MARAWI CITY: Cooler heads invoking the Ramadan-ordained building of peace and amity have pacified protagonists in a family feud or “rido” that flared on Friday and left 10 persons dead, five others wounded and some 50 families displaced in Bayang, Lanao del Sur.
“Alhamdulillah [Praise Allah], the warring families calmed down amid combined efforts of cooler heads for sabr [patience]propounded in Islamic brotherhood and as prescribed especially during Ramadan,” Bayang town Mayor Sahroden “Maya” Ampatua told reporters by phone Sunday in vernacular.
Ampatua lauded the timely mediation of emissaries sent by Regional Gov. Mujiv Hataman and Regional Police Director Chief Supt. Noel delos Reyes of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) alongside Gov. Mamintal Alon-to-Adiong Jr. of Lanao del Sur and Col. Glenn Macasero, chief of the Army’s 103rd Infantry Brigade.
He specially cited the warring groups of the combined Guro and Macugar clans, on one hand, and the Capal family, on the other, for heeding the truce in prelude to a “formal peace covenant.”
The ARMM police office said fatalities in Friday’s clash reached 10, but Ampatua said his men’s “official” casualty counts were eight killed and three wounded from both feuding camps.
Close to 50 resident-families of Barangay Linao, the scene of fighting, fled to safer grounds as far as this city and neighboring towns of Binidayan and Taraka, Ampatua said, adding the evacuees are related to the warring individuals and avoiding involvement in the feud.
He clarified that the fighting stemmed from a long-standing feud rekindled in intense rivalries in the last local elections in adjacent Lumbac-a-Unayan town. Some members of the Capal family, though residing in Bayang, supported candidates in the nearby municipality, Ampatua added.
The mayor and other sources believed that “devil whispers” had instigated some 40 armed members of the Guro and Macugar clans to attack the Capal family in Bayang Friday early morning.
The initial volley of fire instantly killed one Hadji Naim Capal, prompting some 40-armed relatives of the fatality to fight back in an ensuing firefight, the mayor said.
He said the combined groups of mediators including him had initially pacified the groups before dusk on Friday, invoking the need from everybody to break the day’s fast. But fighting recurred at about 8 p.m. in fiercer fashion that even left at least 11 houses razed to the ground.
In separate telephone interview, ARMM Police Director Reyes mentioned about disarming by policemen of an armed protagonist as possible cause of the recurred fighting.
Vice Gov. Haroun Alrashid Kucman Jr. of ARMM, a native-leader of Bayang town, left a training event in Tagay City on Friday morning and started pacification efforts, Hataman said.