Evacuees in Iligan to be transferred to Lanao del Sur towns

Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 17 2017 06:20 PM

Muslim students consultt evacuees and asses what they need as they remain at the evacuation center in Buru-un fisheries school in the outskirts of Iligan city, May 25, 2017. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MARAWI CITY - Thousands of displaced families staying in Iligan City will be going back to their home province Lanao del Sur, the local government and the military said Monday.

Zia Alonto Adiong, crisis management committee spokesman, said around 53,000 families who fled to Iligan City will be transferred to several municipalities along Lanao Lake.

"Mga mayors ang pupunta doon, susunduin mga IDPs tapos dadalhin sila sa mga munisipalidad. Magpo-provide ang provincial capitol ng transportation," he said.

Adiong believes bringing the evacuees back to Lanao del Sur will be better since it will be their fellow Maranaos who will take care of their needs while they await the signal to return home to Marawi City. 

He added that based on reports they have received recently, some relief goods and donations are not reaching all the evacuees in Iligan City. 

"There are complaints na kapag lumilinya sila, hindi umaabot sa kanila 'yung mga nabibigay na donations," he said.

Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera, military spokesman, said security is in place for the evacuees' travel back to Lanao del Sur. 

"We provided security blanket especially sa municipalities, the mayors and barangay captains ay talagang tinitingnan din 'yung mga tao," Herrera said.

"Hindi natin hinahayaan ang mga kababayan natin na masaktan, we ensure first and foremost safety and security," he added.

While the displaced Maranaos are now allowed to go back to Lanao del Sur, local officials said Marawi is still off-limits from civilians as the fighting continues. 

"We still have to wait for the actual fighting to be over," Adiong stressed.