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Robin Padilla joins relief mission in Maguindanao

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By Edwin Fernandez

COTABATO CITY -- In partnership with the Army’s 6th Infantry Division and actor Robin Padilla, the provincial government of Maguindanao spearheaded Monday a relief mission in five villages of Shariff Saydona Mustapha town affected by ongoing clashes between government forces and the Islamic State-inspired Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

Maguindanao Governor Bai Miriam Mangudadatu, together with Padilla and troopers from the Army’s 601st Brigade and 33rd Infantry Battalion led the medical-dental and relief distribution to some 1,500 families from the villages of Dasawao, Bakat, Ganta, Pagatin 1, and Pagatin 2.

"We in the government have joined hands in distributing relief goods and extending basic medical services to the displaced families,” the governor said in a statement released on Tuesday.

The activities also included the distribution of reading glasses and “Operation Tuli” (circumcision) to young boys. The military operation has been ongoing since July 25 after government forces and BIFF rebels under Abu Toraife clashed in Barangay Dasawao.

The running gun battles have so far left one soldier and 15 BIFF rebels dead. Shariff Saydona Mustapha Mayor Sajid Islam Ampatuan said all affected families have received relief assistance from the provincial government.

Padilla, also known as “Abdul Aziz,” assured the evacuees he would always be with them in times of difficulty even as he urged them to help the government fight extremism.

He also shared how he found and embraced Islam, saying it was one of the greatest things that happened in his life.

“My Muslim brothers and sisters don’t go against the government. Instead, unite and support its programs,” Padilla said. (PNA)