RIDO V2.indd 1

10/4/2007 8:21:19 AM



RIDO V2.indd 3

10/4/2007 8:22:20 AM

Copyright © 2007 The Asia Foundation All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review. Inquiries should be addressed to The Asia Foundation, 36 Lapu-Lapu Avenue, Magallanes Village, Makati City, Philippines. E-mail: tafphil@asiafound.org. This product is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (usaid). The contents are the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of usaid or the United States Government or The Asia Foundation. The Asia Foundation is a non-profit, non-governmental organization committed to the development of a peaceful, prosperous, just, and open Asia-Pacific region. The Foundation supports programs in Asia that help improve governance, law, and civil society; women’s empowerment; economic reform and development; and international relations. Drawing on more than 50 years of experience in Asia, the Foundation collaborates with private and public partners to support leadership and institutional development, exchanges, and policy research. With a network of 17 offices throughout Asia, an office in Washington, D.C., and its headquarters in San Francisco, the Foundation addresses these issues on both a country and regional level. In 2006, the Foundation provided more than $53 million in program support and distributed 920,000 books and educational materials throughout Asia. isbn: 978-971-92445-2-3 Editorial team: Wilfredo Magno Torres III, Charlson Ong, Fidel Rillo Book and cover design: Fidel Rillo

The National Library of the Philippines ClP Data Recommended entry: Rido : clan feuding and conflict management in Mindanao / Wilfredo Magno Torres III, editor. — Makati City : The Asia Foundation, c2007. p. ; cm. 1. Ethnic confIict—Philippines—Mindanao. 2. Conflict management—Philippines— Mindanao. 3. Clans—Philippines—Mindanao. 4. Mindanao (Philippines)—Ethnic relations. 5. Culture conflict—PhiJippines—Mindanao. 1. Torres, Wilfredo Magno. hn711.z9c65 305.8’9921 2007 p074000005 isbn 978-971-92445-2-3

RIDO V2.indd 4

10/4/2007 8:22:23 AM

Contents Acknowledgement Preface Introduction
Wilfredo Magno Torres III

7 8 11

one Survey of Feuding Families and Clans in Selected Provinces in Mindanao
Jamail A. Kamlian MSU-Iligan Institute of Technology


two Dynamics and Management of Rido in the Province of Maguindanao
Abhoud Syed M. Lingga Institute of Bangsamoro Studies


three Inventory of Existing Rido in Lanao del Sur (1994 –2004)
Moctar I. Matuan Mindanao State University–Marawi


four Management of Clan Conflict and Rido Among the Tausug, Magindanao, Maranao, Sama, and Yakan Tribes
Ofelia L. Durante, Norma T. Gomez, Ester O. Sevilla, and Howard J. Mañego Ateneo de Zamboanga University Research Center and Notre Dame University Research Center


five Responses to Interkin Group Conflict in Northern Mindanao
Erlinda Montillo-Burton, Moctar Matuan, Guimba Poingan, and Jay Rey Alovera The Research Institute for Mindanao Culture (RIMCU) Xavier University


six Understanding Inter-ethnic Conflicts in North Cotabato and Bukidnon Provinces
Guiamel Alim, Jose Bulao Jr., and Ismael G. Kulat Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society


RIDO V2.indd 5

10/4/2007 8:22:23 AM

seven Management and Resolution of Rido Among Meranao in Baloi, Lanao del Norte: Case Studies
Monalinda Emperio Doro


eight Big War, Small Wars: The Interplay of Large-scale and Community Armed Conflicts in Five Central Mindanao Communities
Jose Jowel Canuday


nine The Celebrated Cases of Rido in Maguindanao and North Cotabato
United Youth for Peace and Development (UNYPAD)


ten Tausug and Corsican Clan Feuding: A Comparative Study
Gerard Rixhon


Conclusion: A Personal Reflection
Samuel K. Tan


About the Authors Index

332 335

RIDO V2.indd 6

10/4/2007 8:22:23 AM

Acknowledgement The Asia Foundation is indebted to the authors, the researchers, and several individuals who did the legwork in the production of this book. This book was also made possible by the invaluable insights generated through the forums organized by our partners and the numerous discussions and conversations with people. The Foundation is grateful to the following persons and institutions for sharing their knowledge and expertise, and for their constant support and encouragement: Ateneo de Zamboanga University Research Center Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society Institute of Bangsamoro Studies Mindanao State University–Marawi Mindanao State University–Iligan Institute of Technology Notre Dame University Research Center Research Institute for Mindanao Culture, Xavier University United Youth for Peace and Development Mindanawon Initiatives for Cultural Dialogue Newsbreak Magazine and Mindanews Marites Danguilan Vitug, Gemma Bagayaua, Carol Arguillas, and Bobby Timonera Gerard Rixhon and Dr. Samuel K. Tan Fr. Albert Alejo, S.J., Thomas Parks, Dr. David Fairman, and Prof. Ponciano Bennagen Datu Ibrahim “Toto” Paglas III and Fr. Roberto Layson, OMI Dr. Dalomabi Bula, Don Loong, and Major Dickson Hermoso Howie Severino, David Celdran, Pinky Fadullon, and Teng Mangansakan II Vivien Suerte-Cortez, Jenny Lam, Samira Gutoc, and Bianca Altavas Dr. Wilfredo Arce, Dr. Kim Ninh, and Prof. Miriam Coronel Dr. Modesta Lugos, David John delos Reyes, S.J., and Dr. Madelene Sta. Maria Scholars of the Mindanao Anthropology Consortium, especially Alber Hussin, Penelope Sanz, and Rey Lacson Foundation for Communication Initiatives Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, the Joint grp-milf Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities, and the International Monitoring Team The United States Agency for International Development All the participants of the Davao and Manila rido forums All the local stakeholders in the communities who generously shared their knowledge and experience.
|| 7 ||

RIDO V2.indd 7

10/4/2007 8:22:23 AM



HE ASIA FOUNDATION conflict management programs throughout Asia cooperate with local partners to better understand the nature of conflict and existing conflict management mechanisms in the Asia-Pacific region. Addressing fundamental grievances requires a more systematic understanding of the nature of conflicts and existing conflict-management mechanisms. Baseline information can also be helpful in assessing the impact of activities aimed at mitigating or managing conflicts. A comprehensive conflict survey developed by Foundation staff has been adapted for implementation in the Philippines, Thailand, and Sri Lanka. In the Philippines, this survey was undertaken in 2002 and, as explained in this volume, the results led the Foundation to focus additionally on clan conflicts in southern Philippines. Feuds between clans are known throughout history—Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy, after all, because the two lovers come from different families: Two households, both alike in dignity… From ancient grudge break to new mutiny Similarly, clan feuds in the Philippines are not confined to Mindanao. A famous pre-martial law feud in the Ilocos between the Singsons and the Crisologos resulted in death and destruction on a wide scale. Still, data in this volume do demonstrate that clan conflict is more prevalent in the southern Philippines. Further, rido interacts with other forms of conflict, notably separatist insurgencies, and thus makes managing those conflicts more intractable. Hence, The Asia Foundation launched a series of coordinated studies of rido in partnership with the institutions and individuals represented in this book. The Asia Foundation has incurred many debts of gratitude in the production of this book. First of all, we thank the United States Agency for International Development for the support that made the research and publication possible. The views represented here, it should be said, do not represent those of usaid. Secondly, all those institutions and individuals— the list is in the Table of Contents—who actually undertook the research and writing of this book, for their willingness to coordinate, do field work, and edit many versions of their output. Particular thanks go to Samuel Tan for sharing his insights into the meaning of the final product. To Charlson Ong and Fidel Rillo who labored long to shape research reports into publishable form.
|| 8 ||

RIDO V2.indd 8

10/4/2007 8:22:25 AM

9 || Preface

Introduction || 9

Finally, this book is dedicated to the communities and peoples covered by the research, in the hope that the work represented herein helps in managing the conflicts that afflict their lives so that peace and development may come. Steven Rood, Ph.D. Philippine Country Representative The Asia Foundation

RIDO V2.indd 9

10/4/2007 8:22:25 AM

RIDO V2.indd 10

10/4/2007 8:22:26 AM

Wilfredo Magno Torres III


HIS VOLUME presents several studies on feuding or clan conflicts, popularly known in Mindanao as rido. This effort is the result of a coordinated research conducted by Mindanao-based civil society organizations and academic institutions with support from the United States Agency for International Development (usaid) and The Asia Foundation. The studies variously mapped the incidence of clan conflicts in Mindanao and conducted in-depth investigations into the root causes of the conflicts, the parties involved, the conditions for their escalation and recurrence, the relationship to other forms of conflict, and the potential for conflict resolution. The studies investigated the dynamics of clan conflicts with the intention of informing and helping design strategic intervention to address such conflicts. The studies in this volume deal with a type of violent conflict variously referred to as feuding, revenge killings, blood revenge, vendetta, inter-tribal warfare, and clan conflicts. Characterized by sporadic outbursts of retaliatory violence between families and kinship groups as well as between communities, this phenomenon frequently occurs in areas where government or a central authority is weak and in areas where there is a perceived lack of justice and security. Feuding and revenge killings are common to many societies throughout human history. Depending on periods in history, this phenomenon has been documented in places such as the Balkans, Sicily, Corsica, the Caucasus region, the Middle East, and, in the remoter past, Scotland and the Appalachian region of the United States,1 as well as in some

1 See “Honour” Killings and Blood Feuds in www.gendercide.org

|| 11 ||

RIDO V2.indd 11

10/4/2007 8:22:31 AM

12 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Southeast Asian cultures.2 While there are studies that distinguish between the concepts of feuding and revenge, in this volume, feuding and revenge killing is considered part of the same continuum.3 In the Philippines, feuding between families and clans is also prevalent. Cordillera in northern Luzon is famous for inter-village warfare and “revenge raids” caused by land and boundary disputes and competing economic interests such as sources of water or firewood.4 Feuding also occurs among lowland Filipinos, a famous example of which was in the Ilocos in the early 1970s between the Crisologo and the Singson clans. Depending on the ethnic group and region, feuding and revenge are known by various terms such as pangayaw, magahat, or pagdumot among some lumad or indigenous groups in Mindanao, and pagbanta, pagbunuh, mamauli, kasaop, pagbaos, and lido, ridu, or rido5 among some Moro groups. For the purpose of this book, the conflict under focus is referred to as rido, feuding, or clan conflicts. Rido refers to a state of recurring hostilities between families and kinship groups characterized by a series of retaliatory acts of violence carried out to avenge a perceived affront or injustice. Rido has wider implications for conflict in Mindanao primarily because it tends to interact in unfortunate ways with separatist conflict and other forms of armed violence. Many armed confrontations in the past involving insurgent groups and the military were actually triggered by a local rido. Examples of such cases are illustrated in detail in this volume such as the feuds that escalated in Dapiawan (2004) and Linantangan (2005) in Maguindanao that eventually drew in the involvement of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (afp), the paramilitary Civilian Volunteer Organizations (cvo), and the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (milf). A more recent case that demonstrated the interconnectedness of feuds and large-scale conflicts was the Shariff Aguak incident in June 2006 that sparked a major armed confrontation between paramilitary forces under a political clan and some elements of the milf.6 Such hostilities underscore the potential of local feuds and
2 The subject of feuding has often been subsumed under more dominant themes like maritime trading, slave-raiding, and head hunting. Some authors have cited the prevalence of feuding and intersuku warfare among indigenous communities in Borneo (See King 1993: 83; Singh 2000: 37-38, 53-54). Torres has encountered a history of inter-island feuding in Semporna and Sulu (2006: 282-283). In addition, much like the genealogies of Sulu and Maguindanao sultanates, the Sejara Melayu (Malay Annals) mentions feuding among royal families in the Malay Peninsula (Bastin 1970: 169). 3 Ginat (1997) and Boehm (1986), for instance, distinguish revenge from a feud. Revenge (or blood revenge) refers to a single killing to avenge a murder, whereas a feud involves a chain of reciprocal murders between rival groups. 4 See Barton 1949, Dozier 1972, Rosaldo 1980, Prill-Brett 1987, Goda 1999, Junker 2000. 5 Rido or ridu is a term used by the Meranao, Iranun, and Maguindanao to refer to clan conflicts or violent retaliations. It must also be noted that rido and the phenomenon of feuding is of pre-Islamic provenance. 6 On June 23, 2006, a bomb exploded in Shariff Aguak allegedly intended for the Maguindanao

RIDO V2.indd 12

10/4/2007 8:22:31 AM

Introduction || 13

third-party actors to frustrate the peace process between the government and the milf. Meanwhile, a contrasting incident occurred in January 2006 in the efforts of the milf to mobilize their troops to protect civilians from a raging rido between warring families in Tubaran, Lanao del Sur.7 Without a nuanced understanding of local conflict dynamics, such a commendable effort could have easily been misconstrued as an offensive. Rido is only one aspect in the complex web of violence in Mindanao which includes Muslim separatism, communist insurgency, and banditry. The interaction of these different conflicts has explosive consequences to the long-running separatist war in Mindanao.8 Given this context, a deeper understanding of specific conflicts is crucial in disentangling the blurred lines of conflict and enable communities and the government to effectively address the problem. The Mindanao Rido Study The Process of Engagement The coordinated study on clan conflicts had its origins in late 2002 when The Asia Foundation supported a household conflict survey in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (armm) and adjacent areas on the citizens’ perceptions of conflict.9 The survey results showed that while the Muslim-Christian conflict in Mindanao dominates the attention of international and local press, clan conflicts are actually more pertinent in the daily lives of the people. Citizens are more concerned about the prevalence of clan conflict and its negative impact on their communities than the conflict between the state and rebel groups in Mindanao. These findings, which were again verified in a more recent survey by the Social Weather Stations in the armm,10 illustrate the complexity of conflicts in Mindanao and encouraged the Foundation to help address the problem. With the assistance of usaid, the Foundation spearheaded a set of diagnostic activities to help design strategic interventions that enable communities and government agencies to prevent the escalation of conflicts.

Governor, killing seven members of his convoy. This incident sparked a major armed conflict that displaced thousands of families and endangered the peace process between the government and the MILF. This incident became a litmus test for the Joint CCCH-IMT mechanism and civil society groups. To contain the violence, a buffer zone was jointly established by the GRP and the MILF (Bantay Ceasefire Report 2006). 7 “Lanao clan war kills 10.” In Philippine Daily Inquirer, January 6, 2006, page A2. 8 See Rood 2005: 4. 9 The survey was conducted by TNS-TRENDS in partnership with the Office of the President, with support from The Asia Foundation and Hewlett Foundation. See Dayag-Laylo 2004. 10 Social Weather Stations (2005: 2), slide 9-11.

RIDO V2.indd 13

10/4/2007 8:22:31 AM

14 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

The coordinated study was done by engaging Mindanao experts in a series of meetings and group discussions that involved reviewing the existing studies on rido, clarifying concepts, and setting directions for research in the area. The discussions revolved around the following questions: • what constitutes clan conflict and what are the existing formal and informal mechanisms that people use to resolve these; • when does clan conflict occur and what kind of issues escalate into clan conflicts; • how are young people socialized into attitudes about it; • what are the variations of clan conflicts among different ethnic groups; • how does clan conflict overlap with government and separatist conflict; • to what extent are clan conflicts mistaken by government to be separatist conflict; • what can government and peace activists do to isolate these different kinds of conflict so effective interventions can be put in place? The studies in this volume are descriptive studies that employed qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis. The data-collection techniques used include key-informant and in-depth interviews, focus-group discussions, participant observation, surveys, and secondary data gathering. During the research period, the participating institutions conducted regular meetings among themselves to critique methodologies, discuss findings and address problems. Methodologies and research questions underwent several iterations based on new data encountered in the field. Community meetings were also held to validate the preliminary research findings. The sensitive nature of the topic was a challenge for the researchers who often found themselves under suspicion by some locals. It took some time for the researchers to lay the groundwork and earn the trust of key informants and families involved in rido. As the data started to come in and make sense, the researchers realized that there was a real danger that the issue of rido would be misunderstood or taken out of context, that the data gathered could be used by unscrupulous groups to reinforce the already negative stereotype of Mindanao and Muslims, or even utilized to manipulate situations and affect the peace process.11 Because of this, extra care was taken in dealing with sensitive data and ensuring the fair treatment of issues related to clan conflicts. Sensitive and ethical issues were taken into account and
11 There were also initial fears that the issue of rido would distract the peace process. However, it was later proven that awareness of rido and its dynamics complements the peace process as there is more nuanced understanding of conflicts which would otherwise be easily misconstrued as separatist violence.

RIDO V2.indd 14

10/4/2007 8:22:32 AM

Introduction || 15

discussed thoroughly with researchers and the local people, and measures were agreed upon to ensure that the issues were adequately addressed. At the heart of this entire effort was the integrity of the researchers—their sincere and transparent engagement with the local people. Dissemination of Study Findings, Insights, and Reflections The results of the coordinated study were presented by the researchers in several forums including two major conferences in Davao and in Manila. Newsbreak magazine complemented the studies through several investigative articles on rido which also helped increase general awareness about the phenomenon. The rido conference in Davao was especially important because it enabled Mindanao stakeholders to validate the findings of the studies and confirm the prevalence and urgency of the problem. Several insights were generated during the forum such as the importance of culture in understanding and addressing rido, the crucial roles played by traditional leaders and processes in resolution, the important role of women mediators, the potential of harnessing existing local initiatives to manage conflicts, the need for more nuanced reporting of conflicts by media, and the danger that rido poses to the peace process and future peace agreements. The discussions further highlighted several important personal experiences and reflections on rido. Datu “Toto” Paglas, whose family was involved in a rido, gave a very emotional sharing on how he lost loved ones in a rido and how he was able to transcend his hatred for his enemies, which ended the cycle of violence. He tearfully said that: “I also thought of the pain others would feel in losing their loved ones, as I and my family felt (when we lost ours). I felt the pain that the families of those whom we would have hit back at, their wives and children especially, would feel. I decided to accept the truth that vengeance is God’s alone, that everything should be up to His Will.”12 In a similar soul-searching testimonial, Fr. Roberto Layson expressed very emphatically and very gently his feeling of inadequacy as a spiritual leader amid this urgent problem: “I am also a priest. Where did we go wrong? We preach Christianity, it means love. We preach Islam, it means peace. And yet there is violence among our faithful. Sometimes the violence is committed in the name of God. What is the role of the religious leaders? Are we credible? This is a very strong challenge to Islam and Christianity and probably it should also challenge the lumad religions and spirituality.” Recognizing the importance of these studies, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (opapp) endorsed special briefings
12 In “Taking Rido Seriously: Top Level Participatory Analysis of Clan Conflicts and Community Conflicts in Mindanao.” Unpublished conference proceedings. May 31–June 1, 2005.

RIDO V2.indd 15

10/4/2007 8:22:32 AM

16 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

on the rido studies to the members of the Joint Government-milf Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (ccch) and to three groups of the international monitoring team (imt).13 A briefing was also given to members of the House of Representatives. These forums were attended by representatives from the government, media, non-governmental organizations (ngos), the academe, women’s sector, people’s organizations, traditional and religious leaders, embassy officials, local monitoring teams, members of the Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (ahjag),14 and various Mindanao stakeholders. Overview of Findings The coordinated studies documented a total of 1,266 rido cases that occurred between 1930s to 2005, killing more than 5,500 people and displacing thousands. Out of the total number of rido cases documented, 64% remain unresolved. The top four provinces with the highest number of rido incidences are Lanao del Sur (377), Maguindanao (218), Lanao del Norte (164), and Sulu (145). The rido incidences in these provinces account for 71% of the total cases documented. The findings also show a steady rise in rido conflicts in the 11 provinces surveyed from the 1980s to 2004. Fifty percent (637 cases) of the total rido incidences recorded by the studies occurred in the last five years (2000-2004), which is about 127 new cases per year. The actors involved in a rido vary as the conflict can occur within kinship groups15 or involve members coming from different kinship groups and ethnic groups. Rido has caused so much untold suffering. Its effects are often subsumed under the larger separatist conflicts. Aside from numerous casualties, ridorelated armed confrontations have caused the destruction of properties, crippled the local economy, displaced communities, and fomented fear. The causes of rido are contextually varied and may be further complicated by a society’s sense and concept of honor and shame. While the triggers of the conflicts can range from petty offenses like theft and jesting to more serious crimes like homicide, the studies show that land disputes and political rivalries are the most common causes of rido. Factors that

13 The Joint CCCH is composed of a team from the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Together with the International Monitoring Team (IMT) headed by Malaysia with members from Brunei and Libya, the Joint CCCH is tasked to monitor the ceasefire between the government and the MILF. 14 AHJAG is a ceasefire mechanism mandated to go after criminal elements. The AHJAG and the MILF has been conducting joint operations that have successfully pursued kidnapers and recovered kidnap victims in Mindanao (See MindaNews, November 6, 2005; Business World, May 15, 2006; Philippine Daily Inquirer, June 6, 2006; Updates on the GRP-MILF Peace Talks, January 12, 2007). 15 Composed of nuclear and extended families.

RIDO V2.indd 16

10/4/2007 8:22:32 AM

Introduction || 17

aggravate a rido include the formation of alliances by the principals with other families and armed groups or the interaction of rido with state-level conflicts (i.e. the conflict between the Moro liberation fronts and the state) and other armed conflicts (i.e. banditry). The proliferation of firearms, lack of law enforcers and credible mediators in conflict-prone areas, and an inefficient justice system all contribute to rido. Key Concepts on Feuding and Revenge Kinship, Self-Help, and Collective Responsibility Feuding and revenge killing documented in other parts of the world are surprisingly similar to the endemic clan conflicts experienced in the Philippines.16 Revenge killings and feuds are typical in small-scale societies where family and kinship ties are the main sources of authority and where there is a lack of effective state control and authority. In such societies where the state is weak, decision-making and enforcement become more decentralized and the provision of security is based mainly on self-help.17 This means that in the absence of a strong state or central authority, the responsibility and the means for coercion are more widespread, such that governance and social control usually rests in the local population. Under such circumstances, the distribution of responsibility and capacity for the provision of security are more likely to be organized along the lines of kinship. Classic ethnographies dealing with revenge recognize that kinship forms an important basis for social relations and that the bond of kinship is a significant factor in the provision of security and revenge. In his study on violence and law in Tausug society, Thomas Kiefer observes that the sanctions of kinship justify a greater range of everyday behavior for the Tausug that may cover a variety of political, economic, and military obligations (1972:28). Roy Barton’s pioneering work among the Kalinga and Ifugao shows the primacy of preserving family and kinship unity and its importance in carrying out responsibilities such as providing support during times of crisis and revenge-taking (1949:69; 1969:8). The importance accorded to kinship unity may also translate on a wider community level. This is especially true with regard to maintaining the integrity and autonomy of more self-sufficient villages. In the Cordilleras, June Prill-Brett (1987:14) observes that there is a marked solidarity among autonomous Bontok villages (ili), wherein each village member cooperates for the total welfare of the community. Strong community ties are especially apparent during times
16 See Barton 1949; Dozier 1966; Prill-Brett 1987; Kiefer 1972; Rosaldo 1980; Hasluck 1954; Ginat 1997. 17 See Philip Carl Salzman in Ginat 1997: vii-viii; Kiefer 1972: 53.

