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Nation

Gov't officials lead bamboo planting in Mamasapano

John Unson - Philstar.com

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines - Government employees on Thursday planted hundreds of bamboo seedlings along a river near the scene of the infamous Jan. 25 Mamasapano incident.

The bamboo planting activity along the banks of the Tukanalipao River in Barangay Tukanalipao in Mamasapano town in Maguindanao involved officials and rank-and-file personnel of different agencies and support offices in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Baintan Adil-Ampatuan, executive director of ARMM’s Regional Planning and Development Office, said the event was meant to reaffirm their government’s commitment to foster peace and development in peasant enclaves in Barangay Tukanalipao in Mamasapano town in Maguindanao.

She said the bamboo planting project was supported by the region’s natural resources department and other agencies under the ministerial control of the region’s chief executive, Gov. Mujiv Hataman.

“We are thankful to all agencies that helped us make the event a very good event,” Ampatuan said.

Tukanalipao community elders, led by barangay chairman Esmael Hashim, also participated in the activity.

Barangay Tukanalipao is one of three areas in Mamasapano where operatives of the police’s elite Special Action Force and members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and a third group, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), figured in 12-hour running firefight, which resulted to the Mamasapano incident.

At least 44 SAF commandos, 17 MILF guerillas and five innocent villagers were killed in the ensuing encounters, which shook the nation to its core.

The office of Hataman and ARMM’s Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) are jointly implementing some P80 million worth of infrastructure projects in the area, including water systems and school buildings.

The projects of the ARMM government in Barangay Tukanalipao and surrounding villages are being implemented bilaterally by engineer James Mlok of Maguindanao’s 2nd District Engineering Office and his immediate superior, Regional Public Works Secretary Don Mustapha Loong.

Among these projects is the newly-completed more durable, safer Bailey bridge connecting both banks of the Tukanalipao River, which has a feeder 900-meter concrete artery that connects to the center of the barangay, where there are stores, a mosque, schools and a public market.

Members of the ARMM police and employees of Hataman’s office also planted dozens of bamboo seedlings along the Tukanalipao River, which straddles through farming settlements in known bastions of the MILF.

Local officials said the activity was a big help to efforts by residents to prevent the banks of the river from getting scoured by rampaging floodwaters that flow downstream during the rainy days.

 

ACIRC

AUTONOMOUS REGION

BAINTAN ADIL-AMPATUAN

BANGSAMORO ISLAMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS

BARANGAY TUKANALIPAO

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS

DISTRICT ENGINEERING OFFICE

ESMAEL HASHIM

MAMASAPANO

TUKANALIPAO

TUKANALIPAO RIVER

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