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Army prohibits civilians from using Maguindanao river

COTABATO CITY – The Philippine Army has prohibited residents in 3 municipalities in the southern Maguindanao province to cross or use the river to go to nearby towns.

It said the restriction was imposed because of on-going military operations against terrorists in the province. It took effect of August 28.

 “In connection with the on-going and sustained military operations in Datu Salibu, Shariff Saidona Mustapha and Datu Piang municipalities please advise everyone that water transportation in the vicinity and adjoining municipalities will be restricted.”

“All civilians are therefore advised to refrain if not avoid the use of water/river as mode of transportation. This action is being implemented for the safety of civilians. We will continue our efforts in fighting the insurgents in order to disrupt the group that threatens the security operations,” Capt. Arvin Encinas, the army spokesman, said without further elaborating.

Residents frequently use the river to cross to nearby villages and towns and to transport commodities and farm produce. The governor of Maguindanao, Esmael Mangudadatu, did not release any statement on the army restriction for the transportation use of the river.

It was unknown if Mangudadatu or municipal mayors and officials were consulted on this matter. (Mindanao Examiner)

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