By Warren Elijah Valdez
SULTAN KUDARAT – The Bangsamoro government has extended financial assistance to the victims of the recent mortar shelling incident in Barangay Kitango, Datu Saudi Ampatuan in Maguindanao.
The incident, which happened last May 24, claimed the lives of two children, and left 16 others wounded.
On May 26, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Health Minister Dr. Saffrulah Dipatuan handed P50,000 cash assistance to the family of the two minors who died during the incident. The two minors were both female aged 10 and 7 years old, respectively.
Each of the seven other wounded victims who were severely injured by the explosion was given P30,000 cash assistance; while the nine others who sustained minor injuries were given P5,000 each.
Dipatuan said it was part of the Bangsamoro government’s move in helping the victims.
The Bangsamoro government had earlier condemned the mortar shelling incident, and urged law enforcement authorities to find those responsible for the incident and that they be brought to justice.
“We were directed by our beloved chief minister (Ahod Ebrahim) to provide whatever each of the ministries of BARMM can give (to the victims). That is why we are helping each other,” he said.
The Bangsamoro government bared that some of the victims were still being treated at the Cotabato Regional Medical Center (CRMC)and in Maguindanao Provincial Hospital (MPH).
He added that some of the victims would need to undergo orthopedic surgery because of severe injuries.
The medical treatment of the wounded victims will also be shouldered by the Ayudang Medical Mula sa Bangsamoro Government (AMBAG). This, as the BARMM’s chief minister “wants the patients to be free from their medical expenses.”
Meanwhile, the BARMM’s Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD) has also provided psycho-social activities for the affected children and families of Barangay Kitango, where the explosion took place. The Bangsomoro government said this was to help the residents “ease their fear and to relieve their anxiety and stress” from the incident.
The Bangsamoro government also distributed 600 relief packs to the affected families throught its Project TABANG (Tulong Alay sa Bangsamorong Nangangailangan), while the MSSD has also given food packs to the 1,573 families who had to evacuate from their homes in barangays Dapiawan, Elian, and Kitango.