200 families flee South Cotabato village due to clan war
KORONADAL CITY, Philippines — More than 200 families or about 1,000 individuals from remote communities along the borders of South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat provinces have fled to safer grounds after Moro people locked in a clan war have figured in armed clashes since Saturday, police and disaster officials said.
The Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) were from the sub-villages of Kumilat, Kisayan, and Molmol, all in Barangay Ned, Lake Sebu town in South Cotabato.
The IDPs are now in Barangay Ned center, according to Major Jardi Mont Sibal, Lake Sebu town police chief.
Sibal said the families feared for their lives after Moro village leaders locked in long-standing family feud (locally called rido) had been trading shots since Saturday (April 20).
“They are all afraid to return, and they are asking for food,” Sibal said in a radio interview here.
Sibal said his office could not take action against the warring families since their place was beyond his jurisdiction.
Sibal said the IDPs, all upland farmers, were living near the village of Molon, Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat, where the village chair and his predecessor were at odds and had been shooting each other.
The South Cotabato Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) action officer Mila Lorca said she had alerted the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) regional office here to assist the evacuees.
Lorca said the provincial disaster office or the local government of Lake Sebu could not extend relief assistance to the displaced families due to the election ban.
Election laws prohibit the distribution of relief assistance and food aid to victims of calamities by local government units during the election campaign period. /ee
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