By Ali G. Macabalang
COTABATO CITY – Collective local pacification efforts have continued to gain momentum in the Bangsamoro region, with officials in Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur succeeding lately in settling two rido cases or clannish feuds.
With reported blessing from the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) officialdom, cooler heads effectively reconciled the erstwhile rival camps of Pagalungan, Maguindanao Mayor Salik Mamasabulod and Member of Parliament (MP) Hadji Akmad Jack Abas on Saturday, August 14.
The kanduli (thanksgiving) ceremony was held at the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s (MILF’s) Camp Rajiamuda in Pikit, North Cotabato, according to DXMY-RMN radio reporter Rahib Bansao.
Bansao posted a photo showing MP Abas and Mayor Mamasabulod seated together and cordially trading whispers to the elation of hundreds of people witnessing the event.
The groups of Mayor Mamasabulod and MP Abas, himself a field leader of the MILF in Pikit, had reportedly been at odds for years over intense differences believed to have political undertones. Followers from both camps had traded bullets and rounds of rocket-propelled grenades, leaving some casualties early this year.
The settlement ceremony had the blessing of the MILF-led BARMM administration, Bansao said, citing the presence in the event of Ustadz Lucman Sultan as representative of the MILF Central Committee.
Pagalungan and Pikit are hometowns to the late Governor Datu Udtog Matalam of then Empire Cotabato province, and of the late Senate Pro-Tempore Salipada K. Pendatun and the deceased MILF founding Chairman Salamat Hashim, it was learned.
In Lanao del Sur, local officials led by Picong town Mayor Alinader “Saudagar” Balindong settled a long-standing rido between his constituents families of Yasser Pagayawan of Barangay Maganding and ni Benjamin Imam Montañer of Baranay Micolabo on Tuesday, August 17.
Mayor Balindong administered the forging of covenant over the Holy Qur’an on the leaders of the two clans in a solemn ceremony at a covered court in nearby Malabang town.
The origin of the just-settled feud was not known, but sources reaching the Philippine Muslim Today news traced it for conflict over geopolitical differences.
The BARMM governance is pursuing pacification and conciliatory campaigns of Lanao del Sur Gov. Bombit Alonto-Adiong, who has already amicably settled over 180 family feuds in nine years and of then Maguindanao Governor, now Rep. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu, who had reconciled some 100 clannish conflicts in about eight years.
Earlier police and military reports said rido cases are among factors affecting peace and order situation in BARMM. (AGM)