RIDO V2.indd 17

10/4/2007 8:22:33 AM

18 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

of conflict. A harm done to a village member is considered a threat to the security and autonomy of the village itself. On such occasions, the village is expected to retaliate to assert its strength and defensive capacity and not lose the respect of other villages (Prill-Brett 1987:15). Elsewhere, village life and blood feuds in the Albanian highlands, eloquently captured in the earlier work of Margaret Hasluck (1954), provide us with some important insights into the relationship of family and communal solidarity and revenge: The community sense was fostered by every art the mountaineers knew. Each member of a household was encouraged to regard everything in it and everything its other members said and did as his own. The humblest man was encouraged to regard his village or group of villages as his personal property. If home, village or group of villages prospered, he rejoiced as if he had himself been advanced. If they were insulted or injured, he burned to avenge a personal affront. If they were disgraced by misconduct on the part of another member, he felt his own honour to be smirched. The patriotism so bred was narrow, perhaps, but its emphasis on the need to keep the community’s honour untarnished, a good deterrent from crime. (1954: 11) These communities consisted in the narrower sense of the family, and in the wider sense of the tribe. If a person was injured, the family in most cases, and the tribe in a few cases, by the law of self-government punished the wrongdoer. Since the individual was almost completely submerged in his family, an injury to him was an injury to the whole family and might be punished by any of its members. When the tribal community was involved, the injury might again be avenged by any of its members. When the injury took the form of murder, vengeance generally took the Mosaic form of a life for a life, but sometimes was achieved by the exaction of blood money or the imposition of exile. (1954: 219) This vivid description by Hasluck underscores the obligations of closely-knit groups in providing mutual self-help that covers various aspects of everyday living including revenge which, in the end, may be necessary for the survival of a community. Joseph Ginat (1997), in a more refined explanation of mutual self-help as a collective cultural response, used the notion of “collective responsibility”.18 In his study of blood revenge among Bedouins and Arabs in Israel,

18 Barton’s earlier works also proposed the ideas of collective responsibility and collective procedure in Ifugao legal system (1949: 71-72, 82); (1969: 7).

RIDO V2.indd 18

10/4/2007 8:22:33 AM

Introduction || 19

Ginat explains that in a system of collective responsibility, “any act or omission by one individual reflects on the group as a whole in the sense that the group is responsible for, and must accept, the consequences of that act or omission” (1997:2). This means that each member of a group may be held responsible for the actions of any one member, such that an injury inflicted on a member of a group would be considered an injury to the whole group, and thus creating conflict with the injured group. The basis of collective responsibility is the need to help each other in a hostile environment. As agricultural and pastoral societies collectively held territory, they also had shared interests and shared commitments such as security. According to Ginat, “collective responsibility” is the “defining thread that runs through blood revenge, family honor, mediation, and outcasting” (1997:1-2). Security based on collective responsibility is effective because, on the one hand, the possibility of retaliation from an individual’s group serves as a deterrent for coming into conflict and, on the other hand, an individual knows that he is also responsible for the actions of his group members, such that he can also be a target for reprisal if his group member comes into conflict. Robert Bates (2001) in his discussion on the development of agrarian societies supports this view. He explains that the numerous risks faced by agrarian societies from nature and from the conduct of other people resulted in the development of social arrangements that not only allowed families to organize production but also provide security and protection through the private provision of coercion. In such societies, the threat of retaliation from the private provision of coercion served as a deterrent that kept a fragile peace (Bates 2001: 46-47). Honor, Shame, and Reciprocity The interplay of honor, shame, and reciprocity within the cultural context of a society may serve to regulate relations among its members, determine prestige and political influence, facilitate access to resources and economic distribution, reinforce social ties, and promote cohesion. Julian Pitt-Rivers defines honor as the value of a person in his own eyes and also in the eyes of his society. “It is his estimation of his own worth, his claim to pride, but it is also the acknowledgement of that claim, his excellence recognized by society, his right to pride” (Pitt-Rivers 1966:21).19 It must be noted, however, that the conception of honor varies across different social contexts (region, period, class, cultures, etc.). For instance, honor as understood in European society is quite different in the Arab world. In France (and somewhat similarly in England), the concept of honor originated from
19 Julian Pitt-Rivers discusses honor, social status, and shame in Western Europe and compares the range of this notion with modern Andalusian society (1966).

RIDO V2.indd 19

10/4/2007 8:22:33 AM

20 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

the ideology of noble military service that later on became associated with the idea of noble race through reproductive and inheritance strategies in order to keep wealth intact (Nye 1998). Depending on different periods, honor in Spanish society was connected to lineage and social class and the notion of “pure blood” (Baroja 1966). In Arab society, Abhou-Zeid (1966: 256) differentiates the types of honor such as sharaf which can be accumulated or lost according to the man’s behavior, and the ird which is honor that only applies to female chastity and can only be lost and even affect the man’s honor. Among some indigenous groups in the Philippines, concepts of honor locally known as bansa or bantug are recognized through a person’s capacity to help others or, in the case of village headmen (datus), in the capacity to settle disputes. Among the Meranao, the maratabat approximate the concepts of honor, self-esteem, and prestige but is sometimes equated to lineage or social status in the community.20 Across many societies, when honor is challenged it can be resolved through an appeal to some form of tribunal such as the court of public opinion, the monarch (sultan, datu), and other ordeals such as judicial combat (as in the French duel), which imply an appeal to God.21 Physical violence is usually the ultimate vindication of honor especially when other means to settle disputes fail. In Albania, the blood feud is considered the ultimate sanction in all cases where personal honor is concerned (Hasluck 1954: xii)22 such that failure to seek redress for honor that is violated is severely criticized by society: Public opinion also spurred the avenger on. A man slow to kill his enemy was thought ‘disgraced’ and was described as ‘low class’ and ‘bad’. Among the Highlanders, he risked finding that other men had contemptuously come to sleep with his wife, his daughter could not marry into a ‘good’ family, and his son must marry a ‘bad’ girl. (Hasluck 1954: 231-232) While honor can sometimes be a driving factor in revenge, this same sense of honor also demands that vengeance is not taken indiscriminately.
20 The maratabat has a universe of meanings which can include honor, status, rank, self-esteem, dignity, pride, self-respect, etc. For a thorough discussion of maratabat, please refer to the studies of Abdullah 1982, Bartolome 2001, and to the chapters of Matuan, Burton, and Doro in this volume. 21 See Pitt-Rivers in Persistiany 1966. 22 According to Hasluck, the Albanian blood feud has its roots in the customary laws of the mountaineers which evolved as part of the legal framework they devised for every aspect of their life (1954:9). Administered by a ruling rank collectively known as elders, these customary laws are enshrined in the kanun of Lek Dukagjini (Code of Lek Dukagjini). The kanun contained methods for dealing with crimes against property and person, conventions that govern trespass, travel, the administration of oaths, the imposition of penalties, and conventions that govern the blood-feud (Hasluck 1954:xii).

RIDO V2.indd 20

10/4/2007 8:22:33 AM

Introduction || 21

In many societies (like the communities in this study), revenge and blood feuds are governed by a multiplicity of rules. The Albanian blood feuds documented by Hasluck provide many examples of such conventions. For instance, it is considered dishonorable to kill and not tell, to steal from a victim, to hide a victim’s body, and to violate the sanctity of the “pledged word” such as a truce (bese) (1954: 220). There are also practices governing house guests and women. House guests, for example, are considered under the protection of the host such that the host is obliged to avenge the guest when killed under one’s protection, while killing women and persons who are physically frail, feeble-minded, or not capable of carrying arms is abhorred.23 Curiously, other conventions exist concerning religious beliefs that demonstrate the persistence of customary laws despite the influence of Christianity and Islam. In some parts of Albania, an assailant is expected to face a dead man’s body to the east if his victim is Christian and toward Mecca if the victim is Muslim (Hasluck 1954: 229).24 Complementing the concept of honor is the concept of shame. Ginat says that “just as honor is the value of a person in his own eyes, but also in the eyes of his society, so should shame be seen not only in how the individual feels but also in what people will say” (1997: 131). Shame involves sensitivity to the opinion of others and includes a consciousness of public opinion and judgment (Pitt-Rivers 1966:52). It is related to a person’s status in the context of his community—being a source of standards, values, and validation—and, in a way, recreates volatile hierarchies of moral and social rank (Miller 1993: x, 134). The significance of shame and its contextual embeddedness has been observed by Kiefer in his analysis of Tausug revenge patterns (mamauli). Kiefer points out that the basic element in shame is “the discrediting of the self in front of others”(1972: 68). He explains that in Tausug society where the values of bravery and masculinity are highly expected in adult males, an offense committed against a man that shames (sipug) him results in a reduced self-image. This situation creates a state of enmity and has potential for conflict as society expects the offended person to seek redress for the grievance so as to erase the shame and sustain his self-image as a brave man (Kiefer 1972: 53).

23 Among the Kalinga, a host is similarly obligated to avenge the slaying or wounding of his guest (Barton 1949:83). 24 According to Hutton (in Hasluck): “As a result of the Turkish conquest, several of the Albanian tribes changed from Christianity to Islam, and there are now many Muslim Albanians as well as both Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christians. The Mirdite, who constitute the biggest tribe, were perhaps at one time Orthodox, and are now staunch Catholics. But their profession of faith seems to have affected but little the adherence of the Albanians to their ancient customs.” (1954: xv)

RIDO V2.indd 21

10/4/2007 8:22:34 AM

22 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Meanwhile, the concept of reciprocity cuts across honor and shame, kinship ties, and collective responsibility. Reciprocity is an exchange relationship that can unite or divide persons and also serve as means of expression and manipulation of social relationships and social identity (SeymourSmith 1986:240). Gift exchange is an important expression of reciprocity and a serious business in honor-based or prestige-oriented societies. Among the Tausug, Kiefer observes that reciprocity is the essence of friendship and thus, reciprocal gift-giving through commodities, services, and sentiments is pervasive in Tausug social organization (1972: 65). He adds that a type of reciprocity called buddi (debt of gratitude) is usually created in a person who has received a great favor and consequently feels a strong moral obligation to do something in turn for his friend. These obligations to repay a debt of gratitude can be observed in the daily village life of the Tausug, but are especially emphasized during times of conflict when persons in an exchange relationship can aid each other in providing military assistance, taking revenge, and lending out weapons. Conversely, reciprocity can also be applied during a state of enmity. During such instances, revenge or mamauli can be seen as a negative form of reciprocity wherein men exchange hostile feelings that drive them apart instead of bringing them together (Kiefer 1972:67). However, it must be noted that while conceptions of honor, shame, and reciprocity are factors in conflict, these must not be reified or seen as dysfunctions in culture. During the public presentation of the rido study in the Davao conference, there was a lively discussion among the participants on the salience of maratabat as a major culprit in clan conflicts. While many affirmed maratabat as a factor for rido, others pointed out that a society’s sense and concepts of honor, self-esteem, and dignity also ensure the integrity and survival of communities. In the end, it was agreed that there is a need for a deeper understanding of notions of honor such as the maratabat and the need to harness its positive aspects or transform it in a positive way. Turbulent Histories, Transitions, and Negotiated Mixed Systems The incidence and magnitude of internal conflicts (such as feuding) in a region may vary across different periods and changing political contexts. For instance, the effectiveness of a state to provide security and protection to its citizens and lessen dependence on security based on self-help may wax or wane depending on a variety of reasons (i.e. legitimacy of government, distance of the central government from conflict-affected regions, ethnic plurality, presence of a marginalized community, influence of neighboring states, insensitive policies, etc). Below are some instances where turbulent histories and political transitions contribute to endemic conflicts.

RIDO V2.indd 22

10/4/2007 8:22:34 AM

Introduction || 23

The Balkan Peninsula, a natural bridge between Asia and Europe, is considered a crossroad of different religions, cultures, and civilizations (Zagar 2000: 129). Because of this feature, the region experienced frequent wars, migrations, and displacements which have continually changed the ethnic composition of the population. The region’s turbulent history coupled with successively weak central governments led communities to rely more on kinship for survival and on the private provision of coercion for protection and social control.25 This situation was similarly observed by Gerard Rixhon in a comparative study of feuding in Sulu and Corsica (Chapter 10 of this volume). According to Rixhon, the turbulent histories of Sulu and Corsica such as numerous military occupations and incursions from foreign powers and pirates, their (forced) inclusion into the territories of France and the Philippines, divisive politics, widespread corruption, inadequate justice system, and government neglect have led the citizens to resort to private forms of justice called vendetta or vengeance for the Corsicans and mamauli for the Tausugs. Transitioning polities and modernization also contribute to the increasing instances of internal conflicts.26 The rise of dueling in France in the 16th century is said to be the result of internal conflicts caused by religious civil wars and the expansion of the monarchy’s powers, while its recurrence in the 1800s was reported during general elections and political crisis (Nye 1998: 24, 185).27 More recently, the collapse of the communist regime in Albania in 1991 and the weak quasi-democratic government that replaced it is said to be the source of the recent blood feud crisis in the country.28 In the Philippines, there was a documented rise in inter-tribal feuding in the Cordilleras during the general unrest that followed the withdrawal of the Spanish colonizers and the imposition of American authority as well as during the end of the Japanese occupation ( Jenista 1987:13; Dozier 1972:74). Modernization, rapid change, and the encompassing forces of nationalism and globalization not only contribute to internal conflicts but also affect changes in the economic structure and social organization of local communities. These in turn influence the nature and resolution of such conflicts. In Israel, education and economic opportunities are drawing rural
25 This is observed in highlands of Albania where customary laws and the institution of the blood feud are more recognized by communities in governing their lives than the authority of colonizing governments (Hasluck 1954: 9, 219). 26 An increasing number of studies show that governments in transition, whether toward democratic or authoritarian direction, are more prone to internal conflicts because of weakened institutions. See Kim Ninh 2003; Muscat 2002:6; Anderson 1999: 9, 11; Zagar 2000: 129, 143-145. 27 In France, the duel became a social phenomenon that in 20 years between 1589 and 1610, it is estimated that 10,000 deaths resulted from it (Nye 1998: 26). 28 It should be noted that from 1992 to 1996, the press in Tirana reported more than 5,000 murders linked to vendettas (See “Honour” Killings and Blood Feuds in www.gendercide.org)

RIDO V2.indd 23

10/4/2007 8:22:34 AM

24 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

tribal communities into the larger socioeconomic system.29 As a result, state and tribal structures are influencing each other resulting in a mixed system. For instance, while Israel does not recognize blood revenge as a sanction for homicide, an increasing number of government officials engage in mediation and are actively involved in traditional mechanisms like the sulha (peace settlement) committees to resolve blood disputes. Meanwhile, traditional mediators are also leading the resolution of blood disputes into state structures. These changes plus the strong authority of the state have undermined self-help as a means of social control. Hence, in Israel, it is foreseen that the resolution of blood disputes will increasingly utilize the legal apparatus of the state (Ginat 1997:192). Resolution of Rido Conflicts in the Philippines The studies in this volume document several conflict-resolution bodies and mechanisms that address rido and other community-based conflicts (mechanisms which sometimes compete with each other). Such conflictresolution bodies and mechanisms may utilize the more formal legal framework of government, or the various indigenous systems, or a combination of both. The government framework generally involves cases that are passed on to the formal courts, the local chief executives, the katarungang pambarangay (barangay justice), the police, and, in some cases, the afp. The indigenous means of resolving rido usually involve elders and leaders of communities affected by conflicts who utilize local knowledge, beliefs, practices, and their network of personal ties to help repair or restore damaged relationships. Among the Meranao,30 such local conflictresolution mechanisms include the taritib ago igma and the kokoman a kambhatabata’a.31 Among the Menuvu, dialogues among the elders (i.e. timuay and datu) to settle conflicts are common, which eventually lead to husay (indemnity/settlement) and various peace covenants such as dyandi and tampuda hu balagon. The studies also mentioned several cases that involve the payment of “blood money” as indemnification for murder, accidental death, or even injuries. In the Middle East, this payment is called

29 See Philip Carl Salzman in Ginat 1997:x. 30 The words Meranao, Maranao, Maranaw used in this book refer to the same ethnic group just as the words Manobo and Menuvu, as well as the words Magindanaon, Maguindanaon, and Magindanao. The editor has retained the spellings used by the individual researchers. 31 The taritib ago igma is an indigenous set of laws while the kokoman a kambhatabata’a is a mode of conflict settlement based on kinship. Please see chapters of Matuan, Burton and Doro in this volume.

RIDO V2.indd 24

10/4/2007 8:22:35 AM

Introduction || 25

diyya while among Philippine local groups, the term is variously known as diat, kandiat, bangun, etc. Like many customary laws, the practice of giving “blood money” or indemnifications in reparation for crimes committed goes against the formal laws of the state. However, such practices should not be misinterpreted as a simple payment in isolation of more significant processes. Blood money can be seen as restoration money or settlement money which is only one aspect in the resolution and healing process that may involve restoring relations within a community and a dialogue with the spirits or a Supreme Being. The practice of giving “blood money” should be understood beyond its material aspects and be viewed more for its symbolic and spiritual elements that facilitate forgiveness and healing.33 There are also a variety of innovative or hybrid mechanisms that combine the mainstream or formal government framework with the traditional ways of resolving conflicts. These include the joint ulama municipal peace and order council in Barira, Maguindanao; the walay na bitiara in Sultan Kudarat municipality in Maguindanao; and the Mayor’s Council “tri-people” conflict-resolution body in North Upi, Maguindanao. In Sulu, local government units have integrated traditional conflict resolution processes and customary laws into municipal and provincial executive policies such as the Tausug Customary Law Ordinance. Government, religious, and traditional Moro leaders have also collaborated in resolving conflicts under the auspices of the Regional Reconciliation and Unification Commission (rruc) of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. The other conflict-resolution mechanisms documented include the various “spaces for peace” such as the one found in Pikit, North Cotabato; the revolutionary courts patterned after the Shari’ah concept of justice in areas occupied by the Moro National Liberation Front (mnlf) and milf; the mobilization of ceasefire-monitoring mechanisms such as local monitoring teams, Bantay Ceasefire, and the Joint Government-milf ccch and imts which stood out in effectively responding to armed tensions between government and Moro liberation forces. More recently, this author has personally observed interventions initiated by some youth organizations to facilitate the settlement of rido. The United Youth for Peace and Development (unypad) has successfully helped the settlement of a celebrated rido case in North Cotabato between the
32 In Ginat (1997: 15) 33 This assertion is also based on the author’s personal experience in Sulu and Semporna, wherein indemnifications are sometimes given even without the shedding of blood. For instance, a diat can also be given by a person who only assisted or rescued an injured person. Part of the diat process is the communal sharing of food and the prayers. The entire process is said to diffuse tensions and facilitate the quicker healing of injuries (Torres 2006: 315).


RIDO V2.indd 25

10/4/2007 8:22:35 AM

26 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Mangansakan and Tayuan clans. The group did this by conducting research about the conflict, consolidating and strengthening the council of elders of both clans, finding an acceptable mediator, and conducting consultations and information dissemination to grassroots members of both clans. This settlement culminated in a grand kanduli or thanksgiving celebration between the two clans. Another youth organization, the Reconciliatory Initiatives for Development Opportunities, has been trying to resolve rido through the comprehensive documentation and analysis of genealogies (an account of relationships of descent) and the use of traditional governance and authority such as the sultanates of Marawi. In general, the various community-based initiatives and the peacebuilding efforts of the broad network of civil society organizations in promoting dialogues among residents, armed groups, and feuding families have contributed a lot in defusing armed tensions. More successful examples are highlighted in the following chapters. The Rido Studies in Brief This volume presents nine studies that investigate the dynamics of clan conflicts or rido in 12 provinces of Mindanao: Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi.34 Chapters One, Two and Three provide us with a general idea on the prevalence of clan and family feuds across Mindanao. Three research institutions inventoried rido cases in 11 provinces. This inventory records the number of settled, unresolved, and recurring cases of rido, as well as the number of deaths, injured, and jailed in relation to these feuds. The first chapter, written by Dr. Jamail Kamlian of the Mindanao State University (msu)-Iligan Institute of Technology, surveys the incidences of feuding families and clans in nine provinces: Basilan, Lanao del Norte, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, and Zamboanga Sibugay. This survey is complemented in the next two chapters by the studies of Prof. Abhoud Syed Lingga in Maguindanao and Dr. Moctar Matuan in Lanao del Sur.35 The three studies documented a total of 1,266 rido cases that killed more than 5,500 people and displaced thousands.
34 When the research was conducted, Shariff Kabunsuan was still under the province of Maguindanao. 35 It must be noted that three studies have different timelines. Dr. Kamlian’s survey covered a 75-year period, while the studies of Prof. Lingga and Dr. Matuan covered a period of 35 and 10 years, respectively. The different timelines is due to the varying objectives of the researchers. While a comprehensive accounting of rido is not possible, the studies’ contribution is that it shows a reasonable estimate of clan conflict incidences in Mindanao.

