Refugees forgotten in Mindanao fighting
By Nonoy Espina
It has been almost a year since fighting broke out between government forces and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front after the Supreme Court struck down the Memorandum Agreement on Ancestral Domain. While the story of the continued fighting still makes headlines, the story of the refugees who fled the fighting has been dropped from the frontpages and the line-ups of the major newscasts. Recently, a group of journalists travelled to Mindanao to chronicle the plight of the refugees and to remind the public of the people they have so easily forgotten. Photos and narration by Nonoy Espina.
|About the Province
Maguindao is located in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. It is bordered by Lanao del Sur in the northwest and Sultan Kudarat in the south. As of 2000, it has a projected population of 740,579. In the same year, it had one of the highest population growth rates at 4.16 percent.
From 2000 to 2003, Maguindanao has remained the second poorest province in the Philippines. The poverty incidence has worsened from 59.3 percent in 2000 to 60.4 percent in 2001, the National Statistical Coordination Board reported.
Maguindanao has a human development index of .461, with a rank of 73rd among 79 provinces in 2000.
• 2nd poorest province (2003)
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