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Maguindanao Sur clan war rocks poor barangay again

Mindanao Armed Conflict • 22:15 PM Sun Mar 26, 2023
John M. Unson

KIDAPAWAN CITY - Two rival Moro groups squabbling for control of a barangay in Pagalungan, Maguindanao del Sur clashed again Sunday, sending villagers running for their lives.

Three were reported killed while another was wounded in the latest encounter between the clan of Datu Kente Matalam, incumbent chairman of Kilangan in Pagalungan, and their enemies led by Nayang Teman.

Both groups are identified with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Residents of Pagalungan town have been urging the MILF leadership and the Bangsamoro regional government to pacify Matalam and Teman, whose squabbles since last month for control of Barangay Kilangan already exacted fatalities on both sides.

Talks have since been spreading around purporting that Teman is to pit his son against Matalam in the forthcoming 2023 barangay elections.

Traditional Moro leaders in Maguindanao del Sur’s adjoining Pagalungan ang Montawal towns, among them Muslim clerics, told reporters evacuees have reported that three of Teman’s followers were killed in Sunday morning’s gunfights in Barangay Kilangan that left a henchman of Matalam wounded.

“Communicating with both sides is so difficult because Barangay Kilangan is far from the reach of telecommunications signal,” a senior member of a municipal peace and order council in Montawal town said.

Moro clans locked in “rido,” meaning clan war in the Maguindanaon vernacular, are known for hiding from authorities their fatalities from each encounter.

Major Gen. Alex Rillera, commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said Saturday officials of the 602nd Infantry Brigade based in Carmen town in Cotabato, are still investigating on the incident. 

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