MARAWI CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / June 5, 2011) – Four people were killed on Sunday in a firefight between two warring Muslim families in the southern Philippine province of Lanao del Sur, officials said.
Officials said the clash broke out in the village of Malalis in Sultan Dumalundong town between the group of Arimao Asum, the father of Lumbayanague town mayor Jama Asum, and Polo and Aliasgar Alim.
Those killed were identified as Batara Asum, Madi Asum and Amer Tangol, all from of Lumbayanague town. One from Asum’s side was also wounded. One from Alim’s group, Saad Ali, was also killed in the fighting, said Army Colonel Daniel Lucero, commander of military forces in the province.
“We have sent soldiers in the area to help prevent more bloodshed,” he told the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner.
He said the fighting only stopped after the military and local government officials mediated a cease-fire.
The fighting was believed connected to the killing of Macacna Asum, who was allegedly shot by Polo Alim in Marawi City in 2002. Asum was killed after he failed to pay his debts to Alim.
Clan war or locally known as “rido” is common in many parts of the southern Philippines. The U.S. Agency for International Development and think-tank Asia Foundation said that more than 3,000 people have been killed over the past seven decades in family feuds in the southern Philippines.
Rido can involve disputes among family members or among two or more rival families, pitting neighbors or different ethnic groups against each other. The disputes center on issues of land, money, marriage or political power and involve revenge killings.
The violence increases with each act of retaliation, broadening to include those not directly involved in the dispute, including women and children, according to the Asia Foundation, adding, some feuds lasted for decades. (Mindanao Examiner)