Groups to launch fact-finding mission in Maguindanao

A woman holds a placard during a rally near the Presidential Palace to call for the passage of Bangsamoro Basic Law or BBL in the southern Philippines, Friday, Feb. 20, 2015 in Manila, Philippines. The BBL deliberation was postponed indefinitely following the botched police operation Jan. 25 to capture Malaysian terror suspect Zulkipli bin Hir or Marwan which resulted in the killing of 44 elite Filipino police commandos. (AP Photo)

DAVAO -- Progressive and civil society groups will launch relief and fact-finding missions in Maguindanao affected by an all-out military offensive against rebel groups.

The groups include the Suara Bangsamoro, Panalipdan-Southern Mindanao, Kawagib Moro Human Rights Organization and the Ateneo de Davao University’s University Community Engagement and Advocacy Council (Addu-UCEAC).

Suara Bangsamoro spokesperson Jerome Aba, emailed a statement to Sun.Star Davao, saying: “By doing our own investigation, we can validate that the civilian populations in Maguindanao are victims of state fascism, as they have been deprived of access to basic needs.”

Kim A. Gargar of Panalipdan-Southern Mindanao, said in a separate statement the group will leave for Maguindanao on Tuesday and will be joined by Kawagib Moro Human Rights Organization, Suara Bangsamoro and other volunteer groups from Cotabato City and Davao City.

He said they are planning relief operations and psychosocial interventions for the displaced children in the war-torn areas.

Addu-UCEAC chair Romeo Cabarde Jr. has said they too will join the relief operation as well as stress debriefing programs for the displaced families.

The province of Maguindanao has been declared under a state of calamity after 11 of its municipalities were caught up in the offensive launched by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).
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