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Army rescues Lanao Sur studes stranded in Marawi

April 27, 2020

ILIGAN CITY ----- Some 251 students of Mindanao State University (MSU) Main Campus in Marawi City were rescued by the Philippine Army on Friday (April 24) and transported to their respective home in Lanao del Sur. These students were stranded at their dormitories inside the university campus when the enhanced community quarantine was implemented in the province on March 17 and then extended to April 30. Military trucks of the 82nd Infantry Battalion (IB), 55th IB, 49th IB and the 12th Civil Military Operations Battalion, all under 103rd Infantry “Haribon” Brigade, were deployed to ferry the students back to their homes in 25 municipalities of Lanao del Sur. The transport of the students back home was carried out in collaboration with the Lanao del Sur Inter-Agency Task Force (LDS - IATF) for the Management of COVID-19, the Provincial Government of Lanao del Sur, the university management and the Army’s 103rd Infantry Brigade. Lt. Charles Leiand Regala, Civil-Military Operations Officer of 82nd IB, said there are still some 654 remaining stranded students in MSU who will be transported outside Lanao del Sur in the coming days. “The authorities have already coordinated with the adjacent provinces to finalize the arrangements and requirements for the next transportation assistance,” said Regala. The university recently sent off some of its stranded students to Maguindanao and Zamboanga del Norte. MSU deployed its university buses to assist the transport of the students. Meanwhile, the army continues to provide manpower and security assistance during the relief distribution of the Lanao del Sur provincial government.

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Kapatagan taps reservists for relief distribution

April 24, 2020

KAPATAGAN, LANAO DEL SUR ----- The local government unit (LGU) of Kapatagan municipality is mobilizing some 235 reservists of the 1006th Community Defense Center (CDC), 10th Regional Community Defense Group (RCDG) as manpower for relief distribution and implementation of the enhanced community quarantine imposed by the provincial government of Lanao del Sur. Kapatagan Mayor Raidah Maglangit said the reservist in the town, including herself, being designated as commander of Charlie Company of 1006th Ready Reserve Infantry Battalion based in Kapatagan municipality, have been the LGU’s partners in its response since the start of the COVID-19 crisis.  “When we trained reservist in 2018, we did not think that there would be crisis like this. It just happened that we thought of preparing for calamities so that it would not be difficult for us to do the response and relief operations,” Maglangit said. Despite the reservists initially lacking training to health crisis response like the COVID-19, they have subsequently been trained to respond to calamities, thus enabling the LGU to mobilize them. “The reservists are big help especially in filling up our lack of policemen. The Philippine Marines Marine Battalion Landing Team 5 (MBLT5) also have bigger areas to serve so we cannot really depend on them when it comes to relief operations,” she added.  Several LGU employees have been trained as reservists who underwent training in 2018 upon Manglangit’s  encouragement. “I encouraged them to join so that we will all be together as one in our response and relief operations,” the mayor said.  In April 23, LGU Kapatagan completed its first round of food relief distribution to its 15 barangays with 5,380 households (based on 2017 census). The distributed food packs contained five kilos of rice, five sardines, sugar and coffee.  In the second round of distribution of food packs next week, the LGU is preparing another five kilos of rice, noodles, coffee and sugar and canned goods will be replaced with dried fish.  As of April 23, Kapatagan town has four persons being monitored for COVID-19 after having been travelled from areas outside the municipality.

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Three years after the Marawi siege, army, cops now becoming businessmen

April 1, 2020

ILIGAN CITY ----- After defeating the terrorists three years ago in Marawi City, soldiers and cops went around the province bringing essentials for the people to survive while fighting another enemy they cannot see. On Monday (March 30) soldiers of the Army's 103rd Infantry Brigade and cops of Lanao del Sur started going around every town with somebody from the local government unit (LGU) making announcement using megaphone. In groups, they were on board army and police vehicle, loaded not with guns and bullets but grocery items, not to be given for free but for sale. "We became 'secutindero' (coined for security and 'tindero' or salesman)," said Col. Jose Maria Cuerpo, commander of the 103rd Brigade. "This is our way of helping the people in our areas of operation. We have not yet stood up from the siege and here we are, fighting again (againts the virus)," Cuerpo added. The frontliners during Marawi siege in 2017 are now selling goods to residents through rolling stores. Cuerpo said this is the army and the police way of helping residents around Lake Lanao to have easy access to buy their necessities because they are having hard time to go to Marawi City where their main market is. The whole province is on an enhanced community quarantine since March 19 that would make residents difficult to travel especially if they don't have own vehicle. The provincial government of Lanao del Sur, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Lanao Chamber of Commerce came up with the idea of rolling stores to avoid the tendency of over pricing in temporary markets (talipapa). The three agencies joint together in pooling the grocery items to be sold based on the DTI prices. These items include rice, sardines, noodles and coffee. Using the army and police vehicles, the men in uniform provide manpower and security. Three groups from the police and another three from army will bring the rolling store to three to four municipalities from 7am to 6pm. Col. Madzgani Mukaram, chief of Lanao del Sur police, said it is satisfying to help the people in times like this fighting the unseen enemies. "Sa ganitong klaseng giyera, kung hindi mag-cooperate ang publiko, kung hindi natin sila tutulungan, hindi lang ang mga sibilyan ang talo sa giyera laban sa COVID-19 kundi pati rin kaming mga pulis at mga sundalo na nasa frontline," Mukaram said. (In this kind of war, if the public will not cooperate, if we will not help them, it is not only the civilians who may loss in the battle against COVID-19 but also us, police and army who are in the frontline.) Mukaram said cops who went around with the rolling stores will also comply their duty at the checkpoints. "It is tiring but we are happy to serve. It's fulfilling serving the people," Mukaram said.