RIDO V2.indd 26

10/4/2007 8:22:35 AM

Introduction || 27

The study of Prof. Abhoud Syed Lingga of the Institute of Bangsamoro Studies looks into rido incidences that occurred in Maguindanao within a period of 35 years (1970-2004). It presents several cases of rido caused by elections, land conflicts, crimes against chastity, theft, jesting, and suspicion. The study also explains the different conflict-resolution bodies utilized by disputing parties, including the milf conflict-resolution procedures. This study asserts that rido is a consequence of the absence of justice brought about by the inefficiency and ineffectiveness of the justice system which is further aggravated by the existence of competing justice systems that gives contending parties the opportunity to “forum shop” or to look for a venue where a satisfactory result can be obtained. The study of Dr. Moctar Matuan of msu-Marawi shows the scope and magnitude of rido in the different municipalities of Lanao del Sur within a ten-year period (1994-2004). It also discusses the significance of the Meranao indigenous political organization (pat a phangampongang ko ranao), indigenous laws (taritib ago igma), and kinship system (mbatabata’a or thothonganaya) in the resolution of conflicts. This study asserts that no single case of rido has been resolved through the formal justice system in the province. All of the rido settled went through the igma and taritib or the traditional way of the Meranao, which is influenced by Islam. In looking at the profile of assailants and victims, the study also discovered that those involved in rido are more educated and economically well-off. Collaborative studies by leading academic institutions in Mindanao— Ateneo de Zamboanga University, Notre Dame University, Xavier University and Mindanao State University Marawi—are presented in Chapters Four and Five. The team from Ateneo de Zamboanga and Notre Dame University headed by Dr. Ofelia Durante and Dr. Norma Gomez, investigated clan conflicts among the Tausug, Maguindanao, Maranao, Sama, and Yakan. The study confirms that most incidents of clan conflicts in the research areas are settled through traditional practices, mediation, and amicable settlement. The study also discusses in detail the conflict-resolution processes, the qualities of mediators, and the different strategies in settling clan conflicts. The team from Xavier University and msu-Marawi headed by Dr. Linda Burton and Dr. Moctar Matuan compare the response to conflict situations of the Meranao of Lanao del Sur and the lumad from three different communities, namely the Matigsalug Manobo of San Fernando, Bukidnon; the Higaonon of Claveria, Misamis Oriental; and the Talaandig of Lantapan, Bukidnon. The study discusses how the different groups conceive of conflict, justice, honor, and pride. The study shows how the communities use traditional and non-traditional means to maintain social order and harmony.

RIDO V2.indd 27

10/4/2007 8:22:36 AM

28 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Specific conflict cases and instances of conflict management among the Meranao and the lumad are presented. The study of violent conflict involving families belonging to the Menuvu and Maguindanaon communities is highlighted in Chapter Six. Conducted by a team from the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society, the study focuses on communities in North Cotabato and Bukidnon that were affected by war. The study asserts that the 1970s war in Mindanao, involving militias such as the ilaga and Blackshirts, disrupted the harmony between the Menuvu and Maguindanaon communities. The study shows that up to this day, incursions by illegal loggers, political and business interests, vigilante, and paramilitary groups continue to displace and marginalize both the Menuvu and Maguindanaon and deepen the prejudices between the two peoples. The studies in Chapters Seven, Eight and Nine feature in-depth investigations of specific clan conflict cases. Monalinda Doro’s study of rido among the Meranao of Baloi, Lanao del Norte, highlights six case studies of rido involving theft, ‘unfavored’ love affair, heated argument, suspicion, envy, and election fraud. The case studies describe in detail the process of escalation of seemingly simple conflicts and the process of mediated settlement where the complementary role of men and women mediators is observed, and the role of the bae a labi (female counterpart of the datu) is highlighted. The study also discusses the different types of land conflict leading to rido and the different modes of settlement utilized. The study in Chapter Eight by Jose Jowel Canuday describes the explosive consequences of the interplay of community armed conflicts and large-scale armed conflicts which contribute to the recurring character of violence in the conflict-prone areas of Central Mindanao. The investigation presents five cases studies of communities in Maguindanao and North Cotabato repeatedly affected by both large-scale and community armed conflicts. The cases include the Linantangan assault in January 2005, the Dapiawan encounters in August 2004, the armed confrontations in Gligli in 1989, and the contrasting cases of restraint and healing in Buliok in 2003 and in Lebpas in 1987. The study reveals the significant roles played by paramilitary forces supported by government troops and local militias aligned to the milf in the outbreak and escalation of violence, as well as the equally important roles played by ceasefire monitors, civil society organizations, and the joint Government-milf ceasefire committees in deescalating such conflicts. The study of United Youth for Peace and Development (unypad) in Chapter Nine focuses on three case studies of feuding involving prominent families in Mindanao which at some point threatened the peace of the local

RIDO V2.indd 28

10/4/2007 8:22:36 AM

Introduction || 29

communities. The study looks into the rido of the Mangansakans and the Tayuans,36 the Abases and the Sinsuats, and the Bagundangs and the Manduyogs. The cases illustrate how political rivalries and land disputes escalate into rido and how such conflicts become complicated by the involvement of the military and local militias. The study also analyzed the different stages of rido, starting from the pre-rido or “cold war” stage to the transformational stage—where trust and confidence between conflicting parties is gradually restored. The study asserts the importance of identifying potential conflicts early on and recognizing when a conflict has reached the “realization” period when the feuding families are more open to talks and settlement. The two concluding chapters in this volume provide differing but important perspectives to the rido studies. Although not included in the coordinated study supported by usaid and The Asia Foundation, the two chapters are valuable contributions to the literature on revenge and feuding. Chapter Ten is an exploration of Tausug and Corsican clan feuding written by Prof. Gerard Rixhon. As discussed earlier, the study of Rixhon points to several internal and external factors which contribute to the incidence of feuding in Corsica and Sulu, significant of which are the turbulent histories experienced by both islands that eventually forced the locals to rely on private justice characterized by revenge killings. In the last chapter, Dr. Samuel K. Tan shares some of his insights on the rido studies and recommendations, and offers his prospects on the peace process and a sustained peace in Mindanao. Drawing from history and trends in the region, Dr. Tan also explores the relationship of rido to indigenous folk traditions and pre-Islamic beliefs and practices, and warns of the dangers of how clan conflicts can be transformed with the emergence of advanced weaponry and strategies and the assimilation of extreme ideologies. Prospects Rido is a complex problem that requires a combined set of strategies for prevention and resolution. Drawing from the experiences of other countries, we see how the combination of socio-economic benefits, a reliable justice system, and the use of non-formal local mechanisms such as the sulha committees (composed of traditional and government mediators) curbed the incidence of blood disputes in Israel.37 In Albania, a campaign was mounted to reconcile feuding families by setting up the Committee of Blood Reconciliation which resolved 756 blood feuds in August 2000.38
36 This is the rido for which UNYPAD subsequently assisted in a settlement, noted earlier. 37 See Ginat 1997. 38 See “Honour” Killings and Blood Feuds in www.gendercide.org

RIDO V2.indd 29

10/4/2007 8:22:36 AM

30 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Elsewhere in Sabah, Malaysia, where a number of indigenous communities reside, the recognition of the Native Law (based on adat or customary laws) by the Malaysian Federal Government and the Sabah State and its institutionalization through the native courts has empowered local communities to use indigenous means in resolving conflicts, thereby ensuring swift access to justice. 39 In the Philippines, where there is a wide range of community-based peace initiatives and indigenous or alternative conflict-resolution mechanisms as well as more formal legal approaches, the challenge is to approach conflicts in a contextual manner and work with the local people on shared objectives, to harness and strengthen the assortment of existing conflictresolution mechanisms, and translate these into strategic interventions that will promote an enabling environment that will help communities and government address conflicts. Some strategies that can be pursued along this line include the following: • Recognizing, enhancing, and supporting the development of mixed or hybrid institutions or systems composed of formal and informal structures utilized by communities in managing and resolving conflicts. Mainstream or formal legal systems of government can be successful in resolving conflicts if they are accepted by the people. But sometimes, indigenous or traditional ways of resolving conflicts and hybrid mechanisms are practiced because the formal legal systems do not work or are not appropriate to the local context. As previously mentioned, hybridized or mixed systems combine the formal government framework with the traditional ways of resolving conflicts. Examples of these may include bodies composed of a combination of local government and traditional leaders such as peace councils and council of elders, or practices that integrate formal and informal conflict resolution approaches like those devised by local governments in Maguindanao. Such mixed systems and institutions are local innovations that represent compromises with the formal systems and can be considered rules-in-use or working rules developed by communities through time as part of their adaptive strategies to cope with the challenges of daily living. Enhancing such institutions allows the formal and non-formal practices to draw strength from each other and strengthen the conflict-resolution process.40 This is important especially if the state and its apparatuses are weak.

39 See the works of Phelan 1993; Kitingan 1993. 40 A similar method of hybridization was adopted by American colonial authorities in implementing new policies in the Cordilleras by successfully utilizing existing indigenous systems, an example of which is the practice of American administrators in using Ifugao customary laws in combination with the American legal system and in involving elders in assessing and settling disputes (See Jenista 1987:119).

RIDO V2.indd 30

10/4/2007 8:22:37 AM

Introduction || 31

• Building the capacities of recognized and potential leaders and mediators in managing conflicts. Leaders, whether traditional community leaders or formal government officials, have the important function of bridging societal divides, foremost of which is in conflict resolution and maintaining peace and order in their respective communities. Building their capacities to understand the nature of conflicts and a range of conflict-management techniques (i.e. conflict mapping, mediation, peace and conflict impact assessment, negotiation coaching, conflict research and documentation, as well as human rights and paralegal trainings) is important because these will complement and enhance existing local knowledge and skills and provide stakeholders with a flexible “toolkit” for addressing conflicts depending on the situation and context. Knowledge of such techniques will increase the options available to communities when faced with conflict situations and, in the long run, help prevent abuses from armed elements. • Establishing networks of community-based, community-initiated conflict-monitoring and rapid-response mechanisms that will help in the resolution of ongoing rido and other communal conflicts, and prevent the interaction and escalation of smaller conflicts. Communities play a vital role as focal points for conflict management, peace building, and transformation for various reasons already mentioned. Despite this, a more programmatic and holistic response to conflicts by stakeholders is lacking. Developing a network of community-based conflict-monitoring and rapid-response mechanism provides a framework where stakeholders can engage each other and work collaboratively to formulate and implement a multi-pronged approach to monitor, prevent, and respond to security issues in their respective communities. Similar mechanisms have already existed in the Philippine experience in various degrees of refinement. Examples include the network of interlocking peace pact institutions that have controlled feuding and reinforced territorial boundaries among villages in the Cordilleras; the various peace zones and spaces for peace that have sprouted throughout the country, originally as a response to communist insurgency and government counterinsurgency, and more recently, the ceasefire-monitoring mechanisms and buffer zones being implemented in Central Mindanao by the Joint grp-milf Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities, the Malaysian-led International Monitoring Team, and civil society networks.41 Some strategies that can further be adopted in developing such community-based mechanisms might include developing community protocols so that people will know what actions to take in case conflict occurs. In communities where kinship ties are strong, a comprehensive documentation of genealogies is a
41 For a detailed discussion of peace pacts, see the works of Barton 1949, Dozier 1966 & 1972, Prill-Brett 1987, Scott 1982. On peace zones, please refer to Soliman Santos, Jr. (2005).

RIDO V2.indd 31

10/4/2007 8:22:37 AM

32 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

logical strategy so that in case conflict occurs, it is easier for locals to assess the lines of descent and find neutral relatives of conflicting parties that can act as mediators. Establishing mosque-based initiatives in addressing local conflicts can also be effective since mosques are important centers for welfare activities and the potential of religious leaders are largely untapped.42 It must be noted that such networks and mechanisms are made into reality by communities and reflect the genuine desire of the people aspiring for peace. The Asia Foundation believes that forging a just and sustainable peace in Mindanao involves a thorough understanding of specific conflicts and creating spaces for the active engagement of all stakeholders to discuss issues, generate options, and come up with mutually agreed courses of action to address problems. The body of work presented in this volume is the product of sincere dialogue and engagement of the Foundation with its partners, the communities, and other stakeholders, and forms an indispensable basis for moving forward toward peace and development in Mindanao. Cited References
Abdullah, Intuas. “Dispute Settlement Among Maranao: Case Studies of Conflict Resolution in Marawi City.” Masters Thesis. Department of Anthropology. University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, 1982. Abou-Zeid, Ahmed. “Honour and Shame Among The Bedouins of Egypt.” In J.G. Peristiany. Honour and Shame: The Values of Mediterranean Society. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1966. Anderson, Mary B. Do No Harm: How Aid Can Support Peace—Or War. Colorado: Lynne Reinner Publishers, Inc., 1999. Badilla, Joselle. “Soldiers, MILF rebs help free kidnapping victim.” Philippine Daily Inquirer. June 6, 2006: A13. Bantay Ceasefire Report. “Skirmishes and Displacement of Civilians in Maguindanao from June to July 2006.” Baroja, Julio Caro. “A Historical Account of Several Conflicts.”In J.G. Peristiany. Honour and Shame: The Values of Mediterranean Society. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1966. Bartolome, Claribel D. “Maratabat and Rido: Implications for Peace and National Development.” Department of Graduate Studies/ Psychology College of Social Science and Humanities. Mindanao State University, 2001.

42 The Asia Foundation’s Bangladesh office, with support from USAID has successfully implemented mosque-based and imam-centered strategies in development through their Leaders Outreach Initiative Program which is worth replicating for addressing conflict-related issues. In Sulu, a local NGO (Tulung Lupah Sug) is utilizing mosque-based approaches in resolving clan violence, with support from USAID and The Asia Foundation.

RIDO V2.indd 32

10/4/2007 8:22:37 AM

Introduction || 33

Barton, Roy Franklin. The Kalingas: Their Institutions and Custom Law. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1949. ______________. Ifugao Law. With A New Foreword by Fred Eggan. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1969. Bastin, John and D.C. Twitchett. General Editors. Sejarah Melayu or Malay Annals. Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press, 1970. Bates, Robert. Prosperity and Violence: The Political Economy of Development. New York and London: W.W. Norton & Company, 2001. Boehm, Christopher. Blood Revenge. The Anthropology of Feuding in Montenegro and Other Tribal Societies. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1984. Business World. “Kidnapped girl released.” May 15, 2006. Page 12. Dayag-Laylo, Carijane. “Exploring Conflict Management in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.” Presented paper. 4th Asian Regional Conference of the World Association for Public Opinion Research (WAPOR). Asian Institute of Management Conference Center, Makati City, 23-24 February 2004. Dozier, Edward P. Mountain Arbiters: The Changing Life of a Philippine Hill People. Tucson, Arizona: The University of Arizona Press, 1966. ______________. The Kalinga of Northern Luzon, Philippines. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1972. Ginat, Joseph. Blood Revenge: Family Honor, Mediation, and Outcasting. 2nd ed. Great Britain: Sussex Academic Press, 1997. Goda, Toh. Ed. Political Culture and Ethnicity: An Anthropological Study in Southeast Asia. Quezon City: Toh Goda and New Day Publishers, 1999. Hasluck, Margaret. The Unwritten Law in Albania. Ed. J.H. Hutton. Great Britain: The Syndics of the Cambridge University Press, 1954. “Honor” Killings and Blood Feuds. http://www.gendercide.org Hutton, J.H. “Introduction.” In Margaret Hasluck. The Unwritten Law in Albania. Edited by J.H. Hutton. Great Britain: The Syndics of the Cambridge University Press, 1954: xi-xv. Jenista, Frank Lawrence. The White Apos: American Governors on the Cordillera Central. Quezon City: New Day Publishers, 1987. Junker, Laura Lee. Raiding, Trading, and Feasting: The Political Economy of Philippine Chiefdoms. Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2000. Kiefer, Thomas M. The Tausug: Violence and Law in a Philippine Moslem Society. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1972. King, Victor T. The Peoples of Borneo. Oxford and Cambridge: Blackwell Publishers, 1993. Kitingan, Datuk Joseph Pairin. Foreword. In Native Court and Customary Law of Sabah (with Cases and Decisions). Sabah, Malaysia: Dato’ Syed Ahmad Idid bin Syed Abdullah Idid, 1993. Layson, Roberto C. “Fields of Hope: Breaking Cultural and Religious Barriers.” MindaNews. 6 Nov 2005 Miller, William Ian. Humiliation And Other Essays on Honor, Social Discomfort, and Violence. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1993.

RIDO V2.indd 33

10/4/2007 8:22:38 AM

34 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao Mindanawon Institute for Cultural Dialogues. “Taking Rido Seriously: Top Level Participatory Analysis of Clan Conflicts and Community Conflicts in Mindanao.” Unpublished conference proceedings. Marco Polo Hotel, 2005. Muscat, Robert J. Investing in Peace: How Development Aid Can Prevent Or Promote Conflict. New York & England: M.E. Sharpe, 2002. Ninh, Kim. “Democratic Governance and Conflict Management in Asia.” Unpublished presentation by The Asia Foundation. Presented in Bangkok, Thailand, June 7 to 8, 2003. Nye, Robert A. Masculinity and Male Codes of Honor in Modern France. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1998. Papa, Alcuin. “Lanao clan war kills 10.” Philippine Daily Inquirer. 6 Jan 2006: A2. Peristiany, J.G. Honour and Shame: The Values of Mediterranean Society. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1966. Phelan, Brother Peter R. “Native Law in Sabah.” In Native Court and Customary Law of Sabah (with Cases and Decisions). Sabah, Malaysia: Dato’ Syed Ahmad Idid bin Syed Abdullah Idid, 1993. Pitt-Rivers, Julian. “Honour and Social Status.” In J.G. Peristiany. Honour and Shame: The Values of Mediterranean Society. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1966. Prill-Brett, June. Pechen: The Bontok Peace Pact Institution. Baguio City: Cordillera Studies Center, University of the Philippines, College Baguio, 1987. Rixhon, Gerard. “Tausug and Corsican Feuding: An Exploration.” Presented paper. Ateneo de Zamboanga University, 2006. Rood, Steven. “Forging Sustainable Peace in Mindanao: The Role of Civil Society.” Policy Studies 17. Washington: East-West Center Washington, 2005. Rosaldo, Renato. Ilongot Headhunting 1883-1974: A Study in Society and History. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1980. Salzman, Philip Carl. “Foreword to the first edition.” In Joseph Ginat. Blood Revenge: Family Honor, Mediation, and Outcasting. Great Britain: Sussex Academic Press, 1997. Santos, Soliman Jr. M. Peace Zones in the Philippines: Concept, Policy and Instruments. Quezon City: Gaston Z. Ortigas Peace Institute and The Asia Foundation, 2005. Scott, William Henry. Cracks in the Parchment Curtain and Other Essays in Philippine History. Quezon City: New Day Publishers, 1982. Seymour-Smith, Charlotte. Dictionary of Anthropology. Boston: G.K. Hall & Co., 1986. Singh, D.S. Ranjit. The Making of Sabah 1865-1941: The Dynamics of Indigenous Society. Kuala Lumpur: University of Malaya Press, 2000. Social Weather Stations. “Conflict Resolution and the Participation of Women in Peace, Governance and Development: An Integration of Three Surveys.” Presented paper in collaboration with the U.P. Institute of Islamic Studies and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process. U.P. ISSI, Quezon City, 21 February 2005.

RIDO V2.indd 34

10/4/2007 8:22:38 AM

Introduction || 35

Torres, Wilfredo III M. “Voyages and Ethnicity Across Reordered Frontiers: Conflict Resolution and Leadership in the Dynamics of Ethnic Identity Formation Among the Sama Dilaut of Semporna.” Negotiating Globalization in Asia. Ateneo Center for Asian Studies, 2006. “Updates on the GRP-MILF Peace Talks.” Republic of the Philippines. Office of the President. Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process. GRP Peace Panel for Talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, January 12, 2007. Zagar, Mitja. “Yugoslavia, What Went Wrong? Constitutional Development and Collapse of a Multiethnic State.” In Sean Byrne and Cynthia L. Irvin. (Eds). Reconcilable Differences: Turning Points in Ethnopolitical Conflict. Kumarian Press, Inc., 2000.

RIDO V2.indd 35

10/4/2007 8:22:38 AM


ch a p ter o n e

Survey of Feuding Families and Clans in Selected Provinces in Mindanao
Jamail A. Kamlian MSU-Iligan Institute of Technology

HE POLITICAL conflicts between the government and the various rebel groups in Mindanao have continuously devastated the economy and hampered the region’s development. Taken for granted are the many minor wars among fellow Muslims and feuding families that started over a property dispute, a dishonor inflicted on a family or a crime committed against a member of another family. The larger conflict in Mindanao between the government and forces of rebellion is being aggravated by an escalation of aggregated rido cases. This database could provide a new angle of approach to the resolution of the Mindanao conflict. This project enumerated rido cases and tried to investigate the factors that contributed to the rido including brief descriptions of the cases, the circumstances that made the respondents aware of the said conflicts, efforts at settlement, and status of the cases. It also queried respondents on conflict management and the impact of conflict on their lives. Locale of the Study This study was conducted in nine selected provinces in Mindanao where rido incidences were believed to have occurred and considerably affected Bangsamoro families, namely: Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Basilan, Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato, Lanao del Norte, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, and Zamboanga Sibugay.


|| 36 ||

RIDO V2.indd 36

10/4/2007 8:22:39 AM

Survey of Feuding Families and Clans in Selected Provinces in Mindanao || 37

Brief Socio-Demographic Profile of the Selected Provinces Basilan is an island province located at the western part of Mindanao on the waters of Celebes Sea, the Moro Gulf and the Sulu Sea between Zamboanga City and Sulu. It has an aggregate land area of 1,379 sq km including those of its surrounding 61 islands and islets. It is divided into one city and six municipalities. It has a population of 332,579 as of census year 2000 among whom 32% are Yakan, 25% Tausug, 15% Chavacano, 13% Sama, 11% Cebuano, and 4% belong to other ethnic groups. The population is predominantly Muslim (51%). It is one of the most depressed provinces in the country. Its socio-economic condition has been aggravated by the presence of armed extremist groups and lawless elements, particularly the Abu Sayyaf Group (asg) which has gained international notoriety for kidnapping. Lanao del Norte is in northern Mindanao, bounded on the north by Iligan Bay and Misamis Oriental, on the east by Bukidnon, on the west by Panguil Bay and Zamboanga del Sur, and on the south by Lanao del Sur and Illana Bay. It has a total land area of 427,845 ha with a population of 758,123. It is composed of Iligan City and 22 municipalities. When it was made into a separate province from Lanao del Sur on May 22, 1959 under Republic Act 2228, Iligan City became its capital. On June 24, 1982, under Batas Pambansa Blg. 181, the seat of the provincial government was transferred to the mu-

RIDO V2.indd 37

10/4/2007 8:22:39 AM

38 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

nicipality of Tubod. The population is predominantly Christian. Migrants from the Visayas have densely populated the north coast while some Muslims live in the interiors. About 65% of the people speak Cebuano, while some 33% speak the Maranao language. North Cotabato lies on the eastern part of Region XII and is strategically located in the central part of Mindanao. It has an area of 656,590 ha and is bounded on the north by Lanao del Sur and Bukidnon, on the east by Davao City, on the southeast by Davao del Sur, on the west by Maguindanao Province, and on the southwest by Sultan Kudarat Province. Kidapawan City is its capital. As of the 2000 official census, its population is 918,992 of whom 71% are migrants from Luzon and the Visayas, while 18% belong to cultural communities composed of Manobo, T’boli, and Maguindanao. The major dialects spoken are Hiligaynon or Ilonggo (43%), Cebuano (31%), Maguindanao (16%), and Ilocano (10%). Sultan Kudarat became a separate province on November 22, 1973. It has an area of 6,214.49 sq km. It is bounded on the north by North Cotabato and Maguindanao, on the east by Davao del Sur, on the west by the Moro Gulf, on the southwest by the Celebes Sea, and on the south by South Cotabato. It consists of Tacurong City and 11 municipalities. Its population is 586,505 as of the 2000 census. Sulu was made into a separate province through Commonwealth Act no. 2711 in March 1917. It is situated at the southernmost tip of the Philippine and lies midway between Basilan and Tawi-Tawi. The Sulu and Mindanao seas surround the archipelago on the west and north and the Celebes Sea on the east. Over 157 islands and islets compose the province. The islands have an aggregate total land area of 167,930 ha. It has 18 municipalities, ten of which are on the mainland and eight are island municipalities. Its capital town is Jolo. The total population of the province based on the 2000 census stands at 619,668. The main ethnic group is the Tausug. The Samal and the Badjaos are the two other main groups. Tawi-Tawi islands were part of Sulu until September 11, 1973, when the province was created through Presidential Decree No. 302. Tawi-Tawi is located at the southwestern tip of the Philippines and defines the international boundary with Sabah, East Malaysia. Its total combined land area is 342,656.10 ha. It is bounded by the Sulu Sea on the north and west and the Celebes Sea on the south and east. Of its 307 islands and islets, 88 are characterized by extensive reefs. It is composed of 10 island municipalities. The total population of the province is 322,317, where majority are the Samals and the Tausugs although Badjaos, Bisaya, Subanon, and Ilanon tribes are also present.

