Friday Jun, 05 2020 05:17:42 AM

Loose talks spark tension in Guindulungan `rido' sites

Mindanao Armed Conflict • 08:00 AM Fri May 22, 2020
John M. Unson

MAGUINDANAO --- Insinuations by two enemy Moro groups in Guindulungan town that each has improvised explosive devices they can use against each other are causing panic among innocent villagers.

The two groups, one led by Babah Madaya of the Moro National Liberation Front, and the other under a certain Abdul Pagal of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, figured in a series of gunfights in interior areas in Guindulungan last week that displaced hundreds of residents.

The rival groups are locked in bloody squabbles for control of strategic patches of lands in Guindulungan, located in the second district of Maguindanao.

Barangay officials and members of the municipal peace and order council, or MPOC, on Thursday refuted circulating stories purporting that one of the two enemy factions has been fabricating IEDs in Balas area in Guindulungan following last week’s gunfights between them.

A number of houses were razed as both sides figured in skirmishes that sent villagers running for their lives.

Local officials said the rumors about each other’s stockpiling of IEDs spreading around have unduly been causing tension among local residents.

Guindulungan Mayor Datu Midpantao Midtimbang, Jr., chairman of MPOC, said Thursday the conflict had been settled amicably about two years ago but again erupted when one side violated a peace covenant binding both to refrain from initiating acts that can rekindle animosity to each other.

“We are doing our best to settle this clan war with the help of the police and the military,” Midtimbang said.

He said they have asked leaders of the MILF and the MNLF to help address the problem.

“Meantime we are denying that there are bomb makers in our municipality fabricating IEDs as what these plain rumors spreading around say,” Midtimbang said. 

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