THE MILITARY has confirmed that soldiers have been deployed to an evacuation center in Lianga, Surigao del Sur, where more than 1,500 members of indigenous peoples (IPs) have fled in response to soldiers in their communities. Volunteers who have been working with the IPs and were with them when they left their communities had been reporting since Wednesday that police and military personnel had been deployed around the Barangay Diatagon Gymnasium and had prevented the entry of aid from the Catholic Diocese of Tandag. Soldiers in Diatagon have set up an Incident Command Post (ICP), Capt. Rodulfo Cordero Jr. of the 401st Infantry Brigade’s Civil-Military Operations battalion said Thursday, adding this is standard procedure for natural disasters and similar situations. According to National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council guidelines, ICPs are where relief operations are coordinated. Mr. Cordero said the local governments of Lianga and Barangay Diatagon are in charge of operations and the police and military are there to provide security. — PHILSTAR
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