RIDO V2.indd 38

10/4/2007 8:22:40 AM

Survey of Feuding Families and Clans in Selected Provinces in Mindanao || 39

Zamboanga del Norte, which spans an area of 720,594 ha, is the largest province in Western Mindanao. It is situated in the northwestern tip of the Zamboanga Peninsula Region and is composed of two cities—Dipolog and Dapitan—and 25 municipalities. Its seat of government is Dipolog City. With more or less 400 km of irregular coastline facing the Sulu Sea, the province is bounded by Misamis Occidental in the north, Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga Sibugay in the east, and Zamboanga City in the south. The population, placed at 823,130, is predominantly Christian. Zamboanga del Sur is situated in the southern section of the Zamboanga Peninsula that forms the western part of Mindanao. It is bounded on the north by Zamboanga del Norte, on the east and northeast by Misamis Occidental and Lanao del Norte and Panguil Bay, on the south by the Moro Gulf, and on the southwest by Zamboanga Sibugay. The province is composed of Pagadian City (its capital), Zamboanga City, and 26 municipalities. It has 4,735 sq km total land area and a population of 836,147. Zamboanga Sibugay was created through Republic Act 8973 in February 2001 and comprising 16 municipalities. Its seat of government is located at Ipil, about 134 km away from Dipolog City. It has a land area of 360,775 ha and a total population of 497,239. The province is bounded on the north by Zamboanga del Norte, on the south by Dumanquilas and Sibugay Bays, on the east by Zamboanga del Sur, on the west by Zamboanga City and three other towns of Zamboanga del Norte. The major denominations are Catholic, Protestant, and Islam. The ethnic groups found in the province are Tausug, Maranao, Maguindanao, Subanen, Samal, and Yakan. Data Gathering Procedure The preliminary survey at the provincial and municipal levels was conducted by the project team through key informant interviews (kiis) with congressmen, the provincial governor, municipal mayors and council members, members of the provincial/city/municipal peace and order councils, military/police officials, and community leaders. Research Findings Incidences of Clan and Family Conflicts Clan and family conflicts in Mindanao are said to have triggered some of the skirmishes between the government forces and the separatist groups in the Bangsamoroland. This survey recorded a total of 671 rido cases in the areas selected for the study. The data gathered are presented in the following tables.

RIDO V2.indd 39

10/4/2007 8:22:40 AM

40 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Table 1 reveals that a high number of rido cases happened in the provinces of Lanao del Norte and Sulu where there were 164 and 145 incidences, respectively. These represent 24% and 22% of the total. The lowest number of rido cases was recorded in Sultan Kudarat at 18 or only 3%. The aggregate number of family and clan conflict incidences in the Zamboanga peninsula, however, was the highest at 228 or 34%. In terms of status, 389 or 58 % of the cases remain unresolved while 275 or 41 % have been settled. Only 1.05% or seven of the cases were recurrent, i.e., once resolved but ignited anew by recent developments between and among the conflicting parties.
TABLE 1. Summary of Surveyed Family/Clan Conflict (Rido) Cases Province No. of feuds Status
Resolved Unresolved Recurrent

No. of casualties
Death Wounded Imprisoned Missing

No. of families that transferred residences 96 870** 22 859 131 55 42 42 26 2143

Basilan Lanao del Norte North Cotabato Sultan Kudarat Sulu Tawi-Tawi Zamboanga del Norte Zamboanga del Sur Zamboanga Sibugay TOTAL

60 164 31 18 145 25 62 91 75 671

21 72 7 4 70 12 28 30 31 275

39 90 23 11 74 13 34 61 44 389

0 2 1 3 1 0 0 0 0 7

377 626* 263 648 1519 88 93 217 64 3895

126 135 121 1882 1269 26 30 13 35 3637

10 11 4 3 16 0 8 1 6 59

45 0 0 0 0 0 11 6 0 62

*Excluding deaths that cannot be estimated by respondents. ** Does not include those residential transfers not quantified by key informants but only indicated that most of the residents of the communities evac ated due to the occurrence of a rido. These were cited in four rido cases covered in the survey.

Table 1 also reveals a total of 3,895 deaths in the nine provinces, with Sulu registering the most number at 1,519. On the other hand, the total number of wounded persons is 3,637, with the highest number recorded in Sultan Kudarat at 1,882, followed closely by Sulu at 1,269. A total of 59 persons were imprisoned in rido-related cases with the highest number at 16 reported in Sulu. In Tawi-Tawi, no one was reported imprisoned. There were a total of 62 persons reported missing in the areas surveyed, mostly from Basilan. Internal displacements are among the common results of clan and family conflicts. Assets and livelihoods are lost along with the displacement of people. In the areas surveyed, 2,143 families have transferred residences. This figure does not include those displacements not quantified by key informants because they could not determine or recall the exact numbers. The residential transfers in Lanao del Norte and Sultan Kudarat—870 and 859,

RIDO V2.indd 40

10/4/2007 8:22:41 AM

Survey of Feuding Families and Clans in Selected Provinces in Mindanao || 41

respectively—are notable as they are much higher than those in other provinces. Homes were burned and lives endangered by the cycle of violence. Rido cases have occurred in every municipality and city in Lanao del Norte, Basilan, and Sulu. In the other six provinces though, clan and family conflicts happened only in some of the municipalities. In Zamboanga Sibugay, there were rido cases in 11 of its 16 municipalities; in Zamboanga del Sur, in 12 of its 26 municipalities and two cities; in Zamboanga del Norte, in seven of its 25 municipalities and two cities; in Tawi-Tawi, in eight of its 10 towns; in North Cotabato, in 12 of its 17 municipalities and one city; and in Sultan Kudarat, in eight of its 11 towns and one city. In Zamboanga del Norte, rido incidences in Siocon account for almost half or 47% of the total rido cases in the province. Siocon is where part of the gold panning activity in the province is located. Rido incidences in Zamboanga Sibugay were concentrated in the municipality of Buug. In Zamboanga del Sur, more than 20% of the rido cases happened in Dimataling and Dinas (20 and 24 cases, respectively). It might be worth mentioning that peace zones were established in Dinas in the late 1990s. In Sulu, every municipality recorded at least three rido cases. Except for Talipao where the highest number of cases was reported (19 out of 145), the incidences of rido in this province were more or less evenly distributed across its 18 municipalities. In Tawi-Tawi, Lanao del Norte, and Basilan, the highest numbers of rido incidences were recorded in the provincial capitols, where 40%, 32%, and 23% of the total cases in each of these provinces occurred in Bongao, Iligan City, and Isabela, respectively. The number of rido cases in North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat are minimal in terms of municipal spread. Pikit and Banisilan in North Cotabato had five cases each or 16% of the provincial total. The cases in the rest of the province and in Sultan Kudarat are more or less evenly distributed across the other municipalities. Initial Causes of Clan and Family Conflicts Table 2 reveals that a considerable number of rido cases in the provinces covered were caused by property or land disputes. In fact, it is the number one initial cause of conflict in Basilan, North Cotabato, Sulu, and the three Zamboanga provinces. Political rivalry is the second most common cause of rido and obtained the highest percentages in Tawi-Tawi and Sultan Kudarat. These conflict cases were caused by competition over political posts, electoral defeats, and misunderstanding during elections when even brothers killed each other.

RIDO V2.indd 41

10/4/2007 8:22:41 AM

42 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao
TABLE 2. Initial Causes of Conflict (by Province) Initial Causes of the Conflict Province
Political rivalry Property dispute (Land ownership, etc.) Violation of pride/dignity Gender-related offenses Physical Injury inflicted Other causes

Basilan Lanao del Norte North Cotabato Sultan Kudarat Sulu Tawi-Tawi Zamboanga Norte Zamboanga Sur Zamboanga Sibugay TOTAL

10 20 10 13 27 9 7 25 15 136 (20.6%)

23 38 17 5 48 4 30 38 31 234 (35.3%)

4 25 4 0 16 6 2 4 3 64 (9.7%)

8 1 0 0 25 4 11 11 13 73 (11%)

10 5 0 0 18 0 8 1 3 45 (6.8%)

5 66 0 0 11 2 4 12 10 110 (16.6%)

Note: Some respondents cannot remember the initial causes of rido, which explains the discrepancy in the total feuds and their causes.

In Lanao del Norte, though, other causes such as carabao/cattle rustling, debts, drug-related crimes, robbery, and damage to property ranked as the number one cause of rido. Gender-related offenses like rape, elopement, and love triangles, though common and scandalous, have not caused as much conflict as have property dispute and political rivalry. The same is true of violation of pride and dignity, even if it ranked second in Tawi-Tawi. Time Frame for Rido The year when each of the rido cases began was noted to determine the duration of the feud. The earliest rido case recorded took place in Lanao del Norte in 1930. Sulu, North Cotabato, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur each witnessed one case erupting in the 1940s. Looking at Tables 1 and 3, one can see that only a few of the family and clan feuds had started earlier than the 1970s. Most of the cases occurred recently, specifically from 2000 to 2004 when a total of 327 cases ensued or about 49% of the total number of cases. In Basilan, the earliest rido happened in the 1970s with three cases recorded and most of the other cases started from 2000 to 2004 which recorded the beginning of 35 or 58% of the total number of rido cases in the province. About 25% of the cases started in the 1990s. Lanao del Norte, North Cotabato, and Sulu show the same trend. In Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, and Tawi-Tawi, an average of about 70% of the cases started from 2000 to 2004.

RIDO V2.indd 42

10/4/2007 8:22:41 AM

Survey of Feuding Families and Clans in Selected Provinces in Mindanao || 43
TABLE 3. Year When Rido Cases First Started in the Provinces Year
Basilan Lanao del Norte North Cotabato

No. of Cases
Sultan Kudarat Sulu Tawi-Tawi Zambo. del Norte Zambo. del Sur Zambo. Sibugay

2005 2000 – 2004 1995 – 1999 1990 – 1994 1985 – 1989 1980 – 1984 1975 – 1979 1970 – 1974 1965 – 1969 1960 – 1964 1955 – 1959 1950 – 1954 1945 – 1949 1940 – 1944 1935 – 1939 1930 – 1934

2 35 12 3 2 1 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

5 78 21 18 14 10 8 5 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 1

0 14 3 4 3 3 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0

0 4 4 2 4 0 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

0 53 31 16 12 8 12 5 5 2 0 0 0 1 0 0

0 17 5 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

0 11 13 19 4 5 3 2 2 0 1 1 1 0 0 0

3 56 15 5 6 1 2 1 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0

5 59 7 2 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Status of Clan and Family Conflicts in the Surveyed Provinces The status of the rido cases surveyed are classified into three: resolved, unresolved, and recurred. Resolved rido cases were those where conflicting parties had accepted the terms of settlement and ended the feud. Unresolved cases were on-going at the time of survey. Recurred cases were resolved earlier but were triggered anew by some inter and/or intra family/clan misunderstanding. More than 50% of the cases were unresolved at the time of survey. The highest percentage of unresolved cases was in Lanao del Norte where 23% of the total of provincial feuds were on-going at that time. Sultan Kudarat registered the lowest percentage of unresolved case at 3% of the total feuds in the province. Minimal resolved cases recurred in Sulu, Lanao del Norte, North Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat. Consequences of Clan and Family Conflicts The survey reveals 3,895 deaths and 3,637 wounded from rido. The highest number of deaths occurred in Sulu at 1,519, followed by Sultan Kudarat with 648 estimated deaths reported. Lanao del Norte had 626 although the number may have been higher than that of Sultan Kudarat had the respondents quantified those deaths that they could not estimate. Inversely, the highest

RIDO V2.indd 43

10/4/2007 8:22:42 AM

44 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

number of wounded persons is recorded in Sultan Kudarat (n=1,882) followed by Sulu (n=1,269). The highest number of imprisoned persons was also reported in Sulu with 16, while missing persons was highest in Basilan with 45. Some 2,143 families were displaced by conflict in the selected provinces. However, not all residential transfers were quantified by respondents as some of them merely said that ‘most of the residents’ of the communities affected by skirmishes evacuated. Still Lanao del Norte leads in terms of internal displacements, where 870 families transferred homes, representing about 41% of the total. Sultan Kudarat followed, with 859 families (40%) that transferred residences. The lowest numbers of residential transfers happened in North Cotabato and Zamboanga Sibugay at 22 and 26, respectively. In three of the nine provinces, the highest displacements happened in Iligan City in Lanao del Norte, with 278 or 32%; Isabela in Basilan, with 25 or 26%; and Bongao in Tawi-Tawi, with 22 or 40%. The municipality of Tagoloan ranks second in Lanao del Norte with 110, while Lamitan in Basilan had 23 displaced families and Sitangkai-Sibuto in Tawi-Tawi had 17. In Sulu, the highest number of residential transfers occurred in Panglima Estino and in Zamboanga del Norte in Siocon with 18, while in the other two Zamboanga provinces, the values are more or less evenly distributed across the municipalities. Family/Clan Conflict and Ethnicity This section looks at the ethnicity of the parties involved in the conflicts. Rido may involve people from the same or different ethnic groups. Although people of similar ethnicity are supposed to share common values, the study shows that most feuds are between parties of the same ethnic origins. In the survey, respondents were asked to identify the ethnicity of the parties in conflict.
TABLE 4. Ethnic Affiliations of Conflicting Families/Clans ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE
Ethnic Group Tausug vs Tausug Kalibugan vs Kalibugan Tausug vs Maguindanao Tausug vs Kalibugan Maguindanao vs Maguindanao Tausug vs Sama Tausug vs Visayan Sama vs Visayan Tausug vs Iranun Maguindanao vs Visayan Subanon vs Subanon Sama vs Sama Maguindanao vs Kalibugan Iranun vs Sama Visayan vs Visayan No. of Cases 9 7 6 6 4 4 3 3 3 3 2 1 1 1 1

Ethnic Group Maguindanao vs Maguindanao Tausug vs Tausug Maguindanao vs Tausug Kalibugan vs Bisaya Subanen vs Bisaya Kalibugan vs Kalibugan Bisaya vs Bisaya Tausug vs Bisaya Kalibugan vs Subanen Tausug vs Kalibugan Subanen vs Subanen Subanen vs Tausug No. of Cases 30 13 5 5 4 4 4 3 2 2 2 1

Ethnic Group No. of Cases Maguindanao vs Maguindanao 17 Iranun vs Iranun 4 Iranun vs Maguindanao 2 Bagogo vs Bagobo 1 Bilaan vs Bilaan 1 Maguindanao vs Maranao 1 Ilocano vs Maguindanao 1 Maguindanao vs Manobo 1 Iranun vs Ilokano 1 Visayan vs Visayan 1 Iranun vs Bisaya 1

RIDO V2.indd 44

10/4/2007 8:22:42 AM

Survey of Feuding Families and Clans in Selected Provinces in Mindanao || 45
(Cont’d) TABLE 4. Ethnic Affiliations of Conflicting Families/Clans
Sama vs Subanon Kalibugan vs Maranao Sama vs Kalibugan Iranun vs Iranun Iranun vs Visayan Subanun vs Iranun Iranun vs Kalibugan Kalibugan vs Visayan 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

Ethnic Group Yakan vs Yakan Tausug vs Yakan Tausug vs Tausug Visayan vs Visayan Chavacano vs Chavacano Sama vs Sama Yakan vs Tagalog Tausug vs Sama

No. of Cases 32 9 9 4 2 2 1 1

Ethnic Group Maranao vs Maranao Visayan vs Maranao Visayan vs Visayan Higaonon vs Maranao Maranao vs Iranun Ilonggo vs Waray

No. of Cases 118 30 4 9 2 1

Ethnic Group Tausug vs Tausug Sama vs Sama Sama vs Sama-Tausug Tausug vs Visayan Tausug vs Sama Mapun vs Mapun-Tausug

No. of Cases 16 4 2 1 1 1

Ethnic Group Tausug vs Tausug Sama vs Sama Bangingi vs Bangingi Tausug vs Bangingi

No. of Cases 132 8 4 1

Ethnic Group Maguindanao vs Maguindanao Maguindanao vs Iranun Maguindanao vs Ilocano/Bisaya Maguindanao vs Maranao

No. of Cases 53 32 4 2



Ethnic Group No. of Cases Maguindanao vs Maguindanao 15 Maguindanao vs Ilonggo 3







Rido and Conflict Management Conflict does not always lead to negative consequences. In fact, it can be beneficial to most parties when effectively managed. Consensus can be reached and the needs of individuals, families, clans, and societies met. On the other hand, some may benefit from conflict while others pay the cost. The people who manage the conflict play very important roles in the settlement of rido cases.
TABLE 5. Institutions Where People Usually Go for Possible Settlement of Conflict Province LGU Officials Military/Police Elders/Traditional Leaders Both LGU Officials and Elders/Traditional Leaders 3 10 46 3 10 10 16 10 108 (20%)

Basilan 44 Sultan Kudarat 5 Lanao del Norte 77 Taw-Tawi 20 Zamboanga, Sibugay 37 Zamboanga del Sur 24 Zamboanga del Norte 43 Sulu 62 North Cotabato 4 TOTAL 316 (58%)
* Some residents did not give responses.

