Zamboanga City relocates siege evacuees from cramped camp
Roel Pareño (The Philippine Star) - April 14, 2014 - 5:39pm

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines - The Zamboanga City government started to relocate to another temporary site more than 400 families from the congested evacuation camp in the shorelines of R.T. Lim Cawa-Cawa Boulevard to prevent further deaths of evacuees. 

Assistant City Administrator Elmeir Apolinario said the transfer of the affected families, who are mostly from the Badjao and Samal Muslim tribe, was done in batches with consent of the affected families for humanitarian reasons. The evacuees were victims of the siege launched by members of the Moro National Liberation Front last year.

He said the local government has used the elementary school at the coastal village of Mampang as temporary site as a transition for the subsequent transfer to the 30 bunkhouses that can accommodate more than 300 families at Sitio Masempla.

Apolinario said the transfer of the Badjao and Samal evacuees was decided after findings showed that the evacuation site at the R.T. Lim Boulevard shoreline has become very congested, with some evacuees dying from sickness.

There was no time frame for the clearing of the R.T. Lim Cawa-Cawa Boulevard, Apolinario said, adding that the transfer is gradual.

The city official also brushed aside apprehensions in the ongoing transfer as the internally displaced persons (IDPs) were consulted and informed of their conditions from the present evacuation site in R.T. Lim Boulevard.

A human rights watch group said the local government should ensure that the rights of the evacuees in the Cawa-Cawa evacuation camp are protected during the relocation process.

"Any relocation should be done peacefully and fully respecting the rights and well-being of IDPs who have already been traumatized by the Zamboanga violence late last year." said Phelim Kine, Human Rights Watch deputy director for Asia.

The city government discovered earlier that the number of those IDPs camped at the Cawa-Cawa Boulevard have bloated from 300 to 800 families due to the fake IDPs coming from other barangays and provinces that took advantage of the local government assistance.

Mayor. Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar warned the fake IDPs to return to their places of origin as the assistance provided by the government are for the IDPs only. 

“The fake IDPs should return to your barangay or provinces where you came from. Kasi kung nakatira kayo sa mga IDP centers parang ninanakaw ninyo na rin ang mga tulong na dapat ibigay sa mga IDPs. This is our appeal most specially sa mga hindi IDPs,” Salazar told newsmen on Monday.

She said the death among the evacuees at the Cawa-Cawa Boulevard was due to congestion aggravated by the sprouting of the illegal presence of IDPs. 

“Ang cause ng mga death sa different evacuation centers is congestion. Lalo pa kayong nagpapabigat sa mga IDPs na dapat tulungan naman natin ang mga IDps para makabangon sila. Kung nakatira kayo dyan, sagabal po kayo sa tulong ng gobyerno. At hinihiling natin na ipakita natin ang kabutihan. Let us go back sa ating mga barangay, probinsya,” Salazar added.

APOLINARIO ASSISTANT CITY ADMINISTRATOR ELMEIR APOLINARIO BADJAO AND SAMAL BADJAO AND SAMAL MUSLIM CAWA CAWA-CAWA BOULEVARD HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH IDPS LIM BOULEVARD LIM CAWA-CAWA BOULEVARD
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with