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Mangyan folk displaced by armed clashes stage protest in Oriental Mindoro town

CITY OF CALAPAN –– Mangyan residents displaced by recent encounters between government soldiers and New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas held a rally Friday morning at the town center of Victoria in Oriental Mindoro province.

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Tanie Malitao, municipal disaster risk reduction management officer, told the Inquirer in a phone interview that the rally was held between 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Holding placards, the participants were evacuees from barangays Loyal and Villa Cerveza, which were affected by the gunfights in the mountain.

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“They demand peace, to spare them from the conflict,” said Malitao.

As of this posting, police have already given a permit for all evacuees to return to their homes as they were assessed to be already safe.

While Malitao could not say who organized the rally, he said July is National Resiliency Month. In the training that they conduct, since some years ago, they emphasize  “resilient communities” against conflicts.

“If there are dubious and unknown people in the community, the people should inform the barangay officials who will also report to government agencies,” he said.

Disasters could either be natural or human-induced like the displacement of the Mangyans, he said.

“Preparedness should always start from the family and the barangay,” he said. /lzb

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TAGS: armed clashes, Local news, Mangyan, New People's Army, NPA, Oriental Mindoro, soldiers
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