45 families evacuated to safe place in Zambo Sur town

DUMINGAG, Zamboanga del Sur — Some 45 families consisting of 230 people have been ordered to evacuate to a safe area as the military launched an offensive against the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in the outskirt of this town.

Chief Insp. Andrew Limos, the local police chief, on Saturday said the 45 families are from Barangay Saad, a remote village in this town, the center of the military offensive against the NPA rebels.

Limos said the families were told to evacuate to avoid being caught in the crossfire as the NPA rebels might mingled with the community in Barangay Saad.

Barangay Saad is located in the boundary of this town with the municipality of Siayan, Zamboanga del Norte.

Limos said the 45-family-evacuees are temporarily sheltered at the covered court of Barangay Poblacion.

Limos said the municipal social welfare and development office has immediately provided food supplies and other needs to the affected families.

He said the offensive was launched Friday after the NPA rebels threatened to burn the heavy equipment of a construction firm undertaking a government project in Barangay Saad.

The NPA rebels have demanded payment of protection money, which the construction firm turned down. Ely Dumaboc/PNA-northboundassia.com