Officials settle another clan war in Maguindanao
John Unson (The Philippine Star) - January 13, 2015 - 5:46pm

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines - Representatives of two feuding Moro groups on Monday signed a covenant resolving amicably a bloody clan war that has claimed the lives of dozens from both sides.

The reconciliation of the Abdul and Abao clans, whose members are residing in Maguindanao’s adjoining Buluan, Datu Paglas, Gen. S.K. Pendatun, Pandag, Mangudadatu, Paglat and Sultan sa Barongis towns, was brokered by local officials led by Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu.

Mangudadatu is chair of the Maguindanao Task Force on Reconciliation and Unification.

The clan war involving the Abao and Abdul clans, led by Moro guerilla commanders Mundas Abao and Manubakan Abdul, respectively, was the 48th family feud the task force had settled in the past three years.

The two commanders both belong to the 108th Base Command of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Mangudadatu and a representative from the MILF, foreign-trained Sharia expert Ustadz Kalifah Nando, signed as witnesses to the peace accord between the two families, whose leaders agreed to reconcile through the joint intercession of the provincial government, the MILF, and the Army’s 33rd Infantry Battalion.

Nando, who is an Islamic theologian, belong to the MILF’s Sharia Tribunal, which is now actively helping local government units address domestic peace and security issues through diplomatic interventions.

The hostilities between the Abdul and Abao clans escalated just two months ago with a spate of fatal ambush attacks on members of both sides, triggering internecine gunfights that caused dislocation of people in peasant enclaves where they reside.

“We also ought to thank for this reconciliation feat the joint ceasefire committee of the MILF and the government,” Mangudadatu told reporters.

The government-MILF ceasefire committee is comprised of representatives from the rebel group, the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces.

Municipal mayors who helped settle the clan war contributed P50,000 each as assistance to the immediate families of the fatalities in the conflict.

Mangudadatu augmented with a P190,000 "peace grant" the amount the mayors raised as a settlement package to hasten the restoration of amity between the Abaos and the Abduls, related to each other by blood.

The reconciliation rite was held at the municipal gymnasium of Gen. S.K. Pendatun, in the presence of Assemblyman Kadafy Mangudadatu of the 24-seat Regional Assembly in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and Army Lt. Col. Markton Abo of the 33rd IB.

ABAO AND ABDUL ABAOS AND THE ABDULS ABDUL AND ABAO ASSEMBLYMAN KADAFY MANGUDADATU AUTONOMOUS REGION BASE COMMAND OF THE MORO ISLAMIC LIBERATION FRONT DATU PAGLAS ESMAEL MANGUDADATU INFANTRY BATTALION MAGUINDANAO TASK FORCE MANGUDADATU
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