Peacekeepers sent to stop 'rido' in S. Kudarat-SoCot border

COTABATO CITY -- The Philippine Marines deployed peacekeepers to Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat while police in South Cotabato also sent a team to prevent the escalation of hostilities involving Moro clans locked in "rido" (family feud) that erupted Friday and left one student dead. 

Elements of the 1st Marine Brigade based in Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat were sent to the mountains of Palimbang to serve as peacekeepers in coordination with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to prevent the warring families from fighting.

A statement from the 1st Marine Brigade said normalcy has slowly returned to the affected village of Molon in Palimbang after local officials intervened.

Policemen from Lake Sebu, South Cotabato were also sent to Barangay Ned, the village at the border with Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat to serve as peacekeepers and to attend to the displaced families, according to Maj. Nathaniel Panaguiton, Lake Sebu town police chief.

Panaguiton identified the slain student who was hit by stray bullets as Richard Tungkay, 19, a resident of Barangay Molon, Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat.

Tungkay was crossing the border to attend classes in Barangay Ned Proper National High School in South Cotabato.

Panaguiton said involved in the armed confrontation were Moro families locked in “rido” due to a territorial dispute.

Involved in the clan war are the families of Mike Binago and Adlam Saliod, who have relatives in the MILF and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), two former rebel groups operating in Palimbang.

The displaced families from Barangay Molon of Palimbang and Sitio Kumilat of Barangay Ned, Lake Sebu are now housed at the village covered court of Barangay Ned proper.

In April, more than 200 families consisting of about 1,000 individuals from remote communities along the borders of South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat provinces have fled to safer grounds after Moro people locked in a clan war have figured in armed clashes, police and disaster officials said.

Local leaders from both local government units and the military are trying to bring the protagonists to the negotiating table for a peaceful settlement of their misunderstanding, Panaguiton said. (PNA)

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