Sultan Kudarat rival Moro factions smoke peace pipe PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 28 November 2013 11:09

Two feuding Moro factions in Lambayong town in Sultan Kudarat forged Tuesday a truce brokered by local officials and the joint ceasefire committee of the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

The leaders of the rival groups, Ustadz Mauya Tungkay and Betol Sanday, who both belong to the MILF’s 106th Base Command, signed the peace covenant that ended their decade-old “rido” in the presence of Lambayong Mayor Florante Agduma.

The word “rido” means clan war in most Moro vernaculars.

The Mindanao Press Bureau of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) said in an email that the signing of the truce, held during the Lambayong municipal peace and order council meeting, was witnessed by representatives of the joint GPH-MILF ceasefire committee.

The OPAPP’s statement also pointed out that the efforts to amicably resolve the rido between Tungkay and Sanday, whose groups first figured in a bloody encounter in 2001, was meant to enhance the enforcement of the GPH-MILF ceasefire accord in Sultan Kudarat province.

The two groups fought for control of strategic patches of lands in Lambayong, an agricultural town in the northeast of Sultan Kudarat.

Army Brig. General Dionisio Sedillo Jr., chair of the GPH ceasefire committee, said while it is the local government units that should lead the peaceful resolution of clan wars involving armed groups and big Moro families, the government and the MILF can help address such security issues according to agreed processes and protocols.

The July 1997 Agreement on General Cessation of Hostilities between the government and the MILF enjoins both sides to mutually cooperate in addressing peace and security constraints besetting flashpoint areas in Mindanao.

Agduma said he is grateful to Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles and the joint GPH-MILF ceasefire committee for helping reconcile the groups of Tungkay and Sanday.

Agduma said the two Moro commanders committed to help each other maintain law and order in areas where they had repeatedly fought fierce gunbattles that had caused massive dislocation of innocent Muslim and Christian families.

Agduma said Tungkay and Sanday also both promised to reposition their forces away from contested farming enclaves to hasten the restoration of normalcy in areas affected by their bloody rido.

Both sides also conceded to the deployment of a joint peacekeeping contingent from the Sultan Kudarat provincial police office and the Army’s 33rd Infantry Battalion to help facilitate their peaceful disengagement to stave off resumption of hostilities.