Monday, January 30, 2012

2 North Cotabato villages get PAMANA benefits

COTABATO CITY, Philippines – Two North Cotabato barangays, looted and burned down in 2008 by jihadist Ameril Ombra Kato and his men, are the latest additions to the beneficiaries of the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) program.

PAMANA is a project of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles, focused on the reconstruction of conflict-devastated communities in areas covered by the ceasefire accord between the government and the Moro National Liberation Front.

The two barangays, Nangaan and Pedtad, both in Kabacan town, an agricultural town in the first district of North Cotabato, are home to hundreds of Muslim and Christian families that rely mainly on farming as means of livelihood.

Buenaventura Pacania, a senior staffer of Kabacan’s municipal planning and development office, said the PAMANA project aimed to construct core shelters for villagers displaced by conflicts in 2008.

Renegade members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, many of them already dropped from the MILF’s roster of guerillas for abuse and indiscretion, repeatedly attacked Barangays Nangaan and Pedtad after the aborted crafting of the memorandum of agreement on ancestral domain in August 2008.

Some 200 houses in the two barangays were set on fire by Kato and his men, who now comprise the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement.

The group also attacked and razed more than 30 barangays at the marshy border of North Cotabato and Maguindanao to dramatize their indignation over botched signing of the MOA-AD.

“Hundreds of Moro and Christian families were affected by the brutal attacks by rampaging rebels then,” Pacania said.
PAMANA communities in Central Mindanao are also now being provided with extensive health, social welfare services and interventions by experts from the Department of Agriculture to maximize the productivity of local farmers.

 “We ought to thank President Aquino for this project which is being implemented through OPAPP,” said North Cotabato’s governor, Lala TaliƱo-Mendoza.
January 28, 2012 01:00 PM

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