"What this Country needs is not a change OF men but a change IN men" March 1980

Friday, August 22, 2008

Red Cross evacuating 700 caught in Mindanao crossfire

MANILA, Philippines -- Volunteers and officers of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRCC) and the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) are evacuating some 700 civilians caught in the crossfire of the escalating violence in Mindanao, Senator Richard Gordon said Friday.

In a phone interview, Gordon, who also chairs the PNRC, said the civilians are from the villages of Muntay, Balong, and Ambadan in Datu Piang town, Maguindanao province.

"We might bring them to a tent city we might set up in Cotabato...We are simply getting them out of harm's way," he said.

The senator said the PNRC is also responding to the needs of the people in Oroquieta, Ozamiz, and South Cotabato, the last of which saw a cholera outbreak among evacuees.

"We are also helping in the dengue outbreak in Calasiao, Pangasinan...We're still verifying the reported [dengue] outbreak in Baguio...Our people and our resources are really stretched," he said.

Gordon appealed to the public for donations to the PNRC. He said cash and checks will go a long way towards purchasing food and other needs in the areas of concern, which would lower transportation costs.

"You can dial 143 or 527-0000 for your donations," he said.

Fighting broke out between government forces and Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels after Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order against the signing of the memorandum of agreement on ancestral domain (MOA-AD), which would have led to the creation of the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity.

Red Cross evacuating 700 caught in Mindanao crossfire
Gordon appeals for public help
By Veronica Uy
First Posted 16:01:00 08/22/2008


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