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Marawi evacuees find refuge in Butuan, nearby cities


By Ben Serrano

Marawi is nearly empty as an unknown number of gunmen from the Maute Group and the Abu Sayyaf remain held up in pockets of the city and appeared determined to fight to the last man amid a relentless military campaign. Photo PIA-Caraga

The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos in Caraga (NCMF-Caraga) said more than 100 Maranao families, or 500 individuals who fled Marawi City and Lanao areas are now scattered, staying in different cities in the region.

Faisal Mamintal, spokesperson of NCMF-Caraga , said in Butuan City alone, about 50 families or 300 individuals had sought refuge in their relatives and friends’ houses.

“Currently, we have estimates of more than 100 family evacuees or more than 500 individuals per our initial info gathering from our personnel in the field and from different Muslim associations in six cities in the region,” Mamintal told Caraga News Courier.

“As you see, there are Maranao settlements in almost all six cities in Caraga. You go to cities of Tandag, Surigao, Bayugan, Bislig and Cabadbaran you find Mosques and Muslim communities our brothers and sister Muslims have established in these Caraga cities. So , andun po yung galing Marawi ngayon sa mga relatives nila at yung iba may bahay na talaga sa mga lugar na ito,” Mamintal said.

Mamintal said NCMF-Caraga regional office is planning to distribute relief goods, medicines and clothing to the beleaguered residents, including women and children.

“Now that evacuees already coming right here in Caraga. We will again set schedule for relief goods distribution but since our relief goods already drain or lacking, we will request funding again from NCMF national office,” Mamintal said.

Mamintal added efforts are now being made to coordinate with other concerned national government agencies on how they can help influx of evacuees here in Caraga.

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