‘Rido’ forced villagers in Lake Sebu to flee homes

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 23 Apr) – Some 50 families from three remote communities in Lake Sebu town in South Cotabato have evacuated due to a conflict involving warring clans in the neighboring municipality of Palimbang in Sultan Kudarat.

Milagros Lorca, head of the South Cotabato-Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), said Tuesday the evacuees were from sitios Kisayan, Kumilat and Molmol of Barangay Ned, Lake Sebu, which are located at the province’s boundary with Sultan Kudarat province.

She said the evacuation started last Saturday as tensions rose due to a “rido” or clan war in Barangay Molon, Palimbang.

“They feared that the conflict might escalate and spread to their area,” Lorca said.

Citing a report from the Lake Sebu Municipal DRRM Office, she said a total of 205 families in the three sitios were affected by the situation but only 50 families or around 260 individuals have so far evacuated.

She said the evacuees are currently taking temporary shelter at the barangay gymnasium in Ned proper.

The Lake Sebu MDRRMO is currently conducting Rapid Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis regarding the situation, she said.

But Lorca said the barangay council of Ned has provided initial relief assistance to the affected residents.

The official said they have coordinated the matter with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Region 12 as the local government could not release relief assistance due to the election ban.

“Our hands are tied right now but the DSWD is authorized to render assistance in times like this,” she said.

Lorca said a team from the PDRRMO will visit Barangay Ned on Wednesday, April 24, to determine the other needs of the affected families. (MindaNews)