Manila Girds for Water Riots

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MANILA, Philippines -- While claiming that the worst of the capital's water shortage ever is over, the Office of the President is deploying soldiers and civilian personnel to restore order and avert any riot in at least 177 barangays (villages) in metropolitan Manila that are now grappling with a water shortage, officials said last week.

At least four battalions or roughly 2,000 soldiers from the National Capital Region Command are expected to be deployed as soon as the Department of Public Works and Highways gave the go-signal, the Armed Forces of the Philippines said.

In Camp Aguinaldo, Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta, the AFP spokesperson, said the main task of the military during the rationing of water was to ensure that it was done in a peaceful and orderly manner and oversee the security of residents, some already angry and desperate.