CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/21 July) — Armed clashes brought about by a long-standing “rido” (clan feud) in Bayang, Lanao del Sur claimed the lives of ten persons since Friday, with five others suffering injuries, the military said.
Col. Glen Macasero, commanding officer of the 103 Infantry Brigade, said the fighting between the Capal and Macugar families erupted when clan members gunned down a rival family member in Barangay Linao, Bayang town early Friday morning.
View Bayang in a larger map
Macasero said the killing prompted the rival clans to retaliate and soon, intense fighting involving heavy caliber firearms erupted around the villages in Bayang town.
“By this time, the two families had called their relatives to come to their aid. The call went through nearby towns of Malabang and Lumbaca Unayan and every relative who had a firearm came to join the fighting,” Macasero said.
The Army has identified five of the 10 fatalities as Hadji Naim Macabago Capal; Latip Macabago Capal; Abar Tanggor Balt; Al-radji Tanggor; and Salahoden H. Acmad Dimacota.
Only one of the five wounded was identified: Arip Bacolod.
Macasero said the fighting stopped when the Army and police sent teams to separate the warring clans.
Initial reports identified the warring families as the Capal and Macugar families but non-governemental organizations (NGOs) in Lanao del Sur said the fighting has dragged other families to join the fray.
Ustadz Tahir of the Kasalimbago Movement, a Marawi-based reform-oriented NGO said there is still a danger that the situation could erupt in another violent fighting again.
He said army and police forces sent to pacify the warring families in Bayang town could not even enter the villages controlled by the clans.
“We heard the clan members had fortified their positions in the villages and were prepared to repel rival family members planning to attack them,” Tahir said.
Tahir urged the Army and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to increase their patrols in Marawi City, fearing the clan war will spread into the provincial capital.
He said the warring families have relatives living in Marawi City.
“It is very hard to understand our culture but if efforts by the Army and PNP to settle this will fail, the clan war will escalate into Marawi City,” Tahir said, as he expressed fears innocent persons may be harmed.
Earlier reports said at total of 16 persons have been killed but ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman told MindaNews on Sunday noon, “I have yet to get final info.”
Also on Sunday noon, Chief Supt. Noel Delos Reyes, ARMM police chief, told MindaNews in a text message that the Lanao del Sur Provincial Polic Office has “not yet provided the specific number of casualties.”
He said the feedback on the ground from other sources indicated “four to ten persons killed but I still have to get the official tally.”
The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre established in 1998 by the Norwegian Refugee Council, the leading international body monitoring internal displacement worldwide, said “rido” has regularly triggered displacements of residents in the region. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)