Sat, 28 May 2022

ZAMBOANGA CITY - After two decades, Internally Displaced Persons relocated back to their communities that were taken away by terrorists.

The military and Sulu Provincial Task Force on Ending Local Armed Conflict (PTF-ELAC) constructed infrastructures and livelihood projects on the former battleground between Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits and government troops.

The PTF-ELAC is Sulu's version of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, the whole-of-nation approach to attaining inclusive and sustainable peace.

Maj. Gen. Ignatius Patrimonio, commander of the Joint Task Force-Sulu and 11th Infantry Division (ID), said Saturday the projects in Barangay Bakung, Patikul included a village hall, 2.4-kilometer farm-to-market road, learning center, public toilet, water system, streetlights, and egg-laying facilities to serve as the livelihood of residents in 118 households.

Barangay Bakung is one of 11 villages that were transformed under the "Balik-Barangay Program" of the provincial government.

"They didn't have any infrastructures or houses because those were destroyed by the ASG. So, we helped them rebuild their communities," Patrimonio said in a statement. "After almost a year, through the concerted efforts of the Sulu PTF-ELAC, Ministry of Public Works in BARMM (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao), and security forces, we were able to build a resilient community."

Barangay Bakung chief Hammisa Anuddin expressed her gratitude to the municipal government, led by Mayor Kabir Hayudini, and the security sector.

"We never thought that we can return to our place. We were IDPs for 20 years," Anuddin said. (PNA)

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