How the war renamed the bridges in Marawi
The war in Marawi is almost over, or so the military claims. But it's not yet too late to correct the names of the bridges on Agus River that we in Marawi – the military and the media mostly – have apparently renamed.
Let's attribute it to the fog of war because even local officials, understandably faced with more urgent issues, have failed to correct them. Rappler finally got them to issue the proper names and relay it to reporters covering the war in Marawi.
The first bridge that the troops regained from the terrorist groups on July 20 is Baloi Bridge, not Mapandi Bridge as previously reported. President Rodrigo Duterte marked this success in the battle area with his first visit to Marawi.
The second bridge the militiary said it regained on August 31 is Bayabao Bridge, not Banggolo Bridge.
The third and final bridge the military is seeking to control is Masiu Bridge, the one near the mouth of the river where Lake Lanao flows into.
These 3 bridges separate the battle area from the so-called "safe zone," an area declared cleared of the presence of terrorists. It took the military two months to take Baloi Bridge and about another month to take Bayabao Bridge. (READ: Marawi battle zone: Urban warfare challenges PH military)
How did the new names come about? The Baloi Bridge is located near the Mapandi Medical School while the Bayabao Bridge goes right into Banggolo, the commercial district of Marawi where the local terrorists are holed up.
We were about to rename the bridge near the lake as Raya Madaya bridge, too, because it goes right into the lakeside village. But now we know it is the Masiu Bridge.
There's another bridge north of Masiu Bridge on the map. We previously referred to it as the Pumping Bridge because, well, it is located in the Pumping Area. Its proper name is Unayan Bridge, although the area has long been cleared and previously accessible to the media.
All 4 bridges are named after the 4 principalities of Ranao, explained Zia Alonto Adiong, spokesman of the Provincial Crisis Management Committee.
The lesson is not to rely on the military to know the proper names of these bridges because apparently they refer to them simply as first bridge, second bridge, and third bridge when they discuss the operations.
Don't count on them to know the name of villages in the battle area either, although they can tell you how many houses and establishments are inside based on their maps. They divide the battle area in sectors. – Carmela Fonbuena/Rappler.com
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