KIDAPAWAN CITY: Groups of Moro natives and Visayan settlers previously clashing over land in border villages of this city convened here on Friday afternoon to settle their decade-long land dispute amicably, following other peace arrangements in Central Mindanao.
The conflict claimed dozens of lives since it started in 2007 when warring groups led by Satar Manalondong from the Moro side and Ilonggo group headed by Dodong Lunsagay engaged in retaliatory moves at the border site of Amas and Patadon villages here.
The worst clash recorded happened in June 2014 when Manalondong’s group avenged their fellow beheaded farmer Diago that resulted to the killing of three Barangay Peace Action Team or BPAT and wounding of two responding cops.
City Mayor Joseph Evangelista summoned leaders of the two groups on Friday where they drafted a plan to resolve the conflict.
He persuaded the warring groups not to resort to arms and set their grudges aside. Both group agreed and inked a peace covenant.
During the meeting, the Ilonggo groups from Amas accepted that the disputed Department of Agriculture (DA)-owned land in Central Mindanao Integrated Agricultural Center (CEMIARC) located in Sitio Nazarette will be under the jurisdiction of Patadon village, despite their claims that it was registered in their office.
Also resolved in the meeting was no warrant of arrests will be served by authorities related to the conflict against Manalondong and Lunsagay, to realize the amicable settlement.
Both parties, accompanied by their village chieftains, were asked to officially file resolutions with “no objection” certification allowing the city office to mediate in the conflict. Also, DA-CEMIARC will put up seed production facilities in the area.
The two groups will also install fences on February 15 in the newly-marked border sites along with DA representatives.
Also present in the meeting were Kidapawan City Chief of Police John Calinga, Barangay Chairmen Bebot Austria of Amas and Noor Patadon of Patadon, representatives from the DA Region 12 office and the citys’ trial court.
Calinga told The Manila Times that Manalondong and Lunsagay had previous warrant of arrest, but the leaders had called on a peaceful resolution.
Recently, authorities also ended clashes in Mlang town of North Cotabato and Datu Abdullah Sangki town of Maguindanao through a covenant to avoid further escalation among local residents arming themselves.