MORE than 1,000 people were forced to flee their homes after an undetermined number of armed communist rebels entered Sitio Kaluyapi, Barangay Langgawisan, Maragusan in Compostela Valley on February 6.
Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) Public Information Officer Major Ezra Balagtey said that around 11 a.m. Tuesday, February 6, the members of the New People’s Army (NPA) caused chaos, threatening the residents and prompting them to leave their place.
Balagtey said the armed group who came from Sitio Mandaopan, Barangay Bahi in Maragusan entered Sitio Kaluyapi, threatened the community and held some of its constituents, leaders, and teachers for unknown purposes.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), through its military unit, the 66th Infantry Battalion (IB), coordinated with the Municipal Disaster Rescue and Response Council of Maragusan and recorded over 1,000 people who sought temporary shelter in Barangay Talian's covered court in Maragusan.
“In response, the 66th Infantry Battalion under Lieutenant Colonel Palmer M. Parungao is closely coordinating with the local government unit of Maragusan and Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office of New Bataan under Lynne M. Dollolasa, in connection with the security, distribution of food supplies, and other interventions to the displaced persons,” he said.
Meanwhile, Eastmincom commander Lieutenant General Benjamin Madrigal Jr. lambasted the NPA for the incident. He ordered the immediate restoration of normalcy in the area.
"Coordination with concerned offices is being done to mitigate the misery of the community," Madrigal said.