COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 29 June) — The biggest “rido” or clan war in Maguindanao, which pitted against each other commanders of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), has been settled after dragging on for years and causing untold miseries to civilians.
“Impossible yet we made it possible,” said Abdulraof Macacua, executive secretary of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
Macacua, known by the pseudonym “Sammy Gambar,” is also the chief of staff of Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF), the MILF’s armed wing.
Macacua facilitated the reconciliation of warring Muslim clans, who swore before the Holy Quran to religiously abide with the localized peace agreement that ended four years of animosity and bloodshed.
According to him, the settlement between the warring Moro families in Datu Saudi Ampatuan town “eliminates half of the rido problem in Maguindanao.”
On Saturday, June 27, Datu Saudi Ampatuan Mayor Resty Sindatok, along with his relatives headed by Commander Hawn of the MILF 105th Base Command, and the clan of Commander Wahid Tundok of the MILF 118th Base Command, signed a peace agreement at the office of Macacua at the BARMM complex in Cotabato City.
Tundok is a close relative and ally of the past administration led by the Dimaukom family in Datu Saudi Ampatuan town.
The reconciliation was brokered and witnessed by Sultan Kudarat Governor Suharto Mangudadatu, who represented his wife Maguindanao Governor Bai Mariam Sangki-Mangudadatu, and representatives from the MILF’s Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) and the Ad Hoc Joint Action Group and the Maguindanao Peace Monitoring and Investigation Team.
Religious and traditional leaders were also instrumental in ending the conflict that was settled without blood money.
“We are thankful that our efforts with BARMM Chief Minister Kagi Murad (Ahod Ebrahim) have worked. This (settlement) will give better direction for the Bangsamoro government to focus on development,” Governor Mangudadatu said.
Mangudadatu said the truce “was reached because by blood, the warring factions are also related.”
Macacua reminded the parties to adhere to the peace agreement, stressing those who will violate it will be considered “enemies of the BARMM, the MILF and Maguindanao province.”
“Whoever violates the agreement will be penalized accordingly…if the violators are MILF members, they will be delisted outright from the ranks and will be charged,” Macacua said.
Mayor Sindatuk lauded the efforts of the MILF leadership to facilitate the reconciliation.
“From the bottom of my heart, I thank the MILF leadership and the governors of Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat because this conflict is finally settled,” Sindatuk said in the vernacular.
Butch Malang, chair of the MILF-CCCH, said the rido settlement “was unprecedented since previous efforts to reconcile the warring families have failed.”
Malang said they have been also working to settle other clan wars involving MILF members in Pikit, North Cotabato and other communities.