Maguindanao gov't vows to implement infra projects in Mamasapano

John Unson (Philstar.com) - April 3, 2015 - 1:45am

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines - The Maguindanao provincial government on Thursday assured to help implement the infrastructure projects launched last week in Mamasapano town where presence of Moro bandits had caused socio-economic retrogression in the local communities.

In separate statements, Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu and the league of mayors in the province also both thanked the executive department of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) for embarking on the school building, mosque and footbridge projects in the surroundings of Mamasapano.

The P60 million worth of projects, to include water systems in eight selected schools and new school buildings, will be jointly funded by the ARMM government and the Department of Education.

“We shall do our best to help ensure the completion of these projects according to specific programs of work. We will also help ensure the safety of the workers tasked to implement these projects,” Mangudadatu said in his emailed statement.

The president of the Maguindanao mayor’s league, Mayor Freddie Mangudadatu of Mangudadatu town in south of the province, said the new projects in conflict-stricken barangays in Mamasapano will improve the productivity of poor Moro peasants and, at the same time, help address illiteracy constraints plaguing the local folks.

The impoverished Mamasapano town became popular after the January 25 deadly clash in the area between police Special Action Force commandos and members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

At least 44 SAF operatives, 17 MILF rebels, and five innocent civilians were killed in the encounters in Mamasapano's adjoining Barangays Pidsandawan, Tukanalipao and Inog-og, known hotbeds of Islamic militancy.

ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman and his regional public works secretary, Hadji Emil Sadain, Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad and Armed Forces chief Lt. Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang launched last week the “peace projects” in Mamasapano.

The event was capped off with the symbolic start of the construction of a P10 million worth footbridge over a river near the scene of the violent January 25 SAF-MILF firefights that lasted for 10 hours.

The incident shook the nation to its core and challenged the Mindanao peace process.

Gov. Mangudadatu, chair of the provincial peace and order council, said he was elated with the presence in the launching of the projects of two representatives of the MILF’s central committee, Von Al-Haq and Toks Ebrahim.

“That was enough proof that the government-MILF peace process is still strong and that the `Mamasapano incident' will not destroy the cooperation of both sides in propagating peace in Moro areas,” he said.

Sadain said the projects will be implemented in utmost transparency.

Sadain said the money to be spent for the projects will be open to scrutiny by interested media outfits and any organization observing their implementation.

Sadain and Hataman both said the ARMM government will coordinate the implementation of the projects with Rashid Ladiasan and Brig. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. of the MILF and the government’s ceasefire committees, respectively.

Galvez was also present in last week’s launching of the projects in Mamasapano.

Galvez said he is certain the projects will improve the cordiality between the local Moro communities and the government.

ABAD AND ARMED FORCES ACIRC AUTONOMOUS REGION BARANGAYS PIDSANDAWAN BUDGET SECRETARY FLORENCIO CARLITO GALVEZ JR. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION ESMAEL MANGUDADATU GALVEZ MAMASAPANO PROJECTS
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