Three years after the war that displaced thousands of villagers, former conflict-affected communities are still getting help to be able to fully recover from war.
The recent effort is from Balay Mindanao Foundation Incorporated (BMFI), a peace advocacy non-government organization, that will extend different assistance to the residents of the former conflict-affected barangays of Bagolibas, Dunguan, Pagangan, Palacat and New Panay.
Paul Paraguya, the Executive Director of BMFI based in Cagayan De Oro City, told the villagers that they “will work hand in hand to achieve our dream of having a lasting peace Aleosan and even in whole Mindanao.”
In a forum on October 18, 2011, Mayor Loreto Cabaya said there is a need to unite and cooperate with the authorities to reduce threat of the bad elements who would like to sabotage the peace and order in the community.
During the forum, it was also discussed as to how the former war-torn barangays to recover from their experience after the armed conflict through the convergence effort of all and the intervention coming from the local government and various NGOs.
A former evacuee said: “Pagod na po kami sa giyera, lagi nalang biktima ng giyera ayaw na namin tumira uli sa evacuation center dahil kahit barongbarong lang ang tinitirhan namin masarap parin ang pagkain naming.”
It was also stressed during the said forum that the BMFI will initiate and facilitate the needs of those pilot barangays on their priority projects identified the previous capacity building conducted by the BMFI.
In August 2008, former Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) commander Ameril Umra Kato attacked several barangays of Aleosan following the aborted signing of the controversial memorandum of agreement on ancestral domain (MOA-AD).
The war, which spilled over to nearby provinces of Maguindanao as well as in other parts of Mindanao, displaced at least half million people. #