• MNLF-MILF clash displaces villagers in North Cotabato

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    KIDAPAWAN CITY:  The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) clashed anew Wednesday in two barangays in Matalam town, North Cotabato, displacing at least 70 families.

    The spokesman of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division (6ID), Capt. Tony Bulao, said the clash erupted, when MILF members headed by Alimansur Imbong, break through the MNLF controlled farming territory in Barangay Kidama, and shot dead a carabao owned by MNLF member Macapagal Mangadta before torching his house.

    Mangadta is a sibling of MNLF commander Dragon based in Barangay Kidama, according to the residents.

    The two groups were clashing within a truce mediated by local officials and representatives of the joint Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) here, which was signed on May 23 this year, after the fight occurred in Marbel, Matalam town on May 6 that displaced more than 6,300 villagers, which reportedly half of evacuees remained hesitant to return to their home due to unrest clash of the two groups.

    “We appeal to the leaders of the MILF and MNLF to discipline their field commanders to avoid unnecessary loss of lives,” Bulao said.

    North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou “Lala” Talino-Mendoza called on GPH-MILF Peace Panel to find a further solution to resolve the tensions between the two groups.

    The dispute is believed to be rooted in a land feud.

    MOH I. SAADUDDIN

     

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