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Members of armed group surrender to 7th IB in North Cotabato

March 31, 2020

  CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – Three (3) members of armed lawless group (ALG)  have surrendered to 7th Infantry Battalion of Joint Task Force Central (JTFC) yesterday (March 27) at Brgy. Ladtingan, Pikit, North Cotabato They were identified as Bhots Oledal, Ebra Kamedon, and Saude Montawal from Sitio Tatak, Brgy. Dalgan, Pagalungan, Maguindao. The three also surrendered their one 5.56mm Ultimax rifle with magazine and five (5) ammunition and one (1) homemade M79 grenade launcher. In a simple ceremony, 7th IB Commanding Officer, Lt. Col. Romel Valencia presented the three (3) members of ALG to Pagalungan Mayor Salik Mamasabulod. The local government of Pagalungan had pledged cash assistance to the 3 government returnees that will help them start their new lives peacefully without the need to fight the government troops. JTFC Commander Maj. Gen. Diosdado C. Carreon lauded the efforts of 7th IB troops as more rebels were convinced to surrender to the government through their intelligence operations as well as with the help of the former rebels who previously surrendered to the unit. “6ID continued to fight for peace while also supporting the fight against COVID-19”, said JTFC Commander.

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PUI in Marawi died while waiting COVID-19 test result

March 30, 2020

ILIGAN CITY ----- A patient under investigation (PUI) of COVID-19 admitted at Amai Pakpak Medical Center (APMC) in Marawi City died Saturday afternoon, four days after his admission. Dr. Alinader Minalang, chief of Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) in Lanao del Sur, said the patient died while waiting for the result of his COVID-19 test. He was a brother of the patient who died on Sunday afternoon (March 22) at Adventist Medical Center in Iligan City and was buried at a quarry area in Barangay Bonbonon on Monday (March 23). Minalang said the two siblings has another sibling admitted at APMC on Sunday afternoon together with a close relative. The two are considered PUIs for showing severe flu-like symptoms. Their other sibling is also a COVID positive in a hospital in Manila who was the first to be hospitalized after coming home from overseas. "The family went home when the lockdown in Manila was announced. They stayed in their house in Iligan where the symptoms were developed," Minalang said in a phone interview. As of 7pm of March 28, there are six PUIs admitted at APMC according to Minalang. Two of them were tested positive of the virus, two are waiting for their test result while the othes two are newly-admitted. On March 17, a COVID patient died at APMC. Another three PUIs died in different dates pending the result of their test result. They were buried at Maqbarra Public Cementery in Barangay Papandayan Caniogan, Marawi City.

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Government taps MSU Marawi chemists to formulate alcohol for frontliners in Marawi, Lanao del Sur

March 30, 2020

ILIGAN CITY ----- The provincial government of Lanao del Sur, through the office of the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation, tapped Mindanao State University in Marawi City, through the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, to formulate sanitizer for the frontliners in Marawi City and Lanao del Sur amid crisis on COVID-19. The provincial government will fund the formulation of the sanitizer. Provincial Board Member Jeff Adiong, SK Federated President in Lanao del Sur, said the scarcity of resources triggered his office to post announcement on social media that the provincial government is looking for local chemists to help them formulate sanitizer. "Our post on social media was linked to the Department of Chemistry of the MSU-Marawi. We immediately had a meeting with the university president and four chemists are willing to help us," Adiong said in a phone interview. While the provincial government was happy to learn of the development, it would also deal with the limited supply of substance they need in compounding the alcohol-based hand sanitizer. The workers who pick-up the supplies has to pass through the strict checkpoint from the suppliers in Cagayan de Oro City and Iligan City. "Second, we have to be in a hurry of not getting caught with the curfew hours. Supplies of raw materials are limited," Adiong said. For the 39 municipalities and for Marawi City, the provincial government wishes to give five liters each of them for their including to the frontliners in the main checkpoints. Amai Pakpak Medical Center, the only public hospital in Marawi that caters COVID patients, will have 20 liters for its workers. The solution Four registered chemists, who are staff of MSU main campus are now preparing to formulate the sanitizer after receiving the compounding guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Jomarie Seclon, one of chemists, said the laboratory was already disinfected. But they have to wait for substance they need: glycerol, hydrogen peroxide and ethanol. "We need distilled water for dilution and supply of it is not a problem. If all the materials are available, we can formulate 240 liters in five days," Seclon said

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