7 3 8 5 2 1 26 (5%)

3 3 21 1 20 18 3 12 14 95 (17%)

RIDO V2.indd 45

10/4/2007 8:22:43 AM

46 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Table 5 shows that majority or 58% say that officials of local government units, including the formal justice courts, are the ones people approach to resolve feuds. This is also true of specific provinces except in North Cotabato where most of the people go to the elders or traditional leaders of their communities. Only 5% approach the military or the police for settlement of their conflicts. In Sultan Kudarat, most of the people go to the lgu officials and the elders or traditional leaders of the community. Rido cases are usually settled through payment of blood money, court settlement or allowing the imprisonment of offenders, and agreement on mutually acceptable terms. Perceptions on Conflict and Conflict Management Table 6 presents the perceptions of the respondents regarding certain concepts related to family/clan conflicts. All the respondents in Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga del Norte, and Zamboanga del Sur disagree that “family/clan conflict happens only in prominent/upper class families.” More than 50% of the respondents in Zamboanga Sibugay, North Cotabato, Basilan, Sulu, and Lanao del Norte also believe that conflict can involve any family regardless of wealth or status. It is only in Sultan Kudarat where opinion on this matter is split. As to the idea that “family/clan conflict happens only between or among Muslim families,” 100% of the respondents in Zamboanga del Norte and majority of the respondents in Zamboanga del Sur, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat Basilan, Tawi-Tawi, Sulu, and Lanao del Norte answered in the negative. It is only in Zamboanga Sibugay where majority or 59.3% of the respondents believe that rido happens only among Muslim families. A considerable number of respondents in Sulu (45.6%) and Sultan Kudarat (38.9%) also believe rido occurs only among Muslims.
TABLE 6. Respondents’ Perceptions on Certain Rido Management Concepts Province CONCEPT Family/Clan Conflict Happens Family/Clan Conflict Happens Only Among Prominent/ Only Between or Among Upper Class Families Muslim Families

The Formal Judicial System is Capable of Settling Family/ Clan Conflicts YES(%) 57.1 48.9 39 30 38.9 68.3 51.3 57.1 NO(%) 40.5 51.1 61 70 61.1 31.7 48.7 100 42.9

Zamboanga del Norte Zamboanga del Sur Zamboanga Sibugay North Cotabato Sultan Kudarat Basilan Lanao del Norte Tawi-Tawi Sulu

YES(%) 37.3 12.9 50 4.9 12.2 28.1

NO(%) 100 100 62.7 87.1 50 95.1 87.8 100 71.9

YES(%) 4.2 59.3 3.2 38.9 22 6.2 6.7 45.6

NO(%) 100 95.8 40.7 96.8 61.1 78 93.8 93.3 54.4

RIDO V2.indd 46

10/4/2007 8:22:43 AM

Survey of Feuding Families and Clans in Selected Provinces in Mindanao || 47

Table 6 also shows that majority of the respondents in five of the provinces no longer trust the formal judicial system to settle family/clan conflicts. These provinces are Zamboanga del Sur (51%), Zamboanga Sibugay (61%), North Cotabato (70%), Sultan Kudarat (61%), and Tawi-Tawi where 100% of the respondents do not have confidence in the formal judicial system. In the other four provinces of Basilan, Zamboanga del Norte, Sulu, and Lanao del Norte, majority of the respondents still have confidence in the government’s judicial system. The levels of confidence stand at 68%, 57%, 57%, and 51%, respectively. Perceptions on the Socio-Economic Impact of Rido Conflicts including rido are believed to hinder development in Mindanao. Muslims are often seen as ‘war freaks.’ To validate this perception, the respondents were asked whether or not “family/clan conflicts are influenced by the Islamic religion?” Table 7 shows that in all the provinces surveyed, except Sultan Kudarat, residents do not think of rido as influenced by Islam. More than 50% of the respondents in the provinces of North Cotabato, Basilan, Tawi-Tawi- Sulu, Lanao del Norte, and the three Zamboanga provinces do not think that Islam influences rido incidences. On the other hand, 68.8% of the respondents in Sultan Kudarat believe that Islam is a factor in family/clan conflicts.
TABLE 7. Responses to Questions on the Impact of Rido in the Socio-Economic Development of Mindanao Province Family/clan conflicts are influenced by the Islamic religion Family/clan conflicts have aggravated the Mindanao conflict Incidence of family/clan conflicts has affected the economic activities of the respective communities YES(%) 35 76 55.9 93.5 100 62.5 100 87.3 69.1 NO(%) 65 24 44.1 6.5 37.5 12.7 30.9

YES(%) Zamboanga del Norte Zamboanga del Sur Zamboanga, Sibugay North Cotabato Sultan Kudarat Basilan Tawi-Tawi Sulu Lanao del Norte 8.9 12.8 44.8 19.4 68.8 47.5 6.7 38.6 19.8

NO(%) 91.1 87.2 55.2 80.6 31.3 52.5 93.3 61.4 80.2

YES(%) 2.2 33.3 77.6 48.4 61.1 80 100 52.6 54.3

NO(%) 97.8 66.7 22.4 51.6 38.9 20 47.4 45.7

On whether the rido situations affected the economic activities of the respective communities, the respondents in eight provinces responded in

RIDO V2.indd 47

10/4/2007 8:22:44 AM

48 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

the affirmative. It was only in Zamboanga del Norte where 65% of the respondents believe that rido cases do not affect the economic activities of their respective communities. Further validation reveals that more than 50% of the respondents in six provinces, namely, Zamboanga Sibugay, Sultan Kudarat, Basilan, Tawi-Tawi, Sulu, and Lanao del Norte, believe that family/clan conflicts have aggravated the Mindanao conflict. On the other hand, the respondents in the provinces of Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, and North Cotabato do not think that the rido occurrences have aggravated the Mindanao conflict. Recommendations The respondents to this study proposed some measures for the immediate resolution of clan conflicts. Among these were the strict implementation of the law and reasonably fast resolution of cases by the courts of justice, including the Shari’ah courts. They also suggested a continuous peace education and values reformation program orientated towards families where children are taught the right values including patience, self-discipline, and non-exposure to firearms. One respondent suggested that only those directly involved in the killings be targeted in feuds. While he abhorred the death of innocent people in rido, the respondent condoned killing those directly involved. He also noted that more families now surrender kin who commit murders so as to end conflicts. Another respondent commented that clan conflict should be eradicated for people to live peacefully. He added that it is very hard to resolve conflicts where parties are powerful and influential. Still another observed that the sultans are no longer as influential today. Some sultans nowadays use illegal drugs and become abusive especially when armed. On the basis of these data, it is recommended that further in-depth research on the roots of family and clan feuds be undertaken to serve as basis for strategies on peace and development in Mindanao to minimize rido. The government should provide mechanisms for the effective resolution of land disputes, the major cause of conflicts among families and clans in southern Philippines. List of Readings
Abdullah, Intuas. “Dispute Settlement Among Maranao: Case Studies of Conflict Resolution in Marawi City.” MA Thesis. Department of Anthropology, Univ. of the Philippines. 1982. Baradas, David B. “Vendetta: The Maranao’s System of Social Justice”: Filipino Heritage, II. Manila: Lahing Filipino Publishing House, 1977.

RIDO V2.indd 48

10/4/2007 8:22:44 AM

Survey of Feuding Families and Clans in Selected Provinces in Mindanao || 49

Bartolome, Claribel D. “Maratabat and Rido: Implications for Peace and National Development.” The Mindanao Journal, vol XXVII (2004). Bentley, George. “Law, Disputing and Ethnicity in Lanao, Philippines.” Ph.D. dissertation. Univ. of Washington, 1981. Bula, Dalomabi. “The Role of Communication in Maranao Conflict Resolution” PhD Dissertation. Xavier Univ., 2000. Canuday, Jowel F. Clan War Behind Maguindanao Hostilities. http://www.cyberdyaryo.com/features/f209091_0913_03a.htm (2001). Elusfa, Rom. RLA urged: Enact Law on Indigenous Mechanism to Resolve Conflicts. http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/NewsStory.aspx?section=Provincial &OID=44494 (2004). Garingo, Ma. Theresa. “Rido As a Factor in Maranao Migration.” Masteral Thesis. Xavier Univ., 1999. Gloria, Violeta M. Carolina proposes ‘massive rido settlement’ in Lanao. http:// www.mindanews.com/2002/08/1st/arn27rido.html (2002). Gowing, Peter. Mosque and Moro: A Study of Muslims in the Philippines. Manila: Philippine Federation of Christian Churches, 1964. Kiefer, Thomas. The Tausug: Law and Violence in a Philippine Moslem Society, New York: Holt, Rinehart, Winston Publishing, 1972. Kreuzer, Peter. Political Clans and Violence in the Southern Philippines. www.hsfk. de/downloads. (2005). Mansungayan, Noraimah. “The Conceptualizations of Maratabat and Their Perceived Effect on the Educational Advancement of Maranao”. Undergraduate Thesis. Department of Psychology, Mindanao State Univ., 1999.

RIDO V2.indd 49

10/4/2007 8:22:44 AM


ch a p ter t wo

Dynamics and Management of Rido in the Province of Maguindanao
Abhoud Syed M. Lingga Institute of Bangsamoro Studies


LTHOUGH conflict between families and between clans is “the most common source of violence in the country,” it is more prevalent in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Social Weather Stations: 2005). This makes the people of Mindanao more concerned with rido and its negative impact on their communities than other forms of conflict. Methodology

The study employed both quantitative and qualitative techniques of data collection. The quantitative data were generated through survey. Informants were asked about rido that they remember from 1970 to 2004. Informants were chosen through the recommendation of community leaders. Qualitative data were gathered through interviews with key informants and focus group discussions (fgd). Respondents to interviews and participants in the twelve fgds conducted included politicians, traditional and religious leaders, women and community leaders, police, and the media. Locale of the Study The study was conducted in Maguindanao but covers the chartered city of Cotabato that lies within the province. Cotabato City is part of the first congressional district of the province. The city is also the economic, social, and political center of Maguindanao.
|| 50 ||

RIDO V2.indd 50

10/4/2007 8:22:44 AM

Dynamic and Management of Rido in the Province of Maguindanao || 51

Maguindanao Maguindanao is located on the west of Central Mindanao. It is bounded on the north by Lanao del Sur, on the east by Cotabato, on the south by Sultan Kudarat Province and on the west by Illana Bay. The province is subdivided into two congressional districts. It is composed of 28 municipalities, and 481 barangays. There are eight municipalities and one city in the first district and 20 municipalities in the second district.
TABLE 1. Municipalities of Maguindanao First District Buldon Matanog Parang Sultan Kudarat Kabuntalan Upi Barira Sultan Mastura Second District Ampatuan Buluan Datu Paglas Datu Piang Datu Odin Sinsuat Shariff Aguak Pagalungan Sultan sa Barongis Talayan South Upi Gen. S.K. Pendatun Mamasapano Talitay Datu Montawal Paglat Guindulungan Datu Saudi Ampatuan Datu Usay Datu Abdullah Sangki Rajah Buayan

In 2004, the National Statistics and Census Bureau (nscb) recorded 334,287 registered voters in the province. In terms of income, Maguindanao is classified as a second-class province. Maguindanao has a total land area of 542,530 ha. With 801,102 inhabitants, it is the most populous province of the armm. Majority of the people (64%) classify themselves as Magindanaon. The Magindanaon residing in the upper portion of the Pulangi are called tao sa laya (tao sa raya) and those in the lower part are called tao sa ilod. The Iranun (14%) are found mostly in the municipalities of Matanog, Barira, Buldon, Parang, Sultan Kudarat and Sultan Mastura. The Teduray (7.6%), who are classified as among the indigenous peoples of Mindanao, live in the municipalities of Upi and South Upi.

RIDO V2.indd 51

10/4/2007 8:22:45 AM

52 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao
TABLE 2. Household Population by Ethnicity: Maguindanao, 2000 Maguindanao Magindanaon Iranun Teduray Hiligaynon/Ilonggo Cebuano Ilocano Others Not reported
Source: NSO, 2000 Census of Population and Housing

800,369 508,302 116,283 57,296 34,866 28,252 8,106 31,744 15,520

Majority of the people of Maguindanao (81.80%) are Muslims. The Roman Catholics (9.55%) are mostly found in Parang, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Ampatuan, Datu Abdullah Sangki, Buldon, and Sultan Kudarat. Cotabato City On June 20, 1959, the then municipality of Cotabato was created into a chartered city by virtue of Republic Act No. 2364. It became the capitol of the province of Cotabato after the separation of South Cotabato. Only after the further subdivision of the former “empire province” into the provinces of Maguindanao, North Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat, was the seat of the provincial government transferred from Cotabato City. Today, the city is the seat of the armm government. Cotabato City is part of the first congressional district of Maguindanao. It is also the economic center of Maguindanao. Of the city’s 163,849 inhabitants, more than 50% are classified as Magindanaon; 14%, Cebuano; 10%, Tagalog; 7%, Iranun; and 19%, other ethnic groups.
TABLE 3. Household Population by Ethnicity: Cotabato City, 2000 Cotabato City Magindanaon Cebuano Tagalog Iranun Hiligaynon/Ilonggo Bisaya Others Not Reported
Source: NSO, 2000 Census of Population and Housing

161,517 81,205 22,590 15,527 12,061 9,679 4,448 6,443 1,078

Muslims (61.64%) make up the majority in the Cotabato City followed by Roman Catholics (33.94%).

RIDO V2.indd 52

10/4/2007 8:22:45 AM

Dynamic and Management of Rido in the Province of Maguindanao || 53

Impact of conflict The decades-old conflict between the government and the secessionist movements in Mindanao has killed around 120,000 and displaced more than two million people (Schiavo-Ocampo and Judd 2005: 5). In Maguindanao, as consequence of the 2000 war when government forces attacked Camp Abubakre of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (milf) in the municipalities of Matanog, Buldon and Barira, around 26% of the population (207,586) were displaced (World Bank, 2003). Armed and violent conflicts in the province make the delivery of services difficult. It has affected the schooling of children and kept local and foreign investors away. War has also affected farming and “agricultural marketing, thus reducing the profitability of current crop production” (SchiavoOcampo and Judd 2005: 6). Concept of Rido Rido is a term commonly used by Meranaos and Iranuns. Among the Magindanaons, the word is understood by people in the lower valley (tao sa ilud) probably due to their interactions with the Iranuns. Among the tao sa laya or tao sa raya (Magindanaons in the upper valley), rido is not a commonly used term. The term ukag (quarrel) is oftentimes used. Borrowed terms like kontla or kontra are also current. Among the Tausugs, conflicts between families or clans are called pagbanta. The Sama say pagbaus, and the Yakans, kontara. According to informants, revenge is resorted to whenever a person’s kanaman is violated, interfered with or denied by the other party. Kanaman, according to the Maguindanaon Dictionary (Sullivan, 1986), is “a personal conviction to uphold the integrity of one’s family group, by defending it by all means.” The term is related to the concept of dignity, honor, and self-respect. The restorative measure for damaged kanaman is justice. If the offended party cannot obtain justice through the existing institutions, he initiates immediate retaliation if capable. Otherwise, he keeps the retaliatory motive dormant until he is capable or the situation is suitable for him to regain his self-respect and the respect of the community. A respondent in the study of Bartolome (2001) explains why other clan members may be targeted in a rido, thus: Since you are a part of a whole, whatever ails the whole is also your own ailment. Since you are a family member, if other members have rido, then you become automatically a part of that rido or vendetta.

RIDO V2.indd 53

10/4/2007 8:22:45 AM

54 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

The close family ties among Magindanaon and Iranun partly explain this sense of collective responsibility and accountability. In most cases, according to informants, the head of the family or the leader of the clan is expected to lead in obtaining justice for the clan member. Transformation of Rido At the early stages of conflict, while there is still communication between contending families or clans, community leaders or family members of either the offender or offended party may initiate intervention (see Figure 1). When the intervention succeeds, the conflict is considered resolved. Failure or absence of intercession due to lack of a mediator acceptable to both parties, or because “the time is not yet ripe for intervention,” may make the conflict dormant or it could escalate into rido. Unresolved conflicts breed intense and dangerous suspicions that can erupt into violence any time. Informants related the story of man who was killed while his wife was pregnant. The conflict resolution failed. His child was born. His relatives did not retaliate but when his son grew up and learned about his father’s murder, the son retaliated. If there is no immediate retaliation, it can be because the offended party is not physically or financially capable. It can also be due to pressure from the family or community leaders. When the conflict escalates to rido, the families involved move away from each other and there is extreme antagonism (Figure 2). The relationship is characterized by distrust and disrespect with both parties hardening their positions. It is at this stage when the cycle of violence starts. However, even at this stage, interventions by community leaders may continue and peaceful resolution achieved. In a serious rido, after the settlement, the parties often work to build better ties. Still, there are instances of rido recurrence after resolution. Unresolved rido may be settled in the future or become latent due to “rido fatigue” (physical and financial exhaustion), disinterest of the family, pressure from leaders or values transformation. Extent of Rido Respondents identified 218 rido that occurred in Maguindanao and Cotabato City from 1970 to 2004 or a period of 35 years. There may have been more since most rido were not reported to the police and the interviewees were going by memory.

RIDO V2.indd 54

10/4/2007 8:22:45 AM

Dynamic and Management of Rido in the Province of Maguindanao || 55


Success Failure

Peaceful Resolution




FIGURE 1. Transformation of Conflict Into Rido


Success Failure Possibility

Peaceful Resolution





FIGURE 2. Transformation of Rido

RIDO V2.indd 55

10/4/2007 8:22:46 AM

56 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Of this number, 116 cases were resolved and 102 cases remain unresolved. Of the resolved cases, only eight have recurred as of this writing.
FIGURE 3. Status of Rido, 1970-2004

Of the 28 municipalities and one city, Buldon registered the highest number of rido, 35 cases; Matanog, 29 cases; and Parang, 15 cases. These municipalities were not subdivided in recent years and this fact may have contributed to their high number of rido cases compared to those of the newly created municipalities. What is striking is that there is no municipality in the province without rido. Frequency of Rido

It is observable from the graph below that the number of new rido cases increased every five years, except from 1975 to 1979 when it slumped to ten cases from 14 cases the previous five years (1970-74), and during the periods 1985-1989 and 1990-1994 when it leveled off FIGURE 4. Frequency of Rido to 28 new rido cases. The highest number of cases registered was in 2000-2004 when it reached 78, an increase of 33 cases from the previous period (1995-1999) figure of 48. This increasing trend suggests the seriousness of the problem and the need to address the factors that trigger rido. Impact of Rido Violence in rido injures not only the protagonists but affects the economic and social life of the community as well. Precious human lives are being sacrificed. From 1970 to 2004, the reported deaths related to rido reached 811. Of these, 742 were from the major parties involved, 32 were allies, and 37 had nothing to do with the conflict .
FIGURE 5. Casualties

RIDO V2.indd 56

10/4/2007 8:22:47 AM

Dynamic and Management of Rido in the Province of Maguindanao || 57

The number of wounded persons reached 369. The major parties to the rido suffered high casualty of 309 wounded, their allies, 56 , and other families, four. Surprisingly, there were only 46 persons reported in jail due to their involvement in rido: 44 from the major parties, and two allies. ReFIGURE 6. Number of families who transferred residence spondents also revealed that there were six persons reported missing, five from the major parties and one from their allies. Their fates are not known until now. Residential transfer is another consequence of rido. Families moved to safer ground to avoid being caught in the crossfire. Some 581 families transferred residences from 1970 to 2004. At an average household size of 5.57, around 3,236 people were practically displaced. There were more families (422) from the major parties who transferred residence. Still, 116 families of their allies and 43 families not directly involved in the rido also moved out. Informants also revealed cases of homes burned during armed encounters between the protagonists, crops destroyed, and working animals lost. Triggers of Rido Election-related conflicts, land dispute, murder, robbery and cattle rustlings, and sex crimes are the major causes of rido in Maguindanao and Cotabato City. These triggered 66.6% of the 218 rido remembered by respondents from 1970 to 2004. Other causes (33.4%) include: suspicion, business competition, lack of sportsmanship, competition over fishing ground, accident, non-payment of dowry, extortion, and other minor causes. The following cases show how some rido in the province started. Election-related conflicts Participation in electoral exercises accounts for 19.27% of the causes of rido in the province. Disputes arise during the whole electoral process from the registration of voters to proclamation of winners. The following cases related by respondents illustrate how unhealthy political competitions can result to rido. Mr. B, the vice mayor of a certain municipality in Maguindanao, ran against Mr. A, the then incumbent mayor, during the 1992 local elections. On election day, the supporters of Mr. B noticed voting irregularities in the

RIDO V2.indd 57

10/4/2007 8:22:48 AM

58 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

different precincts, particularly in barangay Poblacion where Mr. B’s daughter was assigned as coordinator of poll watchers. Mr. B’s daughter reported the presence of “flying voters” in the precincts to the representative of the Commission on Elections (comelec), and accused the son of Mr. A of being responsible for it. The son of Mr. A hit Mr. B’s daughter in the face, causing slight injury. The family of B did not retaliate at once. Around midnight, the supporters of Mr. A attacked the supporters of Mr. B, killing Mr. C and his son. This led to more violence FIGURE 7. Causes of Rido between both camps. The rido remains unresolved. Irresponsible statements during campaign period can provoke violence. In one local election, the group of Mr. M went to campaign in a barangay where Mr. T, his political rival, was a resident. The speakers took turns verbally attacking Mr. T. Not able to control his emotions, Mr. T ordered his followers to ambush the Mr. M’s party after the political rally. As Mr. M was about to leave in his car, he was shot dead. After several weeks, the son of Mr. M retaliated and shot the son of Mr. T, starting the rido between the two families. Another case involved leadership competition. Mr. D claimed that he had the natural right to lead since their community was named after his grandparent and their family had been traditional leaders of the community. But Mr. E argued that the people should be given the opportunity to choose their leader through election. One day in 1982, Mr. D and his followers went to the barangay where Mr. E was residing. Mr. E. was not around but Mr. D told the people of the barangay that Mr. E had no right to lead the community because he was not native to the place. Informed of this, Mr. E ordered his followers to attack the house of Mr. D, resulting in four deaths. When Mr. D returned from Manila, he killed five camp followers of Mr. E. Residents afraid of being caught in the crossfire transferred to other communities. The following year, provincial leaders intervened and divided the community into two electoral districts so each camp could have its bailiwick.

RIDO V2.indd 58

10/4/2007 8:22:49 AM

Dynamic and Management of Rido in the Province of Maguindanao || 59

Land conflicts Conflict over land is another major cause of rido in the province. Blood relatives Mr. F and Mr. G owned adjacent lots. Mr. F accused Mr. G of encroaching on his land and they became hostile to each other. There were efforts to resolve the dispute but both parties were not interested. One day, Mr. F and his relatives attacked the house of Mr. G, killing three members of the latter’s family. Mr. G immediately retaliated and killed one member of the family of Mr. F. After years of hostility, the elders of both families were able to resolve the rido. Inheritance can be a source of dispute among siblings. A respondent related this case: Mr. I was an adopted son of the father of Mr. H. Their father owned 18 ha of agricultural land and, before his death, gave it to his daughter Miss J. When Miss J got sick, she sold the land to her elder brother Mr. H. When Mr. I learned about the transaction, he demanded his share but Mr. H refused. He said that the land was given to Miss J and that he and his sister were the legitimate heirs. Frustrated, Mr. I stole the work animals of Mr. H and the jewelry of Miss J. When Mr. H learned of the thefts, he shot to death Mr. I. A relative of Mr. I in turn killed Mr. H. After a year and through the intervention of the family elders, the rido was resolved in May 2002. Landgrabbing is another trigger of rido, as in the following case: When Mr. K planted coconut trees on the land of Mr. M’s father, Mr. M told the former to stop. When Mr. K ignored him, Mr. M decided to build a house on his father’s land. When Mr. K learned about this, he went to Mr. M, carrying a high-powered gun. When Mr. M saw this, he shot dead Mr. K and took the latter’s weapon. When the family of Mr. K learned about the killing, they retaliated by killing the father of Mr. M. The violence continued for seven years, killing five members of the family of Mr. K and three of Mr. M. With the intervention of community leaders, the rido was resolved. Respondents revealed that disputes over land titles are another source of conflict. In some cases, inherited lands were not titled because older folk were not familiar with land registration procedures. When other people got title to the land, conflict erupted as in the following case: When Mr. L secured a title to his land from the Department of Agrarian Reform, he included the land of his neighbor. When his neighbor found out, he reported the case to the barangay officials who ruled that nothing could be done since it was a legitimate title. One day, Mr. N appeared at the disputed property and shot dead Mr. L. Next day, the relatives of Mr. L killed some of Mr. N’s kin. The conflict escalated into rido until it was resolved in 1989.

