Friday, August 21, 2015

Rival clans in Basilan end years of conflict

From the Philippine Star (Aug 21): Rival clans in Basilan end years of conflict

Leaders of two rival clans in Maluso town in Basilan sign a peace covenant before Superintendent Oscar Nantes of the provincial police. Unson

Two more groups in Basilan on Thursday signed a truce ending a conflict that for years mired the economic growth of villages whose control they had violently squabbled for.

Superintendent Oscar Nantes, director of the Basilan provincial police office, said leaders of the Idan and the combined Arabani and Baite families of Maluso municipality also swore over the Qur’an to start rebuilding cordiality among them as part of a “healing process” meant to reunite them anew.

The rival clans agreed to reconcile through the intercession of the provincial police, the local government unit of Maluso and the office of Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Nantes said it took negotiators about a month to resolve the clan war amicably.

Hataman and local officials in Basilan’s Sumisip and Lantawans towns had earlier settled seven clan wars involving big families in the two areas.

Nantes said they aim to address more clan wars in the coming months to deescalate political rivalries among protagonists during next year’s local elections.

Hataman said he is thankful to local commanders of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) for helping address domestic security problems arising from conflicts among big Yakan and Tausog families in Basilan.

The ARMM governor is the presiding chair of the inter-agency regional peace and order council.

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