Since 2001, nine relatives and two bystanders have been killed and 13 others injured during the “rido” (clan feud) between the Macapeges and Imam families.
“The Imam-Macapeges resolution ends one of the region’s most infamous disputes that wrought devastating emotional losses, destruction to property, and – because security resources were sometimes focused on protecting the two political figures – often disrupted day-to-day municipal governance,” The Asia Foundation (TAF) said in a press statement.
TAF supported an extensive study in 2004 and 2005 on “Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao” and a book on the research was published late last year.
TAF Philippines’ Country Representative Steven Rood said the rido in Matanog “slowed down the recovery of the municipality of Matanog” from the destruction caused in the 2000 ‘all-out’ war waged by the Estrada Administration against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Some villages in Matanog were part of Camp Abubakar, the MILF’s main camp then.
“Now, through the efforts of the community and the reconcilation of the two families, the development of Matanog can be reinvigorated,” Rood said.
Studies showed at least 5,500 persons have been killed in the last three decades due to rido.
The Macapeges-Imam settlement “comes after a series of strategic interventions designed by The Asia Foundation, with funding support from the United States Agency for International Development and conducted by mediators from Community Organizers Multiversity and supported by the ARMM Regional Reconciliation and Unification Commission,” the press statement read.
Since 2007, TAF has supported capacity building for local peace mediators, and its local partners have helped to resolve 42 rido cases, such as the Imam-Macapeges feud.
Wilfredo Torres TAF program officer, said resolving rido “is always a collective effort as every member of a community can have important roles to play in preventing, managing, and settling conflicts.”
Torres said the “beauty of rido settlements, culminating in reconciliation ceremonies, is that they are witnessed and celebrated by the community.”
“Such events not only affirm the capacities of local people to better their situation, but also renew communities and inspire hope in others that reconciliation is possible even with seemingly intractable conflicts,” he said. (MindaNews)