RRUC – ARMM reconciles Two Warring Clans in Lanao del Sur

COTABATO CITY - The Regional Reconciliation and Unification Commission of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (RRUC-ARMM) has successfully facilitated the settlement of clan conflict between the families of Amir Interino and Bayabao Thomas on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 at Pagana Kutawato Native Restaurant.

The feud settlement was spearheaded by RRUC Chairman Romeo K. Sema. In his opening statement, he emphasized the utmost importance of reconciliation and unity between Muslims, “Kung nakapatay ka ng isang taong naniniwala sa Allah (SWT) ay para ka na ring nakapatay ng sangkatauhan,” Sema said. “Kung mapag-ayos mo ang dalawang di nagkakasundo ay may malaking gantimpala,” Sema added.

“We are faced with difficult situations right now”, said Sema. “The issue of violent extremism, conflict and displacement are among the many problems that we are facing”, Sema added. 

“ARMM Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman is trying his best to address the problems of poverty, lack of infrastructure, and other basic social services in the region; We must reciprocate these initiatives by maintaining a peaceful environment in our community so that developmental interventions won’t be hampered,” Sema added. 

The family feud began a year ago when Amir Interino killed Bayabao Thomas. It was Datu Mauyag Andoy, a traditional leader in their area who tried to find ways to settle the conflict immediately before it turns into a full blown conflict or “Rido”. 

In his personal account, Andoy revealed that he talked to RRUC Executive Director Abdulbasit R. Benito to ask assistance from the Commission for a possible resolution of the feud. A week after, Andoy was able to discuss with Chairman Sema the situation and eventually, a settlement meeting was arranged. 

In a simple program facilitated by Director Benito, both parties were given a chance to speak, then signing of a Conflict Resolution Agreement followed. Some of the salient points in the agreement includes giving of a “Diaht” (Cleansing of the heart of a victims’ relatives).  Anyone from the party who violates or breaks the covenant is obliged to pay doubled the amount of Diaht.

To strengthen the signed covenant, swearing before the Qur’an of both parties was administered by Ustadz Jamael Romampat. It symbolized the recognition of a wrong doing committed by Amir Interino, and acceptance on the part of the Thomas family, good relationship among the two families were then restored.

More than seventy persons, mostly relatives of the two families witnessed the ceremony. Former Kapatagan Mayor Datu Camad Benito and Datu Mauyag Andoy were part of the mediation panel.

SPO2 Saidona G. Beda of 4th Maneuver Platoon, LSPPO and SPO1 Zainodin Dumiar Andoy of Kapatagan MPSLSPPO also witnessed the ceremony. By; Abdulazis Ibn Hashim