THE NEW BAILEY bridge rises beside the old wooden footbridge in Mamasapano, Maguindanao province. NASRUDIN KAMENSA/CONTRIBUTOR
COTABATO CITY—The wooden footbridge in Barangay Tukanalipao in Mamasapano, Maguindanao province, which stood as silent witness to the Jan. 25 clash that left more than 60 people, 44 of them Special Action Force (SAF) commandos, dead, would be kept as a reminder of the debacle despite the construction of a new bridge in the village, according to Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) officials.
ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman said officials have agreed to preserve the old footbridge, which connects the two banks of the Dansalan River, for its historical significance.
He said the new steel bridge is being built beside the old footbridge.
“It is designed for tricycles, as well as farm carts and equipment transporting people and goods,” Hataman said of the new bridge.
ARMM Public Works Secretary Tun Mustapha Loong said he hoped the new bridge would be opened next month to local traffic.
The bailey bridge being built in Tukanalipao is part of the P77-million worth of infrastructure projects the ARMM government is pouring into Mamasapano.
James Mlok, head engineer of Maguindanao’s second district engineering office, said aside from the 120-meter steel bridge, an 880-meter access road worth P17.5 million; nine school buildings worth P44 million; water sanitation structures; a farm-to-market road; and a mosque, are also being built in the village.