ADDRESSING THE PROBLEM. Mayor Allandatu Angas Sr. (in red right) of Sultan sa Barongis, Maguindanao del Sur, meets with police and military officials on Wednesday (Dec. 28, 2022) to find a solution to help end hostilities in Barangay Barurao involving MILF members. Clashes between two MILF groups in the area erupted on Tuesday and killed three Moro combatants. (Photo courtesy of Sultan sa Barongis MIO)

COTABATO CITY – More military forces have been deployed in Maguindanao del Sur’s town of Sultan sa Barongis after an infighting between Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) groups broke out and killed three combatants.

“Normalcy has been restored and the local government is trying its best to resolve the family feud diplomatically,” Maj. Michael Ameril, town police chief, said in an interview Wednesday.

Maj. Gen. Roy Galido, Army’s 6th Infantry Division commander, said the soldiers will serve as peacekeepers and ensure the safety of civilians in Barangay Barurao, Sultan sa Barongis.

The firefight between rival Moro groups started at around 3 a.m. Tuesday and the exchanges of gunfire and mortars lasted for seven hours until Muslim religious leaders and MILF ceasefire panels intervened.

“Efforts are underway to prevent another hostility,” Sultan sa Barongis Mayor Allandatu Angas Sr. said.

Involved in the hostilities are MILF armed groups led by Marhan Sali and Ustadz Daya.

Ameril said the group of Sali, a sub-commander of the MILF 118th base command, first attacked the group of Commander Jaype Emran of 105th base command in Barangay Barurao, apparently to avenge the death of Sali’s relative during the skirmishes on Dec. 14.

“They are all related (by blood); this is now a rido (family feud),” Ameril said.

Angas said the town government has provided initial food packs to families who fled their homes but have returned to their respective communities. (PNA)