In this file photo take January 2017 shows residents displaced by conflict in Maguindanao. (Photo by DSWD)

KORONADAL CITY – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) assured Tuesday emergency relief assistance for families affected anew by the military operation against armed groups in Maguindanao. 

Cezario Joel Espejo, DSWD-12 regional director, said social workers are currently on the ground conducting validation to locate the whereabouts of reported 250 families or 1,990 persons displaced by the firefight that also left four armed men dead in the towns of Datu Hoffer and Ampatuan in Maguindanao.

“We are closely working with local officials to provide relief assistance for these people,” Dir. Espejo said. 

Home to more than 20 million people, Mindanao is the heart of the country’s long-running Muslim insurgency that left thousands of people dead and displaced. (JBM/ DSWD)