Conflict-affected residents in Ifugao town return home
ASIPULO, Ifugao – Residents who were evacuated at the Namal Elementary School and Pula Barangay Hall following the series of encounter between government troops and rebel groups returned to their homes on June 7.
Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer Myla Dulnuan said the residents were sent home after receiving the green signal from the Army.
The first encounter on May 23 happened at Sitio Likew, Namal followed by a series of clashes in the area.
Evacuees at Namal consisted of 33 households or 79 individuals.
While in evacuation, the local government unit provided trainings on basic life support, recycling, organic fertilizer preparation and grafting as well as information drive on health nutrition with vaccination and spiritual session.
Dulnuan said the children continued their classes with added activities like sports, games, sessions on adolescent health, self care, reading and other related events.
In support to the clearing operations of the Army troops against rebel groups, the implementation of wearing of helmet in some barangays of Asipulo has been suspended until June 15.
Mayor Armando Domilod issued an order suspending the apprehension of motorcycle riders who are not wearing helmets so that person passing through the town in motorcycles may be easily recognized or identified.
“All motorcycle riders passing through Namal, Camandag, Pula, and Antipolo shall not wear helmets for easier identification by authorities and checkpoints,” the order stated.
This is also in response to the recommendation of the Municipal Peace and Order Council while the 54th Infantry Battalion troops are conducting clearing operations in the area.
The series of clashes in Asipulo resulted in the recovery by the government troops of various war materials and subversive documents and capture of alleged rebel group hideout at Sitio Likew.
A rebel was killed in a gun battle between the military and the rebel group in May 29 while another who reportedly fled from an encounter in Asipulo surrendered to the military.
The 702nd Infantry Brigade also reported the wounded rebel commander who was rescued by the local government personnel and elements of the 54IB after he was abandoned by his comrades following an encounter with Army troops in Asipulo, has surrendered on May 26. – Marcelo Lihgawon