Nipping rido in the bud

While conflict is a natural phenomenon, it should not always end in violence.  Conflicts are better resolved through nonviolent means. 

In many parts of Mindanao, clan feuds or conflicts are popularly known as rido. Two of the most prominent causes of rido are land disputes and political rivalry.

Most of the unabated cases of killings in some parts of North Cotabato and adjoining areas are attributed to rido.

Rido is considered a problem because of its adverse effects not only to the clans that are directly involved but even to the whole community where it exists.

When these clans fight, families are displaced.  Economic activities are interrupted. Fraternal relationships are severed.  Lives and properties are lost.  School buildings become evacuation centers and children stop going to school.

The Philippine National Police (PNP and The Asia Foundation (TAF) published a book, “Preventing Rido:  A Practical Guide for the Police and Other Peacekeepers” in 2013.

According to that book, “Rido has caused much death and destruction and retarded economic, political, and social development of the communities affected by it. The most affected are the young who are raised into a life of violence and conflict.”

Considering the adverse impact of rido in our society, its resolution must be everybody’s concern.  An emerging rido should be nipped in the bud so that it does not escalate and result into a much bigger damage.

Our leaders should work hand-in-hand with their constituents in preventing rido or resolving it peacefully if it is already there.

It should be inculcated in the minds of the people that resolving rido through the barrel of the gun usually creates more problems.  Cycle of killings ensues. 

The same book, “Preventing Rido,” noted that “History has shown that when left unchecked rido could result in decades of violence, criminality and collateral damage to property and innocent bystanders.”

And that is the least that we want to happen.

Let us have pity on the civilians who usually are cause in the crossfire.  Let us help each other in preventing its occurrence or in resolving it peacefully.