300 Zambo evacuees return to Ipil

IPIL, Zamboanga Sibugay (MindaNews/14 September)—About 300 evacuees from Zamboanga City displaced by the ongoing standoff between government forces and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) members loyal to Nur Misuari, the group’s founding chair, arrived here at around 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

The evacuees, who were transported by five trucks and two mini-buses, were dropped at the Ipil Central Elementary School (ICES) for final checking of names and medical checkup before being allowed to go home to their respective hometowns around Zamboanga Sibugay province.

Records showed the evacuees were originally residents of the different municipalities of the province temporarily living in Zamboanga City because of employment and schooling.

Most of the evacuees lived in areas affected by the security crisis in Zamboanga. They left for fear of getting caught in the crossfire.

Outside the gates of ICES, relatives flocked and waited for their family members to go out and be reunited after days of worrying and fear that they might not see each another again.

Local government units in the province provided the transport assistance to the evacuees.

It was learned that more Sibugaynon evacuees in Zamboanga City are waiting to be transported back to Zamboanga Sibugay, with authorities saying they would be fetched tomorrow, Sunday. (Paulnazer Lontua/MindaNews)