Posted by: kawagib | August 15, 2008

Moro groups Call for a Stop to Military Offensives and Dares Arroyo to prioritize evacuees

Kawagib Moro Human Rights condemn the continuing military offensives made by the Armed Forces of the Philippines in North Cotabato and calls for the immediate pull-out of government soldiers in conflict areas and in the evacuation centers.

Kawagib spokesperson Bai Ali Indayla protests at the presence of military tanks and trucks in evacuation centers situated in Pikit saying that presence of armored vehicles cause fear among the residents.

Indayla also received reports from evacuees that military aboard a red civilian vehicle was filming evacuees placed in Batulakaw without their knowledge.

She further said that instead of continuing military operation in the ground, the government should concentrate in giving relief to the victims of displacement that has already reached —— persons.

“As the government troops continue to indiscriminately drop bombs from OV10 planes and strike at Moro and Christian villages in Aleaosan and Pikit with 105mm howitzer, more and more civilians will have to be forcibly displaced from their communities,”  said Indayla saying that recent evacuees had to sleep in makeshift evacuation center with no roof on their heads for three days.

Indayla calls on the government to prioritize giving relief to the evacuees instead of military offensives.

Initial reports says that government offensives has rsulted to the wounding of a student, Robert Malagia, 19 years old and the 10 year old Naima who was hit by a passing military truck while evacuating in the highway of Pikit, North Cotabato on August 08, 2008.

“So much bloodshed and lives have been uprooted brought about by the military offensives, and all President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo could think of is her bid for extension of presidential terms by peddling Charter Change,” said Indayla reacting to Arroyo’s declaration that Federalism is the answer to the raging conflict in Mindanao.

Indayla said that Arroyo should be stopped from using the struggle of the Moro people for the recognition and assertion of ancestral domain to make way for her Charter Change and calls on fellow Moro people to unmask and expose Arroyo for her failure to resolve peace in Mindanao.

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