Dozens displaced, 27 houses burned in rido in North Cotabato

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/21 November) — A rido involving members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front erupted near the boundary of Aleosan and Midsayap towns in North Cotabato resulting in the displacement of at least 211 families and the burning of 27 houses.

No casualties have been reported on both sides.

Aleosan Vice Mayor Eduardo Cabaya told Mindanews that the feuding families have a long-standing conflict.

In a report emailed to MindaNews by the town’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DRRMO), sporadic clashes between the feuding families started on November 15 and lasted for four days.

This has resulted to the displacement of villagers and torching of the houses in Sitio Resingan in Barangay Dunguan. However, the report was not clear on who committed the arson.

The DRRMO report added that the harassment of paramilitary outposts by suspected BIFF rebels in Dungguan also forced the villagers to flee.

The evacuees came from the sitios of Dungguan and sitios of Bintad, which is already part of Midsayap as well as from Barangay Langayen in neighboring Pikit town.

Of the total number of displaced families, half are from Langayen and they are now staying at the evacuation center in Barangay Tapodoc, also in Aleosan. Those from Dungguan and Bintad have taken shelter in different evacuation centers near Dungguan proper.

Sporadic gunfire could still be heard until Thursday afternoon, said DRRMO staffer Lito Gellado.

Cabaya said the local government has intervened many times to resolve the conflict, but both sides have refused to peacefully settle their dispute.

“Their rido in Dungguan has been ongoing for decades already,” he said over the phone. (Keith Bacongco/Mindanews)