Two prominent Bangsa Iranun clans have finally ended a decades-long political feud after the Bangsamoro government pushed for dialogues that led to the reconciliation.
Chief Minister Ahod Balwag Ebrahim of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) cited the role of local chief executives, regional agencies and the security sector in supporting reconciliation efforts between the Tomawis clan and the Ibay clan.
BARMM’s Ministry of the Interior and Local Government (MILG) said the dialogues “silently ended” on Wednesday, February 15, 2023, at the Office of the Chief Minister Ebrahim at the Bangsamoro Government Center in Cotabato City.
Key officials and members of both families attended the final meet up, mainly represented by former Mayor Barok Tomawis for the Tomawis clan and by former Mayor Ibrahim Ibay for the Ibay clan.
Ebrahim said both parties have long wanted mutually to be bound by settlement.
“This reconciliation has no conditions. We are very happy that they have now finally decided to come together,” Ebrahim said, emphasizing that the two families were allies prior to their political conflict, particularly in promoting a united front of the Bangsamoro Iranun.
“If there is a dispute, even though we are not directly involved, we will still resolve it because we are all one body,” he added.
For his part, Senior Minister Abdulraof Macacua said that “one of the major advocacies of BARMM is moral governance,” adding that “looking at this particular unity, the general principle given by Allah (SWT) is that all Muslims are brothers and sisters.”
MILG Minister Naguib Sinarimbo said resolving political and security disputes in the Bangsamoro is an essential step toward attaining the goals of peace and development.
The settlement of the political rift in Barira is very much relevant to charting the development course in the area, with the geographic significance of the historic Camp Abubakar.
“This (reconciliation) is a very significant occasion, not just for Maguindanao but also for the Regional Government… Our goal is to promote development, but we find it difficult to do it in places where there is violence,” Sinarimbo said.
The common message shared by Ibay and Tomawis that motivated them to eventually put an end to the conflict between their clans was “sustainable peace and development.”
“We are all public servants. We want to hasten development in BARMM,” Tomawis said.
“We are sincere in coming together. It is our constituents who get caught in the rift, so it is important that we reconcile and work together for us to prosper,” Ibay said.