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Himamaylan evacuation centers now empty

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Army soldiers and local policemen assist Himamaylan City IMT members in transporting displaced residents from evacuation centers to their respective homes.* CSWDO Himamaylan photo

The different evacuation centers in Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental, which were filled up with approximately 3,500 residents displaced by a series of gun battles between Army soldiers and New People’s Army rebels, are now empty of occupants.

This was after the last batch of 163 families, composed of 669 individuals who are residents of Sitios Sig-ang, Medel and Campayas, all in Brgy. Carabalan, Himamaylan City, were transported back to their respective homes yesterday.

Almost 2,000 others who are residents of other sitios in Brgy. Carabalan and neighboring Brgy. Cabadiangan, have returned to their residences earlier.

The series of gun battles from October 6 to 10 had claimed the lives of two Army soldiers and injured six others. Also killed was Romeo Nanta, regional commander of the NPA in Negros Island.

Affected were more than 18,000 residents in Brgys. Carabalan and neighboring Brgy. Cabadiangan, all in Himamaylan, City, including the at least 3,500 persons who sought refuge in 18 evacuation centers.

Brig. Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, yesterday said that they allowed the residents to return to their respective communities after completing clearing operations.

Pasaporte however said they will continue to run after the NPA remnants in central Negros.

In a statement, the NPA Leonardo Panaligan Command ordered its units to conduct widespread tactical offensives against the Philippine Army in Negros Island, in order to give justice to the death of its leader, Romeo Nanta.

Pasaporte also described the two guerilla fronts, Central Negros 1 and 2 as “weakened” due to many of its members having returned to the folds of law, while others were killed in gun battles, including their top leader, Romeo Nanta.

In his issued advisory, Himamaylan Mayor Raymund Tongson said the Incident Management Team of Himamaylan City gave food packs and donated goods to the displaced residents before transporting them to their respective communities, assisted by the Philippine Army and local police officers.

They also availed of medical check-up and were provided with vitamins by personnel of the City Health Office, he added.

On the other hand, Tongson called on Himamaylanons “to remain for unity amid whatever adversities.”

He also thanked those who extended support to evacuees during their two-week stay at the evacuation centers.*

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