COTABATO CITY: Some 700 families or 3,500 individuals in Talitay, Maguindanao evacuated to safer grounds following an ongoing conflict between two warring clans (rido) in the area.
Lt. Col. John Paul Baldomar, Army’s 6th Infantry Division spokesperson, said on Wednesday that the affected villagers came from Barangays Pageda and Gadingan of the municipality.
Members of the joint government–Moro Islamic Liberation Front security team are now working on the disengagement of armed followers of the conflicting clans, Baldomar said.
“We are just waiting for the go-signal of the joint security team for us to intervene,” he added.
He identified the warring clans as those belonging to Talitay Mayor Montasir Sabal as against the Watamama-Amiril families in the area.
The conflict was triggered by the March 22, 2021 incident where security men of the mayor allegedly shot dead a 16-year-old family member of the Watamama and another resident who went fishing at a nearby marshland.
A third victim who survived the incident after getting injured pointed to the men of Sabal as those behind the shooting.
“The Watamama–Amiril families reportedly have relatives connected with the MILF, reigniting a long family feud against the Sabals that was already settled,” Baldomar said.
A fleeing female civilian, identified as Kungan Samama, was hit by a stray bullet during the firefight, he said.
Various news outlets here had tried to contact the mayor for comments but failed.