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All’s well that ends well: More clan feuds in BARMM resolved

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DAVAO CITY – After a series of reconciliation moves, the political feud between the Tomawis and Ibay clans has finally ended.

Families of the feuding clans witnessed the formal reconciliation as BARMM officials facilitated the signing on February 15 of the settlement agreement between former Mayor Barok Tomawis of the Tomawis clan and former Mayor Dr. Ibrahim Ibay of the Ibay clan, both of Barira town, Maguindanao del Norte.

Their reconciliation followed two other settlement of clan war, or locally called rido, in Maguindanao, the Bangsamoro Information Office said.

Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) said that the settlements were mutual decisions of feuding parties that were mediated by the Bangsamoro Government.

“We all know this reconciliation has no condition. The Ibay and Tomawis families did not make any demand. Everybody is sincere as they have been working together in the areas of Parang, Barira, and Buldon. So, I am very happy that finally, they have decided to come together,” Ebrahim said.

The two clans agreed to end their decades-long feud “because of their greater desire for sustainable peace and development in their towns. The reconciliation talks for the said clans commenced as early as last year,” the information office said.

“All leaders must now unite for us to develop. Our family is for peace and development. What the national government gave would be wasted if we would not unite,” Tomawis said.

“We are sincere in coming here and we are very thankful to all who helped to unite our family with the Tomawis. Our career started in politics because we are one for development,” Ibay said, for his part.

 “Only our supporters are being burdened,” Ibay added.

Ebrahim said “this is a major policy of the BARMM government, to look for ways to unite everyone for a holistic reconciliation.”

Minister for the Interior and Local Government (MILG) Atty. Naguib Sinarimbo concurred that in order to facilitate developments in the region, political and security issues must be resolved first.

He noted that the reconciliation effort will greatly benefit the ongoing camp transformation at Camp Abubakar of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which is situated in Barira, Maguindanao del Norte, as part of the normalization process under the Bangsamoro peace process.

“This is a very significant occasion, not just for Maguindanao but also for the Regional Government. Our goal is to promote development, but we are unwilling to do it in places where there is violence,” Sinarimbo said.

Earlier in February, more clans in feud in the province were settled as the Ministry of Public Order and Safety spearheaded mediation efforts.

On February 8 and 9,  two rido cases from Barira and Buldon were settled as they met in Barangay Aratuc in Buldon to sign their reconciliation.

Buldon Mayor Abolais Manalao said the fear of violence was erased instantly with the settlement of the rido. He did not identify the feuding clans.

On February 12,  two more families from Matanog municipality were also reconciled amicably.

Both families took an oath by holding the Qur’an to show their commitment not to engage in conflict again.

The feuding families were not also identified.

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