700 bikers challenge Maguindanao roads; Safe hanggang finish line

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As part of efforts to show it is safe in Maguindanao, the provincial government attracted more than 700 bikers to take part in its mountain bike challenge last weekend.

The competition, held last Sunday in Buluan town, kicked off the events marking the province’s 44th founding anniversary.

“The military and the police have a strong partner in maintaining law and order in our province, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, so how can we not be safe here? There are isolated conflicts once in a while but in very far-flung areas,” Governor Esmael Mangudadatu said.

He said the mountain bike challenge should dispel claims that Maguindanao is unsafe for people, especially those from outside the province.

Lynette Estandarte, chief budget officer in Mangudadatu’s office, said some of the participants were from Metro Manila and other regions in Mindanao.

Of the participants, the youngest was Kian Leosana, 6, of Lutayan town in Sultan Kudarat. The oldest was Armand Guintua, 73, from Kidapawan City.