The Army’s Ragat-Ranao task force once again succeeded in facilitating the peaceful settlement of clan wars involving Maranao families in the coastal towns of Lanao del Sur.

On Tuesday, the Army’s 6th Infantry Battalion (IB), based here managed to bring the warring Dimatingkal-Manalocon-Cadayon clan and Oting-Bacaraman-Pandato to the negotiating table.

The historic “rido” (family feud) settlement inside 6th IB headquarters in Matling, Malabang, Lanao del Sur was witnessed by Maj. Gen. Arnel dela Vega, 6th Infantry Division (6ID) commander, other military officials and local government executives of the adjoining towns of Malabang, Balabagan, Kapatagan, Marogong and Picong, all in the western coast of Lanao del Sur.

The warring families hugged each other like long lost friends and swear before the Quran never to use violence anymore in settling quarrels.

The warring families also turned over to Dela Vega assorted high powered firearms as a gesture of their commitment to end violence in their respective communities.

“Peace and development can only be achieved if the culture of violence will be eradicated in the area thru unity, understanding, humility and constant communication,” dela Vega said in his speech before the reconciled Maranao families.

“People involved in feuds should look after the welfare of their next generations and rethink how they can come up with a win-win solution to any misunderstanding or dispute,” he added.

The family feud started only in November last year after a clan member was shot in the mountains of Barangay Diragun, Marogong, Lanao del Sur.

Relatives of the aggrieved party retaliated and a cycle of violence developed. The latest violence was recorded on January 18 when a family member of the warring families was shot dead.

Dela Vega lauded 6th IB commander Lt. Colonel Ruben Aquino for going out of his way to bring warring families to the negotiating table.

“I salute the families involved in this settlement, I am glad you now realize the importance of having peace in your community so that development could come in,” he said.

Dela Vega also directed the military in the area to continue pursuing peaceful means of breaking the barrier to peace and push for community development.

“You people here are the beneficiary of any development projects the government is doing for you,” he said. The Ragat-Ranao task force has been active in settling family feuds in Lanao del Sur province since last year. (PNA)