COTABATO CITY – Military and local officials in a Maguindanao upland town have settled long-standing family feuds that had claimed lives and destroyed properties.
Mayor Abolais Manalao of Buldon, Maguindanao and Marine Brig. Gen. Jonas Lumawag, commander of 1st Marine Brigade, on Monday led the forging of peace covenants between families locked in clan wars that dated some 10 to 20 years back.
In a statement on Tuesday, Manalao said a peaceful atmosphere now prevails in the town.
Also present during the “rido” settlement ceremony were representatives from the Maguindanao provincial government.
“I am glad you heeded our call for peace, your local government is very eager to extend help in whatever way possible to prevent armed conflict and maintain peace in our communities,” Manalao told the warring families who settled their differences during ceremonies at the Barangay Dinganen Central Pilot School covered court.
Clan leaders and representatives sit side by side with their former archenemies as they chose the peaceful and diplomatic means to settle differences through efforts of the 1st Marine Brigade.
The settlements were reached among the Gapor and Kairudin families, Abolais Sinangan and Pukaw clans, Acmad Mokakib and Ebrahim Gulam families and relatives, Mariano Ariman and Gumubar Seraman families, Kasawalan and Alegonero families, and the members of the Samion and Kamsari Tago clans.
“Mostly, their misunderstanding was due to land conflict or land ownership in Buldon,” Manalao said.
“Rido can be seen as a disaster to our town, it prevents us from moving forward and become a developed community,” the mayor noted.
Lumawag, for his part, lauded the former warring clans for choosing the path to peace and for laying down their unlicensed firearms. “By doing so, lives are spared and saved,” he said.
The Marine officer appealed for the surrender of more unlicensed guns that are still in the hands of civilians in Buldon and the adjacent towns of Barira and Matanog. (PNA)