MAGUINDANAO: To support the peace pact between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Philippine government, the Iranun tribe here signed a ceasefire agreement on Sunday with local officials, putting an end to the bloody clan feuds in the area.
Thousands of civilians, mostly Iranun tribe members, were on hand to witness the event led by MILF Vice Chairperson for Political Affairs Ghadzali Jaafar and Maguindanao Provincial Governor Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu. They were joined by officials from the International Monitoring Team (IMT), military, police, local government units (LGUs) and Ulamas (Muslim clerics).
They all vowed to support the ceasefire agreement as they celebrated the March 27, 2014 signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) in Malacañang.
In his speech, Jaafar said the practice of rido or clan feuds among Moro people that has claimed a lot of lives, needs to end.
“The place is ours; we need to change. If we don’t, there will be no peace here,” he said.
He added that the establishment of the proposed Bangsa–moro entity “is not for the MILF and Moro tribes only” but will also benefit non-Muslim Christian settlers and indigenous people.
Malaysian Major-General Datuk Abdul Samad Yaakob, head of the IMT Delegation – Mission 9, told officials and civilians here that the feud is “not Islamic.”
“I am a Muslim, there is no rido in Islam. Let us treat and love one another for the sake of the people in Mindanao, the Iranuns specifically, and Filipinos in general,” he said.
Mangudadatu, who also heads the Maguindanao Task Force on Reconciliation and Unification (MTFRU), said “this [ceasefire]is a great help to the MTFRU in resolving rido in the province.”
Aside from the “21 resolved family feuds” by the MTFRU, Mangudadatu said they are “eyeing other parts of Maguindanao to do the same.”
“In fact, we received commitments from other towns that are willing to participate in this non-violent solution for rido,” he concluded.