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Maguindanao Clashes Displace Nearly 10,000 Families

Almost 10,000 families have been displaced by the military’s ongoing all-out offensive against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Maguindanao.

According to Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao’s Humanitarian Emergency Assistance and Response Team (ARMM-HEART), a total of 9,838 families have been displaced from their homes in eight Maguindanao towns as of March 3.

In addition, ARMM-HEART reported that 40 schools have been shut down in the strife-torn towns, affecting 18,448 elementary and high school students.

On Tuesday, the Maguindanao provincial board has approved a resolution declaring the entire province under state of calamity.

Provincial Board Members Bobby Katambak and Asnawi Sinsuat Limbona said the Sangguniang Panglalawigan, through the same resolution, is asking the government to spare and protect civilians in the towns where government forces are hunting down BIFF outlaws.

Said resolution has been approved by all provincial board members and will be signed by Governor Esmael Toto Mangudadatu Wednesday.

It aims to give the executive department the authority to use the provincial calamity fund for internally displaced persons (IDPs).