RIDO V2.indd 59

10/4/2007 8:22:50 AM

60 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Undocumented transactions are another cause of rido. The rido between these two families is quite revealing: The father of Mr. A bought half a hectare of land from the mother of Mr. B. It was a transaction done when Mr. A and Mr. B were still young. One day, Mr. B went to the house of Mr. A to ask for the return of the land. Mr. B said he would return the amount paid for the land. Mr. A refused because the transaction was for sale not mortgage. One day in 2001, Mr. A went to a gun shop in town to have his gun repaired. Upon hearing this news, Mr. B immediately went to the gun shop with the intent to kill Mr. A. But Mr. A first caught sight of Mr. B and shot him dead. Mr. A went to the council of elders to report the incident and the council facilitated the resolution of the conflict. Crimes Against Chastity Muslims are under obligation to respect and protect a woman’s chastity under all circumstances, whether she is a co-religionist or not. Illicit relationship, consensual or otherwise, is forbidden regardless of the woman’s status and any such act demands retribution. The following cases involve such relationships: Case 1: Mr. X had an illicit relationship with his niece. When the community and religious leaders learned about it, they ordered Mr. Y to arrest Mr. X for investigation, but he resisted and was killed by Mr. Y. In turn, the relatives of Mr. X killed Mr. Y. The dispute was resolved through the mediation of community elders. Case 2: Mr. A married his girlfriend without the consent of her parents. The couple moved to Lanao del Sur. After several years and two children, they returned to live in Sultan Kudarat. Several years later, it was reported that Mr. A had an illicit affair with his sister-in-law (Miss C). Mr. A sensed that his wife and brothers-in-law knew of this relationship and he allegedly poisoned his wife. When the relatives of the wife found out, they killed Mr. A and surrendered Miss C to the elders. The relatives of Mr. A retaliated and killed one of the brothers-in-law of Mr. A. The elders intervened and settled the conflict. Cattle rustling In 2000, Mr. S stole the work animals of Mr. T. Mr. S wanted to return the stolen animals, but when he heard that Mr. T was bent on killing him, he transferred residence and brought with him 13 guns of Mr. T which Mr. S forcefully took from Mr. T’s allies. Because of this, Mr. T attacked Mr. S,

RIDO V2.indd 60

10/4/2007 8:22:50 AM

Dynamic and Management of Rido in the Province of Maguindanao || 61

resulting to feud between the two sides. Five persons died from the camp of Mr. S and two from the camp of Mr. T. Suspicion Sometime in 2001, Mr. A was shot dead by an unknown assailant while drinking coffee in a public market. His relatives suspected Mr. B as the perpetrator of the crime. Months later, a relative of Mr. B was killed in the same public market. The incidents triggered the rido that remains unresolved until now. Angyas (Jesting) The tradition of lighting candles a during wedding ceremony is still practiced in some places in the province. Sometime in 1998, a wedding was held in a house of a datu in the municipality of Talitay. When the ceremony was about to start, candles were being lighted and Mrs. B in jest handed Mr. X a bunch of firecrackers rather than candles. Unaware of the prank, Mr. X lit the firecrackers. When he realized what had happened, Mr. X chose to hold on to the firecrackers rather than cause injury to others. He lost his fingers in the blast. The husband of Mrs. B brought Mr. X to the hospital and stayed on until Mr. X recovered. Mr. Z, the son of Mr. X, could not accept the painful experience of his father and killed the husband of Mrs. B. The son-in-law of the victim retaliated and killed Mr. Z and took his gun and work animals. The prank of Mrs. B turned into rido. Resolution Conflict-Resolution Methods Dispute resolutions in Maguindanao are done through the formal legal system (the courts and katarungang pambarangay or barangay justice), the innovative mechanism of local government executives, the traditional ways of the datu, and the milf conflict-resolution mechanism. Except for the courts that employ legal procedures, the other mechanisms use mediation and arbitration to resolve conflicts. According to focus group participants, most people involved in feuds prefer arbitration and mediation because these are less socially disruptive than the formal legal system. Mediation and arbitration in fact occupy a very important place under the Shari’ah. These methods dispense justice quickly and promote peace and harmony in the community. Mediation is a negotiation between parties involved in the rido, assisted by an independent and impartial “third party” mediator. The mediator does

RIDO V2.indd 61

10/4/2007 8:22:50 AM

62 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

not render judgment or impose solutions but assists the parties to understand their interests and positions as well as the interests of the community. The mediator helps to explore and evaluate potential agreements. Arbitration in Islamic law is called tahkim. It is a voluntary procedure whereby a neutral person is chosen by the opposing parties to settle their dispute. Barra (1994: 10) explains that in arbitration, “the disputants or parties with conflicting claims or interests submit their case for settlement by a third party with whom they repose the authority to mediate or arbitrate between them, and that they agree that the decision of such arbitrator or arbiter shall be binding upon them.” Conflict-Resolution Bodies 1. Legal Courts Informants observed that court litigation is seldom used to settle rido. This is because the legal proceedings are perceived to be tedious and costly. Informal mechanisms are preferred as these are perceived to be cheaper and easier to use. (World Bank 2004: iv). Katarungang Pambarangay (Barangay Justice). The Local Government Code of 1991 provides for the creation in every barangay of a conflict mediation body called the katarungang pambarangay. The lupong tagapamayapa (arbitration board), composed of the punong barangay (barangay chief) as chairman and 10 to 20 members, has the authority to bring together the parties actually residing in the same city or municipality for amicable settlement of their disputes. In every dispute, a three-man panel is chosen by the parties in dispute from among the members of the lupon tagapamayapa to act as mediator. Disputes that involve penalties of imprisonment exceeding one year or a fine exceeding P5,000 are beyond the jurisdiction of the barangay justice. It has no authority over disputes involving parties residing in other cities or municipalities or properties in other cities and municipalities. This limits its capacity to deal with rido that involve parties from different localities. Innovative Mechanisms of Local Government Units. Given the limitations of the katarungang pambarangay, some local government units initiated innovative mechanisms to mediate rido. These mechanisms combine the traditional ways with the municipal justice system. Examples of these are: • The walay na bitiara or house of court (Municipality of Sultan Kudarat) This is organized at the municipal and barangay levels to settle conflicts that involve theft, homicide, murder, marriage, maratabat, kaperimbol (brawls), elopement, land dispute, and mortgage issues.

RIDO V2.indd 62

10/4/2007 8:22:50 AM

Dynamic and Management of Rido in the Province of Maguindanao || 63

Mayor Tocao O. Mastura explained that a complaint is first filed at the barangay level of the house of court. Before the case is heard, the member of the municipal council in charge in the barangay forms an arbitration council composed of influential persons coming from both parties. In case no amicable settlement is reached, the walay na bitiara hears the case. The decision of the house of court at the barangay level may be appealed to the municipal level. In cases that the municipal level of walay na bitiara cannot resolve the conflict, the dispute is referred to the municipal police chief for legal action. • Joint ulama municipal peace and order council (Municipality of Barira) This is composed of representatives from the ulama, traditional leaders, local government officials, and the professional sectors. The council is organized at the barangay and municipal levels. Four adjacent barangays are organized into a district. The mandate of the council is to address conflicts ranging from minor cases like simple misunderstanding to serious ones like land conflicts, marital problems, and political feuds that could lead to rido. When a complaint is received, the district chairman invites the chair of the barangay where the parties in conflict reside and other council members to assist in the investigation of the case. The parties in conflict are invited to the hearing along with their witnesses. The council hears the case and makes a decision. If either party is not satisfied with the decision, the case is elevated to the municipal level. If the council at the municipal level cannot resolve the conflict, the case is further endorsed to the municipal trial court. According to council chair Amer Salam Dagalangit, all cases referred to the council have been resolved. • Mayor’s council of Upi In Upi where the Teduray, Muslims, and Christian settlers live together, the municipal government organized the Mayor’s Council in August 2001 to mediate conflicts. The council is under the office of the municipal mayor and composed of two Teduray elders, two Muslim leaders, and two Christian leaders. If parties involved in the conflict are all Teduray, the Teduray members of the council have to mediate. Likewise, Muslim members mediate conflicts among Muslims while Christian members help resolve conflicts among Christians. If conflict involves residents from different ethnic groups, the council en banc mediates. The Ways of the Datu. Conflict-resolution mechanism in Maguindanao dates back to the coming of Shariff Kabunsuan who established the Maguindanao Sultanate. The sultanate had a well-organized judicial system. As

RIDO V2.indd 63

10/4/2007 8:22:51 AM

64 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

guide in the administration of justice, the luwaran was codified. Although the provisions of the luwaran were taken mainly from works on Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) belonging to the Shafi’i schools of law (madhhab), the judges who codified it selected the laws they thought suited the condition and social order at that time. The luwaran was not only used as bases for judgment during formal litigation of cases, but also served as general guide in mediation and arbitration of disputes. It covered both civil and criminal offenses. The copy translated to English by Dr. Najeeb M. Saleeby (1905) contains 85 articles. The traditional Magindanaon justice system is inquisitorial rather than adversarial. The accused and the accuser are not considered adversaries. The hearing is to clarify the facts of the case and figure out how best to serve justice. In formal resolution of disputes, other than the datu kali (judge), there is also a wazir, the interlocutor of law and adat. The datu kali and wazir are learned and most competent expounders of the law and adat. The accused and the accuser are assisted by wakil (counsel and advocate). Today although the power and influence of the sultanate is significantly reduced, in some places the datu is still influential and effective in resolving disputes. Once a complaint is received, the datu may call the council of elders to conduct preliminary investigations to find out the following: the pedtuntut (complainant) and pedtuntutan (defendant); the sabapan (issues); the kahanda (objectives of the conflicting parties over those issues); the ukit (the means they use to achieve those objectives); their adaban (orientations to conflict and conflict handling); and the tandangan (environment within which the conflict occurs and the efforts to resolve the dispute) (Datumanong 2005). Once these pieces of information are available, the council of elders calls a meeting of both parties and their relatives. The process of kambitialay (mediation) starts. There are no formal procedures to be followed. The discussions are mainly to reach just resolution of the dispute. In arbitration cases, once complaint is received the council of elders determines the merit of the complaint. If the council finds the complaint unjustifiable the case is dismissed. Otherwise, the defendant’s representative is summoned. Then the council holds pre-trial conference with the parties in conflict. The arbitration process follows and after hearing the facts and arguments, the council renders its decision. The parties in conflict and their witnesses are required to sign “in conforme” the decision of the Council MILF-Conflict Resolution Procedure. When a complaint or report is received by the milf, an initial investigation is conducted. Before the milf takes action, it usually gets the consent of both parties to voluntarily submit their dispute to the jurisdiction of the milf and a commitment to abide by the decision. Then the central committee or any of its provincial

RIDO V2.indd 64

10/4/2007 8:22:51 AM

Dynamic and Management of Rido in the Province of Maguindanao || 65

or municipal organs organizes a committee composed of influential members of both families to act as mediator. The mediator will immediately ask both parties to declare and observe a ceasefire. If mediation fails, the dispute will either be submitted to arbitration or to the milf Shari’ah court. Unlike the shari’ah court, arbitration procedures do not observe specific rules. Arbitration is not a trial but a means to resolution. Cases submitted to the shari’ah court , however, are decided in accordance with criminal and civil laws adopted by the milf. Under arbitration, settlement may take any form provided it does not violate fundamental principles of justice in Islam. To avoid abuse in the use of blood money as settlement, the milf set P120,000 as maximum amount to be paid to the family of the victim.
Party in conflict submits case complaint with pleading and evidence Council of Elders determines merit of the case/complaint

Case is invalid/unjustified.

Case is valid/justifiable. Council sends summon letter to the defendant’s representative

Council holds pre-trial conference with the parties in conflict Council conducts arbitration process between the two parties in conflict

Council decides on the case/complaint

Figure 8: Steps in Settling a Homicide Case Through Arbitration Process (Datumanong 2005)

Parties in conflict and witnesses sign Council’s decision

RIDO V2.indd 65

10/4/2007 8:22:52 AM

66 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Settlement. Settlement of conflict submitted for mediation and arbitration can be in any form acceptable to both parties. The only limitations, according to informants, are that the settlement does not violate the fundamental principles of Islam and the adat betad (proper order of things) of society. To heal the wounds of those who are offended, the settlement carries with it some form of retributive justice and reparation for damages—material and psychological—inflicted on the victims. Diyyat (blood money) is paid to the family of a victim killed by mistake. This practice is based on the Qur’an:“It is not for a believer to kill a believer unless (it be) by mistake. He who hath killed a believer by mistake must set free a believing slave, and pay the indemnity to the family of the slain, unless they remit it as charity.” (4:92) Forgiveness has been part of settlement of conflicts. The above Qur’anic verse shows that even blood money can be given up as charity. This means that if the victim’s family forgives the killer, then the latter may no longer be obliged to pay the blood money. Forgiveness is a prized virtue in Islam. Believers are enjoined to forgive even if they are angry (Qur’an 42:37). When Prophet Muhammad was persecuted in Mecca, he prayed, “Forgive them, Lord, for they know not what they do.” The Qur’anic commandment is for every Muslim to “Hold to forgiveness “ (7:199). The traditional way of kadsarakan in Maguindanao is an example of how the values of humility and forgiveness are practiced. The offender goes to the house of the offended party. The accompanying relatives and community leaders tell the offended party that the offender is being submitted to the offended party’s discretion. The offended party’s response is always to forgive because the act of going to the house of the offended party shows humility and remorse. When guilt cannot be ascertained, relatives and leaders will arrange a meeting of the parties involved on neutral ground. For a serious crime, the offender dons white and brings along a kris which he offers to the offended party upon arrival at the latter’s home. This is meant for the offended party to carry out an execution. Before this ritual, however, mediators will have arranged some form of retribution and indemnity. Even in grave cases, Magindanaon tradition expects the offended party to forgive the offender who humbles himself. Reconciliation. Reconciliation is the best guarantee that the violence will not recur. Kedsapa (taking oath) may be performed to assure all parties that the peace pact will not be violated. To avoid future disputes, most peace agreements are written down and witnessed by prominent leaders of the community.

RIDO V2.indd 66

10/4/2007 8:22:52 AM

Dynamic and Management of Rido in the Province of Maguindanao || 67

To build confidence and trust, intermarriages are sometimes resorted to, especially in cases of serious rido where many died from both sides. Marriage among Muslims in the province is not just the union of two individuals but also a way of building alliances between families. Intermarriages are one way to prevent recurrence of rido among future generations. Recurrence Rido can at times recur after settlement. One of the causes of recurrence identified by informants is kapanunungka (shaming). For example, a person who is called a coward for not avenging the death of a family member may be shamed into seeking revenge despite a settlement. A family member may be ignorant of a settlement while one who is excluded from such settlement may choose to ignore the pact. Failure of any party to comply with the agreement or perception that the settlement is unfair can also provoke violent reaction. The Mediator and Arbiter The fgd participants believed that a mediator or arbiter must have the confidence of parties involved. In one case I witnessed, the community leaders organized a committee to mediate a rido between two prominent political families. Before contacts were made with the warring families, the committee members assessed themselves and those who felt they were not acceptable to the conflicting parties chose not to participate further. A mediator or arbiter who has the respect of the parties involved assures their compliance with the agreement reached. He can also control those who attempt to spoil the mediation process. Datumanong (2005) is of the opinion that the council of elders who mediate conflicts should be composed of “honored and revered individuals in the community by virtue of their experience and wisdom in upholding justice, customary laws, and ensuring peace in the community.” In Maguindanao, both men and women can be effective mediators and arbiters. Roles of kin, and political and religious leaders. Kin can either help resolve or exacerbate conflict. The fgd participants observed that many conflicts in the province were resolved immediately through the peace efforts of kin on both sides while other conflicts worsened due to the stubbornness or unilateral actions of some relatives. Political and religious leaders usually act as mediators. If they are directly or indirectly embroiled in the rido, they can organize other mediators.

RIDO V2.indd 67

10/4/2007 8:22:53 AM

68 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

They can also source funds to pay for compensation or indemnity if the concerned parties cannot afford to. Fgd participants said that the religious should educate the people on the tenets of Islam which teaches mercy and forgiveness. Conflict-Resolution Problems. The existence of competing authorities in the province—like the milf and the government—that have different systems of addressing rido provides parties to the dispute the opportunity for “forum shopping”. Sometimes cases already resolved by the milf would be filed in court by one party while cases being heard in court would be brought to the milf. Settlements facilitated by datus and community leaders may also suffer a similar fate. To prevent “forum shopping,” disputants are usually required to withdraw cases filed in court or to desist from filing court cases if they submit themselves to arbitration by traditional ways or by the milf. For instance, an agreement facilitated by community leaders provides that the parties should “desist filing cases in court and if one or some may have been filed by either parties in court to cause for the withdrawal of the same.” An milf-mediated agreement provides “[t]hat all criminal cases filed by both parties before the Philippine Courts shall be withdrawn by obliging respective complainants to execute Affidavit of Desistance and seek Order of Dismissal of Cases by the concern courts.” Armed encounters between the afp and milf forces complicate mediation. The fgd participants observed that when armed confrontation leads to evacuation of residents, mediation efforts are abandoned. What makes mediation more difficult is the involvement of relatives who belong to the police, militia, the afp, or the milf. In some cases, “some clans would join the Armed Forces, the police and para-military forces to get back at another clan known to be sympathetic to the Muslim rebels.” (Hermoso 2005) The number of leaders who know the art of mediation and arbitration is dwindling. Authority and influence are not enough, experience is vital. The young are encouraged to closely observe the settlement of conflicts so they may learn the ways. Today, young people in the province are less familiar with the art of mediation and arbitration. Recommendations To address rido it is necessary to improve the justice system. Judges must be appointed in every municipaplity and given ample security. More public attorneys should be provided to those who cannot afford to hire private counsel and paralegals trained to assist those at the community level.

RIDO V2.indd 68

10/4/2007 8:22:53 AM

Dynamic and Management of Rido in the Province of Maguindanao || 69

Government should also consider placing under the jurisdiction of the Shari’ah Courts all crimes against chastity and other crimes to which Muslims are particularly sensitive. Law enforcement must also be improved. Police should be better trained and made accountable for their actions. It is also important to review the practice of elections where they contradict Islamic teachings or local practice. There should be sustained effort for clean and honest elections beginning at the grassroots where police and military are kept neutral. Government must create a special body to address issues pertaining to land claims and disputed titles. It will help to avoid conflicts if traditional systems of land ownership are harmonized with the private system of ownership. Finally, local community leaders must be provided in-depth training in conflict resolution and widespread educational campaign on the negative impact of rido must be undertaken. The Islamic values of justice, forgiveness, mercy, and peace must be strongly promoted. Bibliography
Abdullah, Intuas M. “A Conceptual Model of Dispute Settlement Among Maranao: An Alternative Approach in the Study of Conflict Resolution.” Arts and Sciences Journal (Mindanao State University, Marawi City), 1, 2: (1982): 54-68. Abinales, Patricio N. “Getting Rid of Rido.” Newsbreak, Oct. 25, 2004: 10-11. Abu-Nimer, Mohammed. Nonviolence and Peace Building in Islam. Gainesville, Fl.: University Press of Florida, 2003. Arguillas, Carolyn O. “Cheap Guns, Costly Feuds.” Newsbreak, Jan. 3/17, 2005: 18-19. Bagayua, Gemma B. “Women Who Dare.” Newsbreak, Dec. 20, 2004: 27- 28. Bagayua, Gemma B. “It’s All About Power” Newsbreak, Feb. 28, 2005: 27- 28. Baradas, David B. “Maranao Law: A Study of Conflict and Its Resolution in a Multicentric Power system.” Mindanao Journal, III (1989): 3-4. Barra, Hamid Aminoddin. “Conciliation, Amicable Settlement and Arbitration Under Islamic, Philippine and Customary Adat Laws: A Comparative Exposition.” Dansalan Quarterly, XIV, 3-4, (1994): 3- 31. Bartolome, Claribel D. Maratabat and Rido: Implications for Peace and National Development. Marawi City, Philippines: Department of Graduate Studies, College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Mindanao State Univ., 2001 Bloomfield, David, Yash Gai and Ben Reilly. “Analysing Deept-Rooted Conflict.” Democracy and Deep-Rooted Conflict: Options for Negotiators. eds. Harris, Peter and Ben Reilly. Stockholm: Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, 1998. Canuday, Jowel F. “They Win the Peace.” Newsbreak, 8 Nov 2004: 26-27. Datumanong, Abubacar M. “The Maguindanaon Datus: Their Role in Resolving Conflict”. PhD. dissertation. Notre Dame Univ, 2005.

RIDO V2.indd 69

10/4/2007 8:22:53 AM

70 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao Disoma, Esmail R. The Role of Violence in Social Organization: The Case of the Maranao and Their Maratabat. Marawi City: College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Mindanao State Univ, 2000. Gutoc, Samira and Bobby Timonera. “In Cold Blood.” Newsbreak, 22 Nov 2004: 26-29. Hermoso, Major Dickson P. “Face to Face: Clan Wars and the Mindanao Peace Process – A Testimonial Talk on Rido.” Forum on “The Big and Silent Killer: Getting into the Bottom of Rido. Mandarin Oriental, Makati City. June 15, 2005. Kreuzer, Peter. Political Clans and Violence in the Southern Philippines. PRIF Report 1, (2005): 2005. Mastura, Michael O. “A Short History of Cotabato City and Its Historic Places”. Cotabato City Guidebook. Gen. Santos City: Victoria Press, 1952. Nicholson, Michael. Conflict Analysis. London: The English Press Limited, 1970. Saber, Mamitua, Mauyag Tamano and Charles Warriner. “The Maratabat Of the Maranao.” The Maranao. Eds. Mamitua Saber and Abdullah Madale. Quezon City: Solidaridad Publishing House, 1960. Saleeby, Najeeb M. Studies in Moro History, Laws and Religion. Manila: Bureau of Printing, 1905. Salmi, Ralph H., Cesar Adib Majul and George K.Tanhan. Islam and Conflict Resolution. Lanham, Maryland: Univ Press of America, 1998. Schiavo-Cmpo, Salvatore and Mary Judd. The Mindanao Conflict in the Philippines: Roots, Costs, and Potential Peace Dividend. Paper 24, Social Development Papers, 24 (2005). Social Weather Stations. SWS Media Release, Feb. 24, 2005. Socio-Economic Profile: Province of Maguindanao. 2003. Sullivan, Robert E. Maguindanaon Dictionary. Cotabato City: Notre Dame Univ. Institute of Cotabato Cultures, 1986. Vitug, Marites Danguilan. “The Big Kill.” Newsbreak, April 25, 2005: 28-29. World Bank. Social Assessment of Conflict-Affected Areas in Mindanao. Philippine Post Conflict Series No. 1 (2003). World Bank. Village Justice in Indonesia: Case Studies on Access to Justice, Village Democracy and Governance. 62 (2004). Social Development Paper.

