MALABANG, Lanao del Sur—The recent Marawi siege has brought to the authorities’ attention that the proliferation of loose firearms definitely contributed to the intensity of the battles in that city.
Through the initiative of the 6th Infantry (Redskin) Battalion, 6th Infantry (Kampilan) Division, Philippine Army at Barangay Matling here and the Ranao-Ragat Inter-Agency Task Force, seven more firearms were surrendered by residents, adding to the 147 high-powered firearms already secured from warring local clans.
The economic growth and other developmental activities in the five coastal towns of Malabang, Marugong, Kapatagan, Picong and Balabagan, have always been hampered by hostilities due to family feuds or “rido,” the Army said.
The latest rido in the area is among the Dimatingkal, Manalocon and Cadayon families of Barangay Tiongcop, Malabang versus the Oting, Bacaraman and Pandato families of Barangay Diragun, Marogong, all of Lanao Del Sur.
Last Dec. 30, a firefight happened at the mountainous area of Maranao Planters Inc. at Brgy Diragun that led to one death on each opposing family.
The motive of the clash, the Army said, was of retaliation of the families of a certain Opaw Musa of Barangay Tiongcop, who was killed in Barangay Diragun Nov. 9.
Musa was allegedly killed by a certain alias “Baby Orak” Mamintal of Barangay Diragun, the Army said. The conflict between the clans has been on and off for the last 25 years, it added.
Major Gen. Arnel Dela Vega, Commander of the 6th ID, and local government officials believe the effects of rido on peace and security, governance and economic development were overly emphasized.
Dela Vega and the mayors said that peace and development can only be achieved if the culture of violence will be eradicated in the area through unity, understanding, humility, and constant communication.
For instance, Mayor Haron T. Maruhom of Marugong, Lanao Del Sur said that when he assumed his post, he had already settled 10 rido clashes.
When dela Vega was the 603rd Infantry Brigade Commander, he also facilitated 27 rido settlements in the area within 18 months.
He said it was a welcome development that the warring Dimatingkal and Oting parties have agreed to iron out their differences and settle their rido for good. Mark Navales
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