March 25, 2017
Hundreds of families displaced because of the presence of the New People’s Army (NPA) in a North Cotabato town began to return to their houses on Saturday.
“The clearing operation is already done,” Lt. Silver Adell Belvis of the Army’s 39th Infantry Battalion said in a text message to the Daily Manila Shimbun on Saturday.
“The local government unit of Antipas advise the evacuees to return to their houses in Barangay Camutan, Antipas,” he added.
It can be recalled more than 200 families of Barangay Camutan left their homes due to fear as NPA members went to their community last Wednesday.
The military said the rebel group is reportedly recruiting new members in the three sitios of Barangay Camutan.
The affected families seek temporary shelter at the Antipas Municipal Gym which serves as their evacuation center in Barangay Poblacion of the same municipality.
Belvis said authorities have established a temporary post in the area to prevent the return of the NPA.
“We have also put a security team as a left behind force in order for the people to feel safe,” he said.
“There is a PNP (Philippine National Police) team that was left there, they have temporary post in the area, and they were also tasked to conduct regular patrol operation in the community,” he added. Robina Asido
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