200 families displaced by firefights in North Cotabato

John Unson (Philstar.com) - December 28, 2015 - 1:47am

NORTH COTABATO, Philippines - More than 200 peasant families in Barangay Nes in Midsayap, North Cotabato got dislocated by firefights last weekend between two heavily armed Moro groups.

North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza on Monday ordered the provincial social welfare office and the local government unit of Midsayap to attend to the needs of the evacuees.

The affected villagers were forced to relocate to neutral grounds when the feuding factions, one led by Kulilong and the other by Mangansa, traded shots using assault rifles and shoulder-fire 40-millimeter grenades.

The guerilla commanders Kulilong and Mangansa have long been squabbling for control of strategic patches of lands in Barangay Nes southwest of Midsayap, an agricultural town in the first district of North Cotabato.

Kulilong and Mangansa agreed to reposition their men away from Barangay Nes when religious leaders and emissaries of the provincial government intervened.

Responding policemen, led by Midsayap’s police chief, Superintendent Gilbert Tuzon, helped relocate the beleaguered barangay folks to nearby villages while the two groups were locked in running gunfights.

Tuzon said tension in Barangay Nes has waned, but the evacuees are reluctant to return, worried of a repeat of the incident.

Mendoza, chair of the provincial peace and order council, on Monday directed local officials to peacefully resolve the conflict and workout the return of the evacuees to their homes.

ATILDE BARANGAY NES EMMYLOU TALI KULILONG KULILONG AND MANGANSA MANGANSA MENDOZA MIDSAYAP NORTH COTABATO NORTH COTABATO GOV SUPERINTENDENT GILBERT TUZON
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