Quote for the Week..

"Why are the country’s political leaders quick to act on amending the Constitution to change nationalistic provisions for the benefit of foreigners or to extend their terms of office but are allergic to amending the Constitution to address the people’s aspirations for self-determination?" - Marvic Leonen,Dean of the UP College of Law, in a keynote address delivered at the 1st International Solidarity Conference on Mindanao; March 16-18, 2009 in Davao City, Philippines.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Floods start to recede from Cotabato City streets

COTABATO CITY -- Floodwater has almost subsided with only one main street and few interior streets here still with a few inches of water as of Sunday.

This developed as the Moro Islamic Liberation Front vowed to send some of their fighters to help remove the water lilies that have been clogging the rivers and causing the floods. The rebel group assured the military they would not attack or provoke any encounter.

Datu Tocao Mastura, former mayor of Sultan Kudarat town in the opposite riverbank of nearby Shariff Kabunsuan province, said the Rio Grande de Mindanao River's normal current has been restored, with portions of clogging grassed mass of soil having been removed.

According to Mutin Sulaiman, 60, a diver from Datu Piang, Maguindanao, the water current now has wider space for downstream flow.

But residents are bracing for more tons of sedimentary clog drifting from upstream Datu Piang, Maguindanao which earlier damaged a mainstream bridge and destroyed two tributary bridges nearby.

The embankments of the Presidential Bridges I and II in Barangay (Village) Ulandang Midsayap, North Cotabato eroded early Saturday due to the drifting huge mass of soil-rooted wild grass and water lilies, resident Jordan Tayuan said.

Seven villages in Midsayap were affected as floodwaters submerged the Makar Road, an old highway constructed under the American regime to quell Moro resistance, he said.

Residents said the affected villages were Ulandang, Kudaranggan, Makasedeg, Kadigasan Damatulan I and III, which were either totally or partly under water. Also affected were at least 15 other villages in Datu Piang, Mamasapano, Rajah Buayan, Sultan Sa Barongis and Datu Saudi Uy Ampatuan, all in Maguindanao.

Abdulatip Abdulgani, village chair of Ulandang, said the erosion left the old Makar Road linking neighboring towns impassable, which severely affected trading activities.

Mastura said it was possible that the seven-hectare sediment mass was kept afloat by the water current's pressure underneath.

Resident Tong Alimudin said the city's water level on streets and interior villages went down by over half a foot.

Earlier, Mastura's older brother, Michael, an acknowledged Moro scholar, said Sulaiman's indigenous method of cutting the clog by its seemingly fault line cracks would allow more water pressure underneath to resurface and eventually break the larger portion into smaller parts.

Meanwhile, as a confidence-building measure, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front said it was sending about a hundred fighters to augment "human bodies" in removing thick water lilies along the river.

"We will be there not to fight government soldiers but to work side by side with them in clearing water lilies off the river," Eid Kabalu, MILF civil-military affairs chief, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer by phone.

For two weeks now, soldiers have been working with volunteers in clearing the silted river of water hyacinth.

"Our troops will be armed with bamboo poles, shovels and rakes," Kabalu said.

The MILF fighters would help in clearing the river near Cotabato City and upstream, especially in Datu Piang in Maguindanao where a huge volume of water lilies was on its way to Cotabato City, he said.

Datu Piang bridge has been threatened with thick water lilies and local officials fear it might collapse.

The bridge connects Datu Piang and Midsayap, North Cotabato. Two bridges before the Datu Piang bridge have been destroyed by flashfloods spawned by Typhoon “Frank.”

Col. Julieto Ando, 6th Infantry Division spokesperson, said 150 soldiers have been working every day to clear the river channels with water lilies.

Engr. Najib Dilangalen of the Cotabato engineering district, said the 21-day flooding in Cotabato City and Sultan Kudarat town in Shariff Kabunsuan was caused by the natural re-channeling of Simuay river in Shariff Kabunsuan.

He said when the heavily silted Simuay diverted its course toward the Rio Grande de Mindanao River, it brought tons of fine sand that silted the river near Cotabato City.

Lawyer Teng Ambolodto, also a known environmentalist, warned of more flooding unless the rivers and tributaries in the Liguasan marshland were dredged.

"There should be a sustained dredging and clearing of creeks and canals in the city … maybe we have not done this in the last 10 years so this is the result," Ambolodto said.(Nash Maulana, Edwin Fernandez; INQ.net)

1 comment:

tochi3 said...

ive seen the pix.. kawawa nman ang cotabato, lubog na nga sa kahirapan lalo pang inilubog