By Edwin Fernandez and Noel Punzalan
RAJAH BUAYAN, Maguindanao — After decades-long dispute, two feuding Moro families ended Monday their bloody “rido” (clan war) that exacted fatalities from both sides.
The local government of Rajah Buayan, headed by Mayor Yacob Ampatuan, and Lt. Col. Elmer Boongaling, commander of the Army’s 33rd Infantry Battalion (33IB), facilitated the gathering and settling of family feud through peace negotiations here.
Involved in the clan war are the families of Gani Guiaman and Ali Giamelon that had been engaged in a land dispute for two decades.
“Surprisingly, the warring families are related by blood and by affinity,” Ampatuan said.
Ampatuan and Boongaling facilitated the signing of peace covenant between elders of the Guiaman and Guiamelon families at the town’s Municipal Council session hall Monday.
In the agreement, both sides acceded to the proposal from the Army and the local government that they should refrain from engaging in armed confrontations.
Should there be a misunderstanding, the LGU and Army would be called to mediate.
Ampatuan said the Guiamelons are identified with the 106th Base Command of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) under Zacaria Guma, while the Guiamans have relatives with the MILF’s 118th base command led by Commander Wahid Tundok.
“I would like to commend the role of the MILF and government peace panels for helping us bring the warring families to the negotiating table and the eventual signing of peace covenant,” Ampatuan said.
Both families also assured the mayor and the 33IB that they would help prevent the spread of violent extremism espoused by Dawlah Islamiyah and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in their localities. (PNA)