Bloody North Cotabato war settled PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 05 March 2013 11:18

Leaders of two armed Moro factions in North Cotabato locked in a bloody land dispute reconciled Monday and signed a peace pact detailing commitment desire to start anew as brothers under one religion.

Capt. Antonio Bulao, speaking for Army’s 602nd Brigade based in North Cotabato’s Carmen town, said Commander Embang, of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front,  and Teng Kilangan, of Pagalungan, Maguindanao, signed the peace covenant in the presence of local officials, and representatives of the police and the military.

Kilangan is an incumbent chairman of an interior barangay in Pagalungan.

The two factions fought for control of patches of arable lands at the border of Carmen and Pagalungan towns for almost two decades.

It took several months for the commanding officer of the 602nd Brigade, Col. Ademar Tomaro, and the joint government-MILF ceasefire committee to convince Embang and Kilangan, whose followers are armed with assault rifles, machineguns and shoulder-fire rockets, to reconcile and sign the covenant meant to restore normalcy in the areas affected by their clan war, called “rido” in the local vernacular.

The two groups last figured in a firefight Thursday, which extracted a fatality each from both sides.

Seven other combatants have been wounded in the ensuing encounter, which waned only when representatives of the police, the 602nd Brigade, and the joint ceasefire committee intervened.

The two groups agreed to let government agencies help resolve the land dispute involving them. — Cara Matalam, Valenn Lambo