2 more clan wars among Muslim Iranun families settled in Maguindanao
COTABATO CITY, Philippines – Two more clan feuds involving five Muslim Iranun families were settled peacefully in solemn rites here over the weekend, ending armed disputes that reportedly left scores of casualties in years.
Leaders and members of the Sarosong and Mohmin clans–locked in a 17-year old clan war that had claimed the lives of 27 on both sides – traded handshakes and hugs in between sobs after swearing over the Holy Koran and signing peace covenants before mediating officials led by Maguindanao Gov. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu.
The bloody clan war called “rido” in local vernacular, between the Sarosong and Mohmin families, related to one another other by blood in the Muslim Iranun ancestry, was one of five family feuds settled in one setting under the Maguindanao Reconciliation and Unification Council (MRUC) led by the governor.
The reconciliation between the two families also came with the settlement of their dispute against a third group, the Marandang clan, a common enemy of the Sarosongs and Mohmins. Leaders of the third party also signed the peace pact.
At the same settlement ceremony, the warring Taug and Bantilan families, also of the Iranun tribe, also sealed in a separate peace pact their 11-year-old dispute that left 10 people dead and displaced dozens of families in an evacuation cycle, said Maguindanao Rep. Dhong Mangudadatu, who signed as witness in all peace covenants.
The separate disputes among the five families reportedly stemmed from rivalries and squabbles for control of parcels of land that resulted in attacks that challenged each other’s “maratabat” or family honor and reputation.
Governor Mangudadatu and the reconciled families described the ceremonies as a “good sign” for better observance of the Islamic fasting on Ramadhan, which will start June 29.
Leaders of the five families told reporters and witnesses to the reconciliation rite, held at a private resort in Koronadal City, that they agreed to mend their differences through the joint intercession of the governor and emissaries of Brig. Gen. Edmund Pangilinan, the new commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division.
The 6th ID has jurisdiction over Maguindanao, including its six predominantly ethnic Iranun municipalities in the first district of the province, which accounts for the most number of existing clan wars involving local Moro families, some of them identified with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Maguid Sarosong, a signatory to their peace accord with the Mohmins, said their decision to reconcile via the traditional way was intended to support the efforts of the government to foster peace and order in areas covered by the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro between the Philippine government and the MILF.
“We heeded the desire of the governor, with the help of the police and the military, for reconciliation in view of his manifest efforts in rebuilding Maguindanao from feudalism,” Usman Marandang said in the vernacular.
The reconciliation of the five Iranun families brought to 30 the number of clan wars that were settled in Maguindanao since 2010, according to Chief Supt. Noel Delos Reyes, police director for Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
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