RIDO V2.indd 70

10/4/2007 8:22:54 AM


ch a p ter t h re e

Inventory of Existing Rido in Lanao del Sur (1994 –2004)
Moctar I. Matuan, PhD Mindanao State University–Marawi

OME RESEARCHERS have observed that conflict is more prevalent in Meranao society than among other Moro groups in the Philippines. As noted by Bently (1982), the Meranao display extreme sensitivity to personal threats. They are unwilling to fall under anyone’s power, either individually or collectively. Because of this trait, inter-family feud, which is known as rido in the vernacular, occurs whenever a member of the family is offended verbally or physically. While the Philippine legal system defines revenge killing as murder or homicide, the Meranao define the act as retributive justice. Rido among the Meranao has brought about serious problems in their society. Loss of lives, destruction of property, economic drift and absence of peace and order are just some of its crippling effects. Rido is a hindrance to socioeconomic, political, and spiritual development of the people. Locale of the Study The study covered Lanao del Sur. The province has one city and 39 municipalities. Lanao del Sur is located in Central Mindanao. It has an area of 3,850 sq km. Its population of 800,162, as of the 2000 census, is the 29th largest among the country’s provinces while its population density of 207 per sq km is the 43rd highest. The province is bounded on the north by Lanao del Norte, on the east by Bukidnon, on the south by Maguindanao and
|| 71 ||


RIDO V2.indd 71

10/4/2007 8:22:55 AM

72 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Cotabato, and on the southwest by Illana Bay, an arm of the Moro Gulf. Its capital is Marawi City. At the heart of the province is Lake Lanao, one of the 17 oldest lakes in the world. Marawi City is located in the northwestern side of Lake Lanao. With its 131,090 population (2000 Census of Population and Housing, nso), it is the smallest among the 16 highly urbanized cities in the Philippines. It is predominantly Meranao. Government offices, schools, business establishments, public utilities, and other service-oriented establishments are all controlled or managed by the Meranao. In the past (1940-1960), Marawi was at the heart of Mindanao’s travel route by land. The city then boasted fine hotels and restaurants. But with deteriorating peace and order and the construction of new road network in Bukidnon, Marawi’s old role was taken over by Cagayan de Oro City. The Meranao The Meranao are among the 13 Muslim ethno-linguistic groups in the Philippines. They inhabit Lanao del Sur, a large portion of Lanao del Norte, and some parts of Zamboanga Del Sur, Maguindanao, Misamis Oriental, and Cagayan De Oro City. The word Meranao, which is initially pronounced with the peppet vowel e, is popularly translated as “people of the lake”, referring to Lake Lanao (Ranao in the vernacular). Long before the advent of the Republic, the Meranao already had a relatively well-organized indigenous polity. The nation-state equivalent of this political organization is the pat a phangampongang ko ranao. The late Dr. Mamitua Saber translated this term as “Four States or Principalities.” The territorial jurisdiction of this indigenous political organization includes the provinces of Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte, and small portions of the present Zamboanga Del Sur, Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental, and Maguindanao. Although it has become nominal in many aspects, this indigenous organization is still functional. While the Philippine Constitution functions as the fundamental law of the land, in the pat a phangampong (in short), the so-called taritib ago igma serves as the fundamental law of the community. In the taritib, the pat a phangampong is divided into four phangampongs (encampments): Bayabao, Onayan, Masiu, and Baloi. Each phangampong with the exception of Baloi is further subdivided into suku or sub-phangampong. Bayabao is subdivided into Poona Bayabao (Where Bayabao Begins), Lumba a Bayabao (Central Bayabao), and Mala a Bayabao (Greater Bayabao); Masiu into East and West Masiu; and Onayan into East and West Onayan. It is interesting to note that

RIDO V2.indd 72

10/4/2007 8:22:55 AM

Inventory of Existing Rido in Lanao del Sur (1994-2004) || 73

the first three phangampongs (Bayabao, Masiu, and Onayan) are bound in the Taritib by the inged or communities of Sawir, Dalama, Bacayawan and Madamba. Each sub-phangampong is further broken down into several inged (township) and each inged is subdivided into several agama (village community). In the taritib, the four panganpong have 15 panoroganans (supported inged) and 28 mbabaya ko taritib inged. Through consensus-making or consultation process (opakat), these ingeds rule the Pat a Phangampong. However, because centralized authority structure did not much develop in the Pat a Phangampong, each inged and, in some cases, each agama functions independently of all other ingeds and agamas. It is on this score that the Pat a Phangampong is considered a segmentary society. Unlike in a centralized sultanate system, where the judicial function of the government is hierarchically institutionalized, in the pat a phangampong, each inged or agama functions independently in regard to conflict resolution. Before the advent of the Republic, indigenous and Islamic Law constituted the substantive and procedural laws of the Meranao indigenous political system. The indigenous laws are embodied mainly in the Taritib and igma of the pat a phangampong. Islamic Law, on the other hand, is based on the Qur’an and Hadith—sayings and practices of Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.). It should be noted that Islamic Law functions not through an Islamic Government but through the indigenous political structure of Meranao society. The indigenous laws are themselves continuously influenced by Islamic Law. In fact, the word taritib and igma are said to be adopted from two original Arabic terms: tartib and ijma. The former means arrangement or order while the latter refers to the consensus of jurists about a question of law at a particular point in history. With the advent of the Republic, the modern state system was superimposed on Meranao society. Consequently, the Meranao live under two types of political organization simultaneously—the modern state and the indigenous. Under the modern state, the people are organized into provinces, city, municipalities, and barangays. Under the indigenous system, they are organized into phangampongs, sub-phangampong, ingeds, and agamas. Likewise, “modern” or legal mode of conflict settlement, which are primarily channeled through regular courts of justice, co-exist with the indigenous modes of conflict resolution as well as with the Islamic mode of settlement that used to be called kitab in Meranao society. Therefore, given a dispute, there are alternative modes of conflict resolution. Islam influences virtually all aspects of Meranao life and continues to transform Meranao society along Islamic lines despite the inroads of secularization. The Qur’an and Hadith provide general guiding principles so

RIDO V2.indd 73

10/4/2007 8:22:55 AM

74 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

that the Meranao is still free to define his own Islamic way. Like democracy that has several variants, Islamic political organization can also take varying forms. The same is true of other institutions like education; the Meranao can also have their own system of Islamic education. Islam demands that its adherents (individually and collectively) live in accordance with Islamic way. This is one aspect of the Moro armed struggle less understood in Philippine scholarship. Competing with Islam in transforming the Meranao are the socalled Western or American influences. The Philippine systems of public administration, civil service, and education are essentially American in provenance. Today, the indigenous political system has been supplanted by the modern nation-state that promotes the free market economy. While the Meranao has been benefited by secular education it has also alienated him from his traditional culture and religion. In response to this alienation, the Meranao have set up hundreds of madaris (singular, madrasah) alongside secular public and private schools. The madaris teach religion, Islamic Law, Islamic history, and Arabic language, among others. Because the government does not accredit the madaris, their graduates can not effectively apply for government jobs. Moreover, the madaris do not offer pure and applied science courses that can be used for gainful selfemployment. In response to this problem, adventurous ulama and some western educated individuals organized integrated schools in Lanao del Sur and Marawi City. The most successful of these schools, which earned the respect of the public and the government, is the Ibn Siena Integrated School in Marawi City in 1995. Meranao Kinship System Owing probably to the isolation of the Meranao in Central Mindanao for centuries, they have developed a peculiar kinship system. For instance, while other ethnic groups may have similar kinship ties that require reciprocity of aid and services within the kin group, the mbatabata’a or thothonganaya (a group of individuals who are blood relatives) is a separate authority structure at the village level, which, together with the barangays and the agama, make the Meranao village a trichotomous authority structure (Sumaguina, 1988). As an authority structure, the mbatabata’a or thothonganaya is more effective than the agama or the barangays in conflict management. The late Dr. Esmail Sumaguina discovered in his “Distributed Political Competence and Stress On Village System: The Case of Three Meranao Village

RIDO V2.indd 74

10/4/2007 8:22:56 AM

Inventory of Existing Rido in Lanao del Sur (1994-2004) || 75

Communities in Muslim Mindanao,” which he undertook in 1988, that in very stressful situations, involving homicide or murder, the agama and the barangays could not cope. Only the mbatabata’a or thothonganaya was able to effect resolution. Another mode of conflict resolution based on kinship is the kokoman a kambhatabata’a. This mode promotes and maintains harmony among members of a kinship group. Prof. Intuas M. Abdullah first articulated this in his article “Two Notes on Meranao Law” published by the Mindanao State University in 1977. The Merano must often decide whether to apply the traditional taritib ago igma, kitab or Islamic Law, or Philippine law in resolving conflicts. The indigenous political organization of the Meranao, from its nationstate equivalent down to the agama level, is also largely structured and organized along kinship principles. Political and religious titles are generally ascribed and open only to individuals who descend from the original holder of the title (grar). Another feature of the kinship system of the Meranao is the awidan. Literally, it can mean “to carry’”or burden. As a reciprocity system, its scope is defined by the phrase rido-kapiya’an (problem-benefit or conflict-benefit) that explicitly categorizes two general areas in which awidan operates: problem and benefit. This shows that reciprocity in Meranao society is far greater in scope than in other ethnic groups. The nature of a reciprocity system is often made manifest when an individual is confronted with a problematic situation. In his book Social Structure (1969) George Peter Murdock observes: When a person is in danger or in trouble, when he needs help in the performance of an economic task or a ceremonial obligation, whenever in short, he requires a measure of assistance beyond what his family can provide, he can turn to the members of his larger kin group for aid and succor. Because extended kinship ties bind them to him, their obligation to help him is stronger than that of other members of the tribe or community. He in turn of course is under reciprocal obligations toward them (Murdock, 1969:45; cited in Sumaguina, 1988:38). What Murdock describes above is only a part of the awidan in the Meranao kinship system. The concept of rido-kapiya’an obligates a kinship group to assist any member in a conflict situation, particularly one that involves homicide or murder. When death is not involved, the kinship group, particularly the shokodan (those who are related to both parties in the dispute), can

RIDO V2.indd 75

10/4/2007 8:22:56 AM

76 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

be effective in settling the conflict. In situations that require payment for damages, the kinship group is expected to help raise the amount. In serious disputes that involve homicide, close relatives are expected to help not only materially but also in bearing arms. The second half of the rido-kapiya’an concept, on the other hand, obligates the individual or nuclear family to distribute part of whatever benefits they receive among the larger kin group. In regard to dower or bride gift, this is called adat. Meranao Concept of Maratabat Maratabat is another feature of the Meranao much discussed among both foreign and local scholars. It is not easily discernible to outsiders. It often rises to the fore when powerful emotions mix with deeply ingrained cultural values. Researchers differ in their views of this socio-psychological and cultural phenomenon. Carlton L. Riemer, in his article, “Meranao Maratabat and the Concepts of Pride, Honor, and Self Esteem”, believes that the Meranao expanded the Arabic meaning of maratabat “… from rank to rank sensitivity, status to status seeking and prestige to prestige seeking and enhancement” (1970:8). Riemer sees maratabat as occurring in a continuum so that varying amounts of it exists in different situations. (1970: 3). Saber, Tamano, and Warriner relate maratabat to the “folk psychology” of the Meranao and regard it is as an ideology. “This implies that maratabat is the driving force that guides the actions of the Meranao as “citizens” of the pat a phangampongan o ranao” (Abdullah, 1982:32). To contextualize the phenomenon, Dr. Nagasura Madale suggests that the concept (maratabat) can only be understood by relating it to the social structure of the Meranao and the social positions in that structure. Unlike many writers, who equate maratabat with pride, honor, status, or self-esteem, Melvin Mednick believes that there is no single concept rendered in English that corresponds to it. In the end, he views maratabat as the “affection impulse behind the performance” of duties in relation to one’s descent line (1964: 187; cited in Abdullah, 1982:31). In his “Maratabat and Rido (Meranao),” Claribel Bartolome (2004: 32106), says maratabat has to do with a universe of cultural and social concerns: rank, honor, status, self-esteem, pride, sensitivity, ideology, among others. Suffice it to say, for this study, that maratabat is a reaction to any perceived offense committed against one’s person and/or dignity that must be vindicated. It is usually a violent reaction. However, not all violent acts are expressions of maratabat.

RIDO V2.indd 76

10/4/2007 8:22:57 AM

Inventory of Existing Rido in Lanao del Sur (1994-2004) || 77

Data Collection The first phase of data gathering was devoted to the enumeration of rido in the municipalities of Lanao del Sur from 1994 to 2004. The data gathered included the causes and parties involved, the year it happened, the mediators, and the number of casualties, injured, imprisoned, and other related information. After enumerating all the known rido in every municipality, the researchers were then asked to gather more indepth information on five rido cases in each municipality. Some Meranao employees (faculty and administrative staff) of msu Marawi and other colleagues were recruited as enumerators and/or field researchers in their own municipality/city of origin. The ideal respondents for the inventory of rido in the municipality were the traditional/religious leaders or those who ran for an elective office. In selecting the respondents, the researchers were instructed to choose a friend or relative knowledgeable on specific rido and not to interview people who were closely related to the rido, especially the aggrieved party. They were further instructed to allow respondents to narrate the history of the rido and to emphasize the mediation and resolution process. The findings were presented in a validation seminar/workshop attended by carefully selected participants from the 40 localities studied. The participants, selected on the basis of their knowledge on the rido in their areas and familiarity with Meranao conflict resolution methods, were given ample time to critically examine the findings and to provide additional information on items that were overlooked. Frequency and Common Causes of Rido The inventory yielded information on the number of rido; causes of rido; year of occurrence; number of people killed, injured and imprisoned; status of the rido, whether or not the aggrieved party filed a case in court; and other related information. The study found a total of 337 rido in Lanao del Sur from 1994 to 2004. It can be gleaned from Table 1 that more than 50% (22 out of the 40 political units of the province) had 10 or more ridos. Marantao and Butig registered the highest frequency at 26 and 17, respectively. However, the 26 rido in Marantao claimed 32 lives while Butig lost 73 lives from the 17 rido identified. These figures suggest that though Marantao had the most rido, these were not as violent as those in other places. Marantao ranked sixth in the number of casualties. Butig, Balabagan, Pagayawan, Kalanogas, and Madalum suffered more casualties in that order.

RIDO V2.indd 77

10/4/2007 8:22:57 AM

78 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao
TABLE 1. Distribution of Rido by Municipality Municipality Marawi City Bubong Buadi-Puso Buntong Bumbaran Butig Balindong Bacolod-Kalawi Balabagan Binidayan Bayang Ditsaan-Ramain Dumalondong Ganassi Kapai Kalanogas Kapatagan Lumba-Bayabao Lumbac-a Unayan Lumbayanague Lumbatan Masiu Mulondo Maguing Marantao Madalum Madamba Marogong Malabang Poona Bayabao Piagapo Pualas Pagayawan Saguiaran Sultan Gumander Tagoloan II Tamparan Tugaya Taraka Tubaran Wao Total Frequency 15 5 5 5 17 9 6 14 10 5 5 7 10 10 10 5 5 6 5 7 10 10 10 26 16 11 6 10 10 5 11 15 10 6 10 12 8 12 13 5 377 Percent 4.0 1.3 1.3 1.3 4.5 2.4 1.6 3.7 2.7 1.3 1.3 1.9 2.7 2.7 2.7 1.3 1.3 1.6 1.3 1.9 2.7 2.7 2.7 6.9 4.2 2.9 1.6 2.7 2.7 1.3 2.9 4.0 2.7 1.6 2.7 3.2 2.1 3.2 3.4 1.3 100.0

Most of the rido happened in 2004 (86 cases), 1994 (46 cases), 2002 (36 cases, and 2003 (33 cases). National and local elections held in May 2004 apparently contributed to the larger number of rido incidents that year.

RIDO V2.indd 78

10/4/2007 8:22:57 AM

Inventory of Existing Rido in Lanao del Sur (1994-2004) || 79
TABLE 2. Year Rido Started Year rido started 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 Total Frequency 46 25 25 25 30 16 23 32 36 33 86 377 Percent 12.2 6.6 6.6 6.6 8.0 4.2 6.1 8.5 9.5 8.8 22.8 100.0

Causes of Rido The six major causes of rido as found by this study were politics (52 cases), land disputes (45 cases), pride/maratabat (28 cases), retaliation (27 cases), accident (26 cases), and drug related cases(25 cases). According to some key informants and the participants to the validation seminar, the number of rido created by political rivalry significantly increased when the barangays were given ira (internal revenue allotment) by virtue of the Local Government Law. Prior to the granting of ira, few wanted to run for barangay office. Today, they say, brothers and cousins fight for these elective posts and even go to the extent of killing their own relatives due to the amount of money involved. In the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (armm) to which Lanao del Sur and Marawi City belong, elections are supposed to be held every year: (1) national and local elections for President, Vice President, senators, congressmen, governors and mayors; (2) election for barangay officials, (3) election for armm governor, vice governor and assemblymen, and (4) the mid (presidential) term elections for congressmen, provincial and municipal officials. One can just imagine the number of conflicts created by these “democratic exercises.” When not properly addressed, most of the conflicts escalate to full-blown rido and deaths for many Moros. The Meranaos have their own concept of land ownership heavily influenced by Islam. For this reason, many land owners do not bother to title their land under Philippine laws. As the old folk pass away and the new generation inherit the land, disputes over ownership and boundaries increase. There are cases where an educated family or clan member placed communal land under his own name precipitating intra-clan feud. The conflict between the Meranao concept of land ownership and that of the Philippine

RIDO V2.indd 79

10/4/2007 8:22:57 AM

80 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

government “legal system” was the second major cause of conflict and rido in Lanao del Sur. Affront to maratabat as a cause for rido may range from unintended verbal insult, perceived disrespect, slight injury, and even accident. The assessment of whether or not maratabat was offended lies entirely on the evaluation of the presumably aggrieved individual, his family or kinsmen. The problem of illegal drugs (particularly methampethamine chloride or “shabu”) is sometimes not acknowledged by political leaders. But it is public knowledge that some Meranos became rich from this illegal business and that the number of young drug users is growing. Some of the field researchers first labeled this cause of rido as “illegal business,” but later admitted that they were referring to drugs-related activities. Potential drug-related rido cannot be mediated by the traditional, religious and political leaders, and friends or relatives because the conflicting parties are hiding the facts of their conflict. Facts are usually known after the conflict develops into a full-blown rido or when a member of one party is killed. These cases often involve non-payment of debt, non-delivery of paid merchandise, stealing from a business partner, killing under the influence of drugs, and kidnapping to force delinquent partners to pay or to force a “pusher” to change “supplier.” As for “retaliation” as cause for rido, 27 out of the 377 cases happened prior to 1994. The revenge took place within the time frame of this study (1994-2004) and was, therefore, listed as separate rido in the enumeration.
TABLE 3. Causes of Rido Causes of Rido Accident Accusation Business Crime Against Women Drug Related Extortion Family Feud Gambling Grudge Kidnapping Land Dispute Misconduct Money Matter Murder Politics Pride Retaliation Robbery Trespassing Carnapping Total Frequency 26 22 8 24 25 2 8 9 19 5 45 11 22 19 52 29 27 18 5 1 377 Percent 6.9 5.8 2.1 6.4 6.6 0.5 2.1 2.4 5.0 1.3 11.9 2.9 5.8 5.0 13.8 7.7 7.2 4.8 1.3 0.3 100.0

RIDO V2.indd 80

10/4/2007 8:22:58 AM

Inventory of Existing Rido in Lanao del Sur (1994-2004) || 81

A total of 798 people died in these 377 cases of rido, 104 injured, but only eight were imprisoned out of the 82 cases filed in court (refer to Tables 4, 5 and 6). Only 64 out of the 377 ridos were settled, 35 inactive, 10 suspended while the rest remain active. It can be inferred from these figures that majority of the Meranao (78%) do not report to the government authorities the deaths of their relatives due to rido. They prefer to put the “law” in their own hands because: (1) the aggrieved families who file cases in court are viewed as “weak and cowardly” by the community and (2) they do not subscribe to penalties prescribed by Philippine criminal laws on cases of murder and homicide. A public prosecutor (fiscal) opined that some Meranao only file court cases in order to feel that the government is on their side. The filing of the case also prevents the aggressor from roaming around with his firearms and makes him easier to locate. Others do not file cases, according to the fiscal, due to the long and tedious process, distance from the courthouse, and expense required to pursue the case.
TABLE 4. Number of persons killed Number of persons killed 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 17 25 Total Frequency 232 72 23 20 6 5 4 3 1 1 2 2 2 2 1 1 377 Percent 61.5 19.1 6.1 5.3 1.6 1.3 1.1 0.8 0.3 0.3 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.3 0.3 100

TABLE 5. Number of Casualties by Municipality Municipality Marawi City Bubong Buadi-Puso Buntong Bumbaran Butig Balindong Frequency 20 6 8 5 73 16 Percent 2.5 0.75 1.0 0.63 9.15 2.01

RIDO V2.indd 81

10/4/2007 8:22:58 AM

82 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao
(CONT’D) TABLE 5. Number of Casualties by Municipality Bacolod-Kalawi Balabagan Binidayan Bayang Ditsaan-Ramain Dumalondong Ganassi Kapai Kalanogas Kapatagan Lumba-Bayabao Lumbac-a Unayan Lumbayanague Lumbatan Masiu Mulondo Maguing Marantao Madalum Madamba Marogong Malabang Poona Bayabao Piagapo Pualas Pagayawan Saguiaran Sultan Gumander Tagoloan II Tamparan Tugaya Taraka Tubaran Wao Total 11 62 24 7 5 21 18 13 38 6 5 7 12 14 19 14 19 32 37 18 8 24 30 10 31 43 29 11 14 29 8 26 20 5 798 1.38 7.77 3.01 0.88 0.63 2.63 2.26 1.63 4.76 0.75 0.63 0.88 1.5 1.75 2.38 1.75 2.38 4.01 4.64 2.26 1.0 3.01 3.76 1.25 3.88 5.39 3.63 1.38 1.75 3.63 1.0 3.26 2.51 0.63 100

TABLE 6. Number of Persons Injured Number of persons injured 1 2 3 4 5 None Total Frequency 24 13 11 4 1 324 377 Percent 6.4 3.4 2.9 1.1 0.3 85.9 100.0

RIDO V2.indd 82

10/4/2007 8:22:58 AM

Inventory of Existing Rido in Lanao del Sur (1994-2004) || 83
TABLE 7. Number of Persons Imprisoned Number of persons imprisoned 1 None Total Frequency 8 369 377 Percent 2.1 97.9 100.0

