Maguindanao gov settles 2 more decades-old ‘rido’ PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 05 July 2014 11:35

It took both ethnic Maguindanaon clans a long time to decide on whether to reconcile or not, but agreed to end their “rido” (clan war) just the same.

Leaders of the Utto and Kabugatan families, formerly so hostile to each other, had told reporters they were convinced that the peace and normalization efforts of Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu, meant to hasten the growth of Maguindanao into a bustling agricultural hub, are indeed worth supporting.

Mino Utap Kabugatan, a battle-maimed member of the clan that fought the Utto family for decades, said it was for the governor’s peace and development initiatives that,  along with their enemies, made them  agree to “smoke the proverbial peace pipe” and live again as blood relatives — in peace and harmony.

Kabugatan lost an arm and his fingers on the other in one of the armed encounters between them and gunmen in the Utto family.

Leaders of the Kabugatan and Utto clans on Tuesday swore over the Quran to end their decades-old “rido” that caused the deaths of dozens from both sides in fierce gunfights.

Elders of the Utto family said what motivated them to agree to the diplomatic intercession by Mangudadatu, for them to have their feud with the Kabugatans settled, was the fact that he was not a party to the rido, and never even took sides while they figured in hostilities, despite his being at the helm of the provincial government.

The symbolic settlement of the Utto-Kabugatan rido,  held at Buluan town in Maguindanao last Tuesday, was preceded by last month’s reconciliation of five rival ethnic Iranon families from the first district of the province, through the efforts of the inter-agency provincial peace and order council (PPOC), which is chaired by Mangudadatu, as presiding officer.

Mangudadatu said the local government units of Rajah Buayan and Sultan sa Barongis also helped him convince the two families to agree to an amicable settlement of their rido.

Elders of both families, who repeatedly figured in bloody gunfights sparked by political differences and squabbles for control of strategic patches of lands in the two adjoining municipalities for many years, signed a peace covenant before a Quran, in the presence of Mangudadatu, Rajah Buayan Vice-Mayor Jonathan Lumenda, and Mayor Ramsondatu Angas of Sultan sa Barongis.

The covenant, drafted by Mangudadatu and senior members of the PPOC, underscored the commitment of leaders and members of the Utto and Kabugatan families to live in peace again and cooperate in restoring their relationship as blood relatives and as neighbors in the villages that were devastated by past hostilities between them.

Mangudadatu said they stepped up their efforts to persuade both camps to reconcile last week.

Mangudadatu said he is confident the PPOC can settle more clan wars involving big families in the province before the Ramadan’s end with the sighting of the new moon possibly on the third week of July.