State agencies asked to intervene in MNLF-MILF land feud
John Unson (The Philippine Star) - July 14, 2014 - 11:34am

NORTH COTABATO, Philippines - The military on Monday called for an intervention by government agencies in determining the real ownership of lands in Matalam town that are being contested by two heavily armed Moro factions.

Captain Tony Bulao, spokesman of the Army’s 602nd Brigade, said last week’s series of encounters in Barangay Manubuan, Matalam between forces of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) were related to their squabbles for control of strategic patches of arable lands in the area.

Bulao said the 602nd Brigade can only secure the surroundings of Barangay Manubuan, to prevent the hostilities from spreading to other barangays, in keeping with security protocols set by the government and the MILF.

The MNLF had signed a final peace pact with government on Sept. 2, 1996. Agricultural enclaves in Barangay Manubuan, where there are former MNLF combatants, have long been declared as "peace zones" by the national government.

Bulao said the provincial peace and order council, chaired by North Cotabato Governor Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza, has been trying to address the land conflict with the help of Moro political leaders in the province.

Bulao said the commander of the 602nd Brigade, Col. Alan Arrojado, wants the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Agrarian Reform to help resolve the land disputes in Barangay Manubuan.

Bulao said an Army peacekeeping contingent has been deployed to the conflict-stricken barangay to prevent the feuding groups from getting close to each other.

ALAN ARROJADO BARANGAY MANUBUAN BULAO CAPTAIN TONY BULAO DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES AND THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM MATALAM MENDOZA MORO ISLAMIC LIBERATION FRONT MORO NATIONAL LIBERATION FRONT NORTH COTABATO GOVERNOR EMMYLOU TALI
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