of police and Army officers, medical personnel and social welfare experts led by their mayor, also accepted applications for birth certificates and senior citizens identification cards.

The MILF’s top leader, the now BARMM Chief Minister Hadji Ahod Ebrahim, told reporters in Cotabato City Friday he is elated with the help extended by the Lamitan City LGU to residents of Barangays Lebbuh and Ba-as.

Ebrahim and Basilan Gov. Jim Salliman had earlier agreed to cooperate on health and social welfare programs and infrastructure initiatives that can boost efforts of restoring normalcy and sustainable development in Lamitan City and the 11 towns in the island province

Lamitan City, covering 45 barangays, is the capital of Basilan.

Muslim and Christian residents in Lamitan City are given regular free health and social welfare services through their LGU’s continuing Reaching Out Serving Everyone (ROSE) Caravan.

The Lamitan City LGU thrice received in the past three years the vaunted Seal of Good Local Governance, or SGLG citation, from the central office of the Department of the Interior and Local Government for its efficient pro-poor programs and domestic peace and security initiatives.

NDBD BIDA BALITA (10.17.19)

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