PNP vows support to BARMM's land management efforts to prevent clan wars
The seat of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao government in Cotabato City.
Philstar.com/John Unson, File photo

PNP vows support to BARMM's land management efforts to prevent clan wars

John Unson (Philstar.com) - February 26, 2021 - 3:49pm

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — The police supports the efforts of the Bangsamoro government to maximize its land management system, the lack of it blamed for most bloody clan wars in the local communities.

Brig. Samuel Rodriquez of the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region said Friday they appreciate the initial dialogue this week on extensive land administration among personnel of the region’s environment and natural resources ministry.

The February 23-24 activity in Zamboanga City of the Land Management Services, an outfit of the Ministry of the Environment, Natural Resources and Energy-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MENRE-BARMM), involved employees from the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

Rodriguez said the MENRE-BARMM and the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government are both essential to the efforts of the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces in putting negotiated closure to clan wars sparked by squabbles for ownership of lands.

No less than 80% of still unresolved clan wars in the Bangsamoro region were triggered by land conflicts, according to records obtained from provincial police offices in its core territory.

BARMM’s local government minister, lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, is chairperson of the multi-sector Regional Advisory Council of the Bangsamoro regional police.

Eshan Karl Mabang, director of LMS, said Friday their Zamboanga City engagement shall have a follow through for Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur provinces.

There is high prevalence of family feuds, or “rido” in the local languages, in both provinces due to land disputes.

The BARMM covers the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi and the cities of Lamitan, Marawi and Cotabato.

“With good collaboration, we can improve our land management system, one of the surefire solutions to nagging peace and security issues besetting many areas in BARMM,” Mabang said.

He said he is thankful to the minister of MENRE-BARMM, Abdulraof Macacua and the region’s chief minister, Ahod Balawag Ebrahim, for their continuing patronage of the activities of the LMS.

The 25-month BARMM replaced just last February 2019 the then 29-year Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao as a result of two decades of peace talks between Malacañang and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, whose revolutionary figurehead, Ebrahim, is now chief minister of the newly-established more empowered autonomous government

The two-day LMS workshop in Zamboanga City was facilitated with the help of ranking officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Region 9, among them Erwin Ortezuela and the engineers Ramon Azcaraga. Jr. and Miguela Villarubia, who lectured on land disposition, land surveys and how the BARMM can have a functional land administration and management system.

Major Gen. Juvymax Uy, commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said Friday units of 6th ID are ready to support the land administration goals of MENRE-BARMM through the office of Mabang.

“For the 6th ID, a good, pro-poor land administration program for BARMM residents can boost the reconciliation initiatives of the regional government and the security sector,” Uy said.

Uy said a number of the more than 70 members of the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters who surrendered to units of 6th ID in the past six months have confessed to having joined the group for them to have armed companions who can help protect their lands from moneyed intruders.

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