Maguindanao clans end 20-year conflict
COTABATO CITY—Warring clans in Maguindanao province ended two decades of armed hostilities involving family members by signing a peace pact in an Army camp in Sultan Kudarat province last week. The settlement of “rido” (clan war) and reconciliation of the Balindong and Montaner clans at the Army’s 603rd infantry brigade headquarters came after years of efforts to convince the clans’ elders to settle their misunderstanding “for the sake of their children.” Col. Jesus Sarsagat, 603rd brigade commander, and Lt. Col. Ruben Aquino, 6th Infantry Battalion commander, initiated the negotiations early this year until the families agreed to forge peace. The animosity involving the clans was triggered by misunderstanding over politics and other personal issues, reports said. More than two dozen supporters and family members from both clans had died in sporadic clashes that spanned 20 years.—EDWIN O. FERNANDEZ
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