DAVAO CITY – Evacuees currently camped at the Provincial Sports Complex expressed their dismay with the offer of Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman of transition shelters similar to that of the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda.
Soliman, last Saturday distributed relief goods to almost 3,000 individuals who evacuated from 26 communities in Surigao del Sur.
Kasalo Caraga spokesperson Josephine Pagalan said the secretary also had a dialogue with them where they “reiterated the need for the immediate disbanding of paramilitary-bandit groups and the withdrawal of military troops so we can immediately go back to our communities.”
“But Secretary Soliman’s response to our request was the building of transition shelters like what was done in the typhoon Yolanda affected areas,” she said.
Pagalan said they do not need the transition shelters.
“Unlike the victims of typhoon Yolanda, we have homes in our communities, we have established farms and livelihood in our ancestral lands, and our children’s schools are there,” she said.
“What we, the evacuees need, is to restore our farms, communities and schools. And this can only happen through the immediate disbandment of paramilitary bandit forces; the arrest of Bobby and Loloy Tejero and Garito Layno, members of the bandit group of Bocales-Belandres-Egua, who killed our leaders; and the withdrawal of military troops from our ancestral lands,” added Pagalan.
She said “(o)nce the military armed bandit paramilitary is disbanded, the killers arrested and prosecuted and the military withdraws from our communities, (the government) need not spend money to build temporary shelters because we will no longer be in evacuation.” (davaotoday.com)