Clan war displaces civilians in NoCot-Maguindanao border

By Noel Punzalan and Edwin Fernandez

December 1, 2018, 1:43 pm

PIKIT, North Cotabato -- Police said a farmer was killed while six others were injured in a series of clashes involving Moro families at the border of North Cotabato and Maguindanao here on Thursday and Friday.

The violence also sent hundreds of families fleeing to safety, according to Chief Insp. Theng Bacal, Pikit police chief.

Pikit Mayor Sumulong Sultan said the municipal disaster risk reduction and management council office quickly attended to the needs of the displaced families.

“The affected areas are Barangay Kabasalan in Pikit, North Cotabato and Barangay Darampua in Sultan sa Barongis, Maguindanao, where some 300 families evacuated to safer grounds due to the fighting,” Sultan said.

The families locked in the conflict are from the Kusain-Saligan and the Hadji-Nasser. Both have relatives with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, police said.

Both clans have for months been sporadically trading shots in Kabasalan, Pikit and Darampua, Sultan sa Barongis due to a land dispute.

Tahira Kalantongan, Pikit's MDRRMC officer, said the MILF has already sent emissaries to the warring clans "for them to stop firing guns and allow civilians to return home."

Kalantongan said town officials are facilitating the return of the displaced families as of posting time.

Family feud is one of the major concerns of the MILF that needs immediate attention once it assumes leadership of the expanded Bangsamoro political entity in Muslim Mindanao.

Through the Bangsamoro Organic Law, the MILF will soon take over the helm of the proposed Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao that will replace the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. (PNA)