CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar, April 18 (PIA) - More than 500 farming households from the barangays of Cambagtic, Bulao, San Mauricio, Guimbanga, Minata, Sinalangtan, Caamlungan, Binangaran, Daligan and Buluan all of Calbiga, Samar fled their respective communities to seek shelter to the town gymnasium recently.
In a report filed by the 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army, it said that a Punong Barangay from the hills claimed that residents were forced to evacuate as they received threats from the rebels that there will be a firefight between the rebels and the government troops particularly the 87th Infantry Battalion.
They were then forced to seek refuge in the poblacion causing panic in the barangays they tread going downtown.
The exodus spread like wildfire and caused other villagers to follow, triggering a mass exodus to the town gymnasium.
Alarmed with the situation, Calbiga town mayor Luzviminda Nacario sought an audience with the officials of the 87th IB, the police, Municipal Social Welfare and Development (MSWD) and the evacuees to resolve the situation. She then convinced the villagers to return to their communities.
The local social welfare department distributed relief goods to the evacuees and the LGU of Calbiga provided trucks for transportation back to their respective barangays.
Most of the evacuees returned to their communities but some refused and opted to stay at the covered court as of press time.
The army issued an advisory that it is deploying community peace and development teams to the barangays to identify issues and concerns in the concerned communitis so that local governments and concerned national agencies can address them. (ajc/nbq/PIA 8-Samar with Capt Cherry Junia/8th ID DPAO)