De Lima seeks probe into condition of people displaced by Mindanao clashes


Posted at Aug 04 2018 09:49 PM

File/Mark Navales, AFP Photo

MANILA—Detained Sen. Leila de Lima has urged the Senate to investigate the condition of displaced residents in Mindanao caught in the crossfire between authorities and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

The senator said the Senate should find out if the displaced residents have access to food, shelter, education and livelihood.

"There is a need to determine the extent of our compliance with our international obligations on protecting the IDPs (internally displaced persons) in our country,” De Lima said in a statement.

"There is also [a] need to examine our policies and mechanisms to see if they are able to provide practical, rights-based, and sustainable solutions to these recurring concerns in emergency and conflict situations."

De Lima said that, based on official figures, 5,136 families or 23,465 persons have been affected by the ongoing military operations against the BIFF.

In June, the military told residents who fled their homes can return to their homes.

The BIFF is a breakaway group of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front led by the late Ustadz Ameril Umbra Kato.