NorthCot evacuees not ready to return home

M’lang Mayor Lito Pinol visited last Friday the evacuees in Barangay Lipaga, a Moro-dominated village in M’lang, and tried to convince them to return to their homes because he had placed additional security forces in the area where the fighting took place. 

On July 18, armed men, believed to be members of the Pananggulong clan attacked Barangay Dungus at the boundary of Tulunan and M’lang in North Cotabato, shot dead a certain Magundala Mangco and wounded another identified as Bimbo Mangco.

Reports said the attackers were led by a certain Bhutto Alonto, who, according to residents in Barangay Dungus, was a member of the Pananggulong clan. The Pananggulong and Mangco clans had been at odds since 1990s because of land conflict. 

The Pananggulongs accused the Mangco family of occupying their land in Barangay Dungus.

On July 27, Pinol went to Barangay Lipaga, bringing with him dump trucks to bring the evacuees back to their homes.  “But they refused to go with us.   They feel more secure in Barangay Lipaga as of now,” said Pinol in a radio interview.

Pinol ordered the release of some funds allotted as financial assistance to the evacuees and ordered the town’s social welfare officer to manage the distribution of food and other relief items.  (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)