Gov’t extends immediate aid to Marawi university blast victims

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)– Following the blast that took place during a regular congregation service at the gymnasium of Mindanao State University (MSU) in Marawi City on the morning of December 3, the government reassured the public that it is on top of the situation and helping the victims of the terrorist attack.

The Bangsamoro Rapid Emergency Action on Disaster Incidence (READi) under the Ministry of Interior and Local Government deployed its resources, including one coaster, one cadaver transport, and one ambulance, to help in the response efforts of the MSU, the Provincial Government of Lanao del Sur, and the City Government of Marawi.

The Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD), on the other hand, provided hot meals, family food packs, hygiene kits, and dignity kits to the patients admitted at the Amai Pakpak Medical Center (APMC) and MSU infirmary, as well as their caregivers.

MSSD also granted two APMC patients from Ozamis City P20,000 each as transportation and medical subsidies. Another patient received P10,000 in assistance, while two watchers at the APMC operating room were provided with P5,000 each.

In the MSU infirmary, the MSSD provided P5,000 each to three patients for transportation, while 14 others received P2,000 each for their medical needs.

The MSSD said it would also visit the funeral parlors of the deceased victims in Iligan City and provide P50,000 each for financial and burial assistance to the bereaved families.

The Bangsamoro government earlier announced that its Ministry of Health, MSSD, and other concerned agencies of the regional government are coordinating with APMC and national and local government officials to assess the needs of the victims and identify the assistance they could provide for victims and their families. It likewise committed to assist in the hospital expenses of those injured and the burial expenses of those whose lives were lost.

Initial reports revealed that four people were killed in the incident, while several others were injured.

The Bangsamoro READi of the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government continuously monitors the situation in Marawi following the unfortunate bombing incident at the Mindanao State University Marawi campus on December 3, 2023. (Photo: BARMM READi/PIA Lanao del Sur)

Intensified security measures

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. assured the public that he would bring the responsible parties behind the barbaric act to justice. He also ordered intensified security measures across the university campus and the nearby areas.

“I have instructed the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to ensure the protection and safety of civilians and the security of affected and vulnerable communities,” he said.

In response, the Police Regional Office (PRO) in the Bangsamoro region created a Special Investigation Task Group to expedite the investigation of the PNP into the explosion. The PRO confirmed that while the investigation is ongoing, a full alert status has been declared and the security measures in the city have been heightened.

The MSU administration affirmed that the university campus is under heightened security with the presence of both the PNP and AFP. It has also deployed additional security personnel to safeguard the campus.

“We are aware of the heightened sensitivities and concerns that arise from such a tragic event, and we want to assure everyone that we are taking every measure possible to protect our students, faculty, and staff,” the MSU administration said.

The university administration has suspended classes and all academic activities until further notice. In the meantime, students are urged to remain in their dormitories and boarding houses on campus until further notice. As a result, the university will help the local disaster risk reduction and management offices of Marawi City and Lanao del Sur by providing the necessities needed in the dormitories and boarding houses. (APB edited by RTP, PIA-10/Lanao del Sur)

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