Half of refugees in sports complex not Zambo siege ‘bakwits’

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/21 June) – The local government unit has discovered that almost half of the 2,478 families staying at the Joaquin Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex were not displaced by the September 2013 siege.

Niño Olasiman, a technical team member of the City Housing and Land Management Division, disclosed this was discovered after they conducted a census and tagging of internally displaced persons (IDPs) or “bakwits” housed at the sports complex.

He said the conduct of the census and tagging of IDPs at the sports complex, the biggest evacuation center to rise following the three-week armed conflict in September, started last month and was completed recently.

Citing results of the census and tagging, Olasiman said that only 1,452 of the 2,478 families staying at the sports complex were displaced by the September 2013 siege after Moro National Liberation Front members loyal to founding chair invaded some coastal villages in the city.

The displaced families are from the following barangays: Rio Hondo, 600; Mariki, 361; Sta. Barbara, 267; Sta. Catalina, 170; Kasanyangan, 46; Talon-Talon, six; and, Zone IV, two.

Olasiman said the remaining 1,026 families were not displaced by the siege but have mixed up with the “bakwits” with the intention of receiving free humanitarian assistance, including housing aid.

He said they will furnish the final list to the different government agencies, non-government organizations and other partner agencies since only the displaced families are entitled to receive assistance from humanitarian agencies.

Olasiman said those who were not displaced by the Zamboanga siege will be advised to return to their respective places of origins.

Meanwhile, second district Rep. Lilia Nuño said an ultimatum should be given to the non-IDPs to leave the sports complex.

Nuño said appropriate charges must be filed on those who will insist in staying at the sports complex to teach them a lesson.

She said such move will also serve as warning to others who intend to take advantage of the situation. (MindaNews)