COTABATO CITY: Rido or clan wars among southern Moro families are ignited by land disputes and intense political rivalry during elections.
In a workshop and dialogue held recently in Davao City on “MM Coordination Mechanism on Rido Settlement,” Bobby Benito, director of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao’s (ARMM) Regional Reconciliation and Unification Commission (RRUC) noted that these are the main causes of most of the 235 unresolved rido in the region.
He added that the proliferation of loose firearms in the autonomous region, where Moro families keep them for protection from enemies and as status symbol, is also partly blamed for rido.
Benito said there are now non-government organizations and groups helping in the resolution of clan wars, among them the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
However, any rido can be settled peacefully through “blood money” to indemnify the families of the fatalities or injured and reciprocal concessions are needed to appease both sides for reconciliation.
The support of respectable datu, sultan and influential moderate Muslim religious leaders also play an important factor in reconciling warring clans, Benito added.
The MILF’s coordinating committee on cessation of hostilities and officials of the United Youth for Peace and Development attended the dialogue as well as representatives from the Confederated Descendants of Rajah Mamalu Inc., the Tiyakap Kalilintad Inc. and the Maguindanao Task Force on Reconciliation and Unification.
The task force, under Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu, has amicably settled more than 80 violent rido involving Maguindanaon clans in the past six years.
Benito said participants in the dialogue acknowledged the need for the extensive involvement of influential religious and traditional leaders in reconciling warring clans.
“Sometimes there is also a question on the neutrality of leaders helping broker settlements. Only leaders who are not related to one of any parties to the conflict are effective mediators,” he added.