DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/06 March) — The Department of Agriculture will facilitate the replacement of farm animals killed as a consequence of armed conflict, Agriculture Secretary Prospero Alcala said in a press conference Thursday.
Alcala said the owners of these animals should immediately go to the nearest Municipal Agriculture Office to facilitate the replacement.
Assistant Secretary for operations Emerson Palad assured the DA was willing to help replace the lost livestock, but Alcala said “it will take time” and asked for patience on the part of owners who may ask the agency for assistance.
The secretary said there was no final assessment yet on the damage to agriculture caused by the clash in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on Jan. 25 and by the “all-out offensive” against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.
The Mamasapano clash killed 44 Special Action Force personnel of the Philippine National Police, 18 Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters and five civilians.
According to an earlier MindaNews report, the incident also killed at least eight cows as well as several chickens and goats.
“Mapapalitan po yung mga hayop,” (The animals will be replaced) Alcala said.
Affected residents should report the lost animals to the nearest agriculture office, along with documents that could prove ownership, he added.
During a visit to the clash site in Barangay Tukanalipao, Mamasapano a MindaNews team saw streamers demanding “justice” for the farm animals that were killed during the encounter. (MindaNews)