AFP denies state of calamity in Basilan due to "infestation and rice shortage"
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) denies a report the declaration of state of calamity in the province of Basilan is due to a military operation.
Col. Edgard Arevalo, AFP spokesman, said according to local government the declaration of state of calamity is due to infestation and rice shortage.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has contacted Basilan Governor Jim Hataman-Salliman and he said the declaration was due to the 'cocolisap' infestation and the ensuing rice shortage, he said.
He denies though that it is due to the military operations that followed post the Lamitan City blast (last week), he added.
Arevalo give his statement after an online media agency reported that the provincial board of Basilan declared a state of calamity in the province Monday, August 6, upon the recommendation of the peace and order council, after the Armed Forces of the Philippines launched massive operations in the municipality of Mohammad Ajul.
He also demanded an online media agency to "rectify their misleading news report and validate their story with Basilan Governor Jim Hataman-Salliman."
However, the provincial government of Basilan also mentioned on its Facebook post that the operation in Mohammad Ajul municipality is one of the recommended reasons for the declaration.
The Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) recommended for a declaration of state of calamity in Basilan and was endorsed to Sangguniang Panlalawigan for further discussion and approval, it stated.
Other issues to include in the declaration moreover are the ongoing manhunt operations in Mohammad Ajul local government unit; continuing Cocolisap infestation and rice shortage that are being experienced in the province, it added. Robina Asido/DMS