Findings on the 200 cases studied Socio-Demographic Profile of the Assailants The average age of the assailants was 36 years old. The data also showed that some of the assailants appeared either too young (13 years old) or too old (73) to have been involved in killings. Three assailants were aged 10-15 while seven assailants were 58 and above. There was only one woman (a wife that retaliated for the death of her husband) among the 200 assailants. Most of the assailants had high school and/or college education (Table 8). Majority of them were married, had one to 15 children, and were selfemployed. Around 47% of the assailants had resided in the city. At least 44 out of the 200 assailants were identified with vices like drug use, alcoholism, and that 35 of them were having other rido. The Victims The victims’ average age was 37 years old. Some of the younger ones were victims of vehicular accidents that respondents believe could turn into major conflict if not resolved immediately. Eleven of the victims were women while the remaining 189 were men. Traditionally, women and children are not appropriate target for retaliation. This unwritten code, however, seems to be eroding. Though some of the children and women victims died from accidents, closer analysis of the data reveals that they were victims of rape, accusation, robbery, jealousy and, most importantly, their assailants were illegal drug users. The victims’ number of children and occupations closely resemble those of the assailants. There are slight differences in education, marital status, and experience in residing in cities, vices and involvement in other rido. Table 8 below indicates these differences.
TABLE 8. Comparative Profiles of the Assailants and Victims Assailants Education Easter/Arabic Masters Degree Some College/College Graduate Some High School/ H.S. Graduate 5 1 34 65 Victims 2 37 56 Difference 3 1 3 9

RIDO V2.indd 83

10/4/2007 8:22:59 AM

84 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao
(CONT’D) TABLE 8. Comparative Profile of the Assailants and Victims Some Elementary/Elementary Graduate No Schooling Marital Status Married Single Widower/Separated Occupation Government Employee Private Employee Self-Employed Unemployed Have Resided in the City? Yes No Other Information Has Vices Criminal Mentally Ill No other Information Have Other Rido? Yes No 56 39 62 43 6 -4

161 33

154 44

7 -11

32 10 106 52

30 8 105 57

2 2 1 -5

93 107

81 119

12 -12

44 2 2 152

25 1 174

19 1 2 -22

35 165

26 174

9 -9

It can be discerned from this comparison that the assailants were more educated and possibly affluent as indicated by their having spent time in cities. They seemed to be used to rido and indulged in vices prohibited by Islam and other religions. This finding is very disturbing, as it suggests that the more educated and economically better off are the ones indulging in rido. This phenomenon can only be explained by the Meranao concept of maratabat. As perceived by some Meranaos and Riemer (1970), maratabat is related to “status and rank sensitivity.” As the wealth and education of a Meranao increases, his sense of his own maratabat also increases. Incidents that a Meranao may not regard as offensive to his maratabat while he is poor or uneducated may assume different proportions once the individual goes up the social ladder. Consequences of Rido on the Family, Clan, and the Community When a family member kills someone accidentally or otherwise, the other immediate member of that family automatically becomes a target for retaliation and reacts accordingly. Most potential targets prefer to stay away

RIDO V2.indd 84

10/4/2007 8:22:59 AM

Inventory of Existing Rido in Lanao del Sur (1994-2004) || 85

from the conflict by changing residence. This is one of the reasons why every densely populated area of the country has a “pocket” of Meranao residents (Matuan, 1985). Some prepare for the worst while a considerable number make their moves for negotiation and settlement. In this study, those related to both conflicting parties said that they were not affected while a quarter of the respondents claimed that their economic activities were seriously affected.
TABLE 9. Consequences of rido to the Assailant’s family Frequency 63 36 20 35 21 25 200 Percent 31.5 18.0 10.0 17.5 10.5 12.5 100.0

Out-migration Neutral Due to Equal Relation to Conflicting Parties (Sokhodan) Preparing Defense for Possible Attack Preparing for Settlement Provide Support to Family Member in Trouble Economic Activities Seriously Affected Total

TABLE 10. Consequences of rido to the clan of the assailant Frequency 43 28 27 32 43 27 200 Percent 21.5 14.0 13.5 16.0 21.5 13.5 100.0

Provide Support to Relative in Trouble Neutral Due to Equal Relation to Conflicting Parties (Sokhodan) Initiating Settlement Limited Movements Out-migration Economic activities affected Total

TABLE 11. Consequences of rido to the community Frequency 53 56 26 65 200 Percent 26.5 28.0 13.0 32.5 100.0

Not Affected Due to Distant Relation to Conflicting Parties and not target for retaliation Neutral Due to Equal Relation to Conflicting Parties (Sokhodan) Trying to help in the settlement Alarmed Total

TABLE 12. Comparative Figures on Consequences of Rido to the Family, Clan and Community Consequences Out-Migration Sokhodan Preparing Defense Preparing Settlement Support Family Member/Relative in Trouble Economic Activities Affected Limited Movements Alarmed/Not Affected Total Family F % 63 31.5 36 18 20 10 35 17.5 21 10.5 25 12.5 Clan F % 43 21.5 28 14 27 43 27 32 200 13.5 21.5 13.5 16 100 Community F % 56 26 28 13



118 200

59 100

RIDO V2.indd 85

10/4/2007 8:22:59 AM

86 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

In comparing Tables 10, 11 and 12, it is apparent that a larger percentage of close relatives were affected and were forced to leave, or voluntarily left, their hometowns (32%) while only 22% of distant clan relatives chose to move out. In the community level, majority (59%) claimed that they were not affected. It is also apparent in the comparative table that only the immediate family members of the assailant prepared for defense. More family members, compared to clan, helped initiate settlement but more clan members offered moral support to a member in trouble.
TABLE 13. Moves Undertaken by the Relatives of Assailant When a Conflict Becomes a Full-blown Rido Frequency 68 23 58 51 200 Percent 34.0 11.5 29.0 25.5 100.0

Buy more firearms Neutral (related to both sides) Initiating settlement Migrated to other places Total

Municipalities, Families or Individuals More Prone to Rido Some respondents named more than one municipality when asked about the municipalities more prone to rido. Table 14 below shows that 25 municipalities were identified by respondents as more prone to rido. Of these municipalities, Butig, Masiu, Pualas, Bayang and Lumayanague were at the apex of the list with frequencies ranging from 21 to 38.
TABLE 14. Places in Lanao more prone to rido Frequency 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 5 6 6 7 7 7 8 9 12 12 15 Percent 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.8 1.2 2.0 2.4 2.4 2.8 2.8 2.8 3.2 3.6 4.8 4.8 6.0

Bumbaran Binidayan Dumalundong Ganassi Madamba Pagayawan Saguiaran Lumba-Bayabao Kapai Marantao Sultan Gumander Tubaran Maguing Malabang Tugaya Balabagan Marogong Bacolod-Kalawi Kalanogas Lumbatan

RIDO V2.indd 86

10/4/2007 8:22:59 AM

Inventory of Existing Rido in Lanao del Sur (1994-2004) || 87
(Cont’d) TABLE 14. Places in Lanao More Prone to Rido Lumbayanague Bayang Pualas Masiu Butig Total 21 25 27 32 38 249 8.4 10.0 10.8 12.9 15.3 100.0

When asked about the places that have individuals with more than one rido, respondents identified 20 municipalities. Two municipalities (Masiu and Butig) were at the top with frequencies of 13 and 7, respectively. The other municipalities identified had frequencies from 1 to 3.
TABLE 15. Places of Individuals with More than One Rido Frequency 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 7 7 13 60 Percent 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.8 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.2 2.8 2.8 5.2 24

Balabagan Binidayan Lumba-Bayabao Maguing Pagayawan Tugaya Tubaran Marawi City Bacolod-Kalawi Mulondo Sultan Gumander Lumbayanague Lumbatan Marantao Marogong Malabang Pualas Butig Bayang Masiu Total

Respondents, reluctantly, identified 32 families and/or individuals in 18 localities (17 municipalities and Marawi City) involved in more than one rido. However, the responses to these three questions (municipalities more prone to rido, places of individuals with more than one rido, and names of individuals/families with more than one rido) should be considered highly subjective. It is possible that the respondents excluded their own municipalities and relatives. Still, no municipality was found to have less than five rido. One may assume that there is at least one family with more than one rido in every municipality of the province.

RIDO V2.indd 87

10/4/2007 8:23:00 AM

88 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

The rising number of individuals or families with more than one rido is one of the effects of the Moro rebellion (since 1970) against the Philippine government. Some of the young men who joined the rebellion and became “commanders” through their exploits were considered heroes of their families, clans, and communities. To maintain their status, these men keep sizeable amount of firearms and ammunition. These are the men usually summoned by relatives in times of conflict. Because big families have more members of this sort, it is not surprising that there are many casualties when two big families clash especially during elections. Personalities Involved in Attempts to Settle Rido The respondents were asked about individuals who tried to mediate/resolve the conflict, the status of these mediators in their communities, their reasons for interceding, whether other mediators followed when the first mediator failed and the reason why no one tried to resolve the conflict. These questions were addressed to the respondents when the rido was still at the stage of conflict (no death yet) and when the conflict became a full-blown rido. Table 16 shows the responses to these questions.
TABLE 16. Comparison of Mediators Profile Still at stage of conflict Are there individuals who tried to settle the rido? Yes No Don’t know Mediator status in the community. Educator Politician Religious Leader Traditional Leader Military/PNP No answer Special reason of the mediator to resolve the rido To stop the feud For peace and order Related to both parties (sokodan) Political reason No answer If failed, are there other mediators who interceded? Yes No Reason why no mediator tried to resolve the conflict. Political reason Wanted revenge Big families involved Parties involved are close relatives No common mediator (that can be trusted by both side) 51 117 32 2 27 3 19 Full-blown rido 115 85

14 62 10 49 2 63 60 45 41 54

8 15 18 8 2 2 49 26 28 38 20 11

44 156

21 6

RIDO V2.indd 88

10/4/2007 8:23:00 AM

Inventory of Existing Rido in Lanao del Sur (1994-2004) || 89
(Cont’d) TABLE 16. Comparison of Mediators Profile Aggressor did not cooperate Both parties did not cooperate The case is in court Dormant/inactive rido No answer 8 34 58 29 77

It can be gleaned from Table 16 that the mediators entered the fray once a serious rido had erupted. Most of the mediators were politicians, traditional leaders, religious personages, and educators. In our experience, a rido cannot be settled by a single mediator. Rather, the lead mediator invites others to join him. The lead person is acknowledged for his status, influence, and the money he can contribute to the settlement. Most mediators intervene in order to save lives—a sacred task under Islam. Other reasons for mediation given by respondents include politics, love for peace, and blood relation to both parties in conflict. Processes and Methods Employed to Settle Rido Out of the 200 cases studied, 44 were settled. The year 2004 registered the highest number of settled rido (9) but also recorded the highest number of rido created. Amicable settlement was pursued by the mediators through the igma ago taritib, payment of blood money and convincing the aggressor family to imprison the culprit. Placing the assailant in prison softens the stand of the aggrieved family and can eventually lead to the beginning of negotiation/mediation. With the exception of imprisonment, the other settlement procedures are inter-related. All negotiations in Meranao society use the igma and taritib to reach agreement for the payment of blood money. To justify such payment, the negotiator tries to establish the fact that the killing was accidental or in self-defense. Otherwise, the Islamic and Meranao rule for purposive killing (murder) is kitas or killing the assailant with the permission of his family and relatives. Despite the payment of blood money by the aggressor family/clan, the assailant may still have to serve a prison term if so demanded by the aggrieved. This is an example of how the traditional and government penalties can be combined. On the other hand, the victim’s family/clan is forced to desist from retaliating. In this study, it is interesting to note that even when the conflicting parties signed a covenant, the details of the terms were kept secret. What was made public were the promises of the parties to cease hostilities, bury their

RIDO V2.indd 89

10/4/2007 8:23:00 AM

90 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

differences, strengthen their blood relationship, and respect the terms of their “unwritten” agreement. The respondents did not mention intermarriages between children of the parties as a means to “seal” the rido. This was a practice in the past. From the 1950s to 80s several celebrated cases of rido in Lanao were put to rest by intermarriages. The intermarriage can be done two ways: (1) the son of the assailant marrying the daughter of the victim or vice versa and (2) double marriage with each side offering a male and a female to be married off to their counterparts from the other party. Participants at the validation seminar pointed out that intermarriages are still employed to settle rido. However, the families involved no longer make public such purpose for fear of rekindling past feud. This becomes a “public secret” shared by the members of the conflicting clans, but unknown to outsiders. Conditions and Processes that Make Rido Active, Inactive, Settled or Suspended Generally, a rido can only be suspended for weeks or months upon the intercession of the community leaders or other recognized leaders like the mayor, governor or congressman. When the agreed time of “ceasefire” lapses without a settlement, the rido becomes active and the aggrieved party starts to hunt his enemies. There were cases known to this researcher when a rido remained “dormant or inactive.” Such cases cannot be deemed “suspended” since there are no agreements to cease hostilities. However, the parties do not harm each other because: • Both sides suffered casualties of at least equal social rank. • The aggrieved party is less influential, poor, and have fewer firearms. Retaliating in such case will only do more harm to the family or clan. Sometimes, they invoke “forgiveness” as a means of saving face. • When the aggrieved party or the recognized leader of the family truly loves peace and delegates to the mercy of Allah the appropriate judgment (on certain condition like banishment of the assailant from the community). Reasons for Failure in Settling Rido When the conflict became full-blown rido, 44 out of the 200 cases were successfully settled. Later the other mediators who entered the scene were able to settle another 20 rido. For the unsettled rido, the following reasons were cited: • Both parties did not cooperate.

RIDO V2.indd 90

10/4/2007 8:23:01 AM

Inventory of Existing Rido in Lanao del Sur (1994-2004) || 91

• One or both of the parties had no recognized leader. • The blood money was not raised. • The aggrieved party was bent on retaliation. • The aggressors were hard headed. • Instigation by a third party for the non-resolution of the rido for his/their own advantage (e.g. in politics). • The mediators were biased. The process and methods undertaken by the subsequent mediators were similar to those of their predecessors. They pursued amicable settlement by invoking the igma ago taritib and worked for the payment of blood money and imprisonment of the assailant when demanded and/or acceptable to the aggrieved party. Mediation in the Meranao society is purely voluntary. Those who mediate do so out of concern for the conflicting parties and the community. However, there are also mediators who enter the scene due to the request of either party and those who mediate out of personal interest. Conditions and Processes That Lead to Retaliation The different mediators settled a total of 64 rido at different times. But a considerable number of the 200 rido studied claimed more than one life. Those who retaliated include:
Son Nephew Cousin Brother Father Wife Brother in Law Total 5 1 4 7 1 1 1 20

It is a common knowledge among the Meranao that when retaliation occurs, it is much easier to settle the rido, especially if the casualties on both sides have equal social standing. In this situation, a kandori (thanksgiving feast) usually tendered by the community (if the parties are from the same village) is sufficient to close the rido. The circumstances that lead to retaliation include the following: • Kasosongkai, kambobono o mga bae — Women’s quarrel that remind the aggrieved party why they were not able to retaliate. • Pride or maratabat — The aggrieved party considers rido as a permanent mark of shame if one is unable to retaliate. • Daa a phamamasadan — When no one intercedes.

RIDO V2.indd 91

10/4/2007 8:23:01 AM

92 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

• Kiambabaan — When the aggrieved family sincerely believe that they are not a party to the conflict. • Daon so kazabar — When there is no forgiveness. • Misinterpretation of Islamic teaching • Kapangondoi — When somebody encourages the aggrieved party to retaliate. • Miakasilai so rido — When the victim is a wrong target. • Di pakaataon, di pakanganganinen — When the aggrieved party feels that the aggressor completely ignored the formers’ rights. • When the time to retaliate becomes appropriate. • When the economic status of the aggrieved party improves. • Katopo — Retaliation is committed to involve other relatives in the rido contrary to their wishes. • Hopelessness, idleness — When an insignificant member of the family decides to retaliate to improve his image and status within the family. Summary of Findings This study came up with the following findings: 1. There were a total of 337 rido in Lanao del Sur from 1994 to 2004. Most of these rido happened in 1994, 2003, and 2004. A total of 798 people died in these ridos, 104 were injured, 82 cases were filed in court but only eight assailants were imprisoned. More than 50% (22 out of the 40 political units of the province) had 10 or more ridos. Marantao and Butig registered the highest frequency at 26 and 17, respectively. However, the 26 rido in Marantao claimed 32 lives while Butig lost 73 lives. 2. The six major causes of rido were (1) politics, (2) land dispute, (3) pride and/or maratabat, (4) retaliation, (5) accidents, and (6) illegal drugs. 3. The youngest assailant was 13 years old while the oldest was 73. Some of them were identified with vices like use of illegal drugs and alcoholism and 35 out of the 200 assailants were involved in other rido. In addition, these assailants were educated and economically well-off as indicated by their experience of city life. 4. The casualties of these rido were mostly male, 11 women, and some children. 5. The usual consequences of rido to the family, clan or community were (1) transfer of residence, (2) economic dislocation, (3) forced support to the family member in trouble, and (4) involvement in the negotiation for the resolution of the conflict. 6. A total of 21 municipalities consistently appeared as more prone to rido. Butig, Pualas, Marantao and Balabagan were on top of the list.

RIDO V2.indd 92

10/4/2007 8:23:01 AM

Inventory of Existing Rido in Lanao del Sur (1994-2004) || 93

7. The 32 individuals and/or families identified with more than one rido were mostly connected to clans competing for the political control of 18 municipalities in the province. 8. Those who try to settle rido were mostly politicians, traditional leaders, educators, and religious leaders. There were also the council of elders who tried to settle rido in the municipal, city, and provincial levels. Even the Marines established a peace and reconciliation council in collaboration with the bodies cited. 9. Not a single rido was settled by the Philippine justice system. Some assailants were imprisoned on their family’s volition as part of the settlement but not as an act of the state authority. All of the rido settled went through the igma and taritib or the traditional way of the Meranao heavily influenced by Islam. 10. Rido among Meranaos is either active or inactive. It can only be suspended for a specified time upon the intercession of influential and trustworthy mediators. Rido can be inactive when the casualty on both parties are of equal number or social standing, when the aggrieved party is economically unable to retaliate or when the aggrieved family delegate to the mercy of Allah the appropriate judgment on condition that the assailant is banished from the community. 11. Aside from the non-cooperation of the parties involved in the rido, the reasons for non-resolution includes: failure to raise blood-money, peculiar interpretation of maratabat, insistence on retaliation, and one or both of the parties have no recognized leader who can represent the family or clan in the negotiation and serve as guarantor. Conclusion 1. Lanao del Sur is indeed saturated with rido caused by politics, land disputes, maratabat, accidents, and drugs. The situation is aggravated by frequent elections, the proliferation of loose firearms, and the prevailing belief or “value system” that a family or clan must have a “robust member” (one who has killed other people) to earn the respect of society. 2. Along with the dearth of economic opportunities in the province, rido is one of the “push factors” that encourage Meranao to leave Lanao del Sur. 3. The number of rido and casualties noted by this study suggests that no municipality in the province is free from rido. They only differ in number and intensity. Those individuals/families more prone to rido have joined the Moro Rebellion in the past and earned prestige and status in the process.

RIDO V2.indd 93

10/4/2007 8:23:02 AM

94 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

4. The transition from the traditional to legal authority system in Meranao society also changed the mediation role of the traditional leaders. While the traditional leaders used to be the main mediators, they now play a supportive role to the politicians who have the monetary means to settle rido. 5. The indifference of the Meranaos to the Philippine legal authority is exemplified by the fact that majority of the aggrieved parties did not report the deaths of their kin to the authorities. In addition, not a single rido was solely resolved by the Philippine legal system. Even those assailants who went to prison did so on the volition of their relatives and not due to the action of proper authorities. These observations indicate that the Meranao igma and taritib remains the most effective way of resolving rido. However, it is possible to combine the traditional ways and the Philippine legal system as seen in the operation of the different councils of elders in the municipal, city, and provincial levels. 6. Rido in the Meranao perspective is either active or inactive. It can be suspended for a while upon the intercession of mediators but becomes active again if a resolution is not reached. 7. The most difficult rido to settle is when one or both parties have no recognized leader(s) who can be approached by mediators to serve as guarantor that his family or clan will abide by the settlement agreement. 8. Retaliations especially on cases of settled rido can be avoided if Meranao society can refrain from reminding the aggrieved party to “erase the dirt on his/his face.” This is hard to eradicate in social interaction but it is possible. Recommendations Based on the findings of this study, the following recommendations are put forward: 1. In Lanao del Sur, police authority does not seem to exist. The national leadership must monitor the performance of the local government units especially as regards the proliferation of loose firearms, drug trafficking, and crimes like murder, homicide, and rape. The prevailing perception that only the dead are apprehended by the military and police must be changed. It is also ironic that rewards are being offered and publicized for the arrest of criminals in Luzon and the Visayas. In Mindanao, similar effort was directed only to the Abu Sayyaf members. 2. Considering the number of rido and the number of people dying from election-related incidents, the Congress of the Philippines must

RIDO V2.indd 94

10/4/2007 8:23:02 AM

Inventory of Existing Rido in Lanao del Sur (1994-2004) || 95

seriously consider synchronizing national and local elections. If possible, only one election should be held every three years not only in Lanao del Sur but all over the country. 3. Since igma and taritib remain the most effective processes in resolving conflict, the traditional and religious leaders must be supported through exposure to the mediation ways of other cultures. 4. To avoid land disputes, the government must device a scheme to accommodate the Meranao concept of land ownership, including communal ownership or stewardship. 5. The Meranao concept of maratabat must be transformed from mere concern over “saving face,” or protecting one‘s dignity or status to encompass other aspects of social living. While maratabat is usually invoked in the negative manner of avenging a death in the family, it can also be invoked in a positive manner. Just as in the case of the Malaysians or Japanese, the Meranao can also invoke maratabat as a way of improving industry and work ethic. It is in this regard that secular schools, madaris, ngos, POs, and government workers can help reorient the pride of the modern Meranao towards a striving for peace and development. Bibliography
Abdullah, Intuas M. “ Two Notes on Maranao Law.” unirecent, III (Feb. 1997), 4. Abdullah, I. M. “ Dispute Settlement Among Meranao: Case Studies of Conflict resolution In Marawi.” M.A Thesis. Univ. of the Philippines,1982. Abdullah, Intuas A. “ A Conceptual Model of Dispute Settlement Among Meranao: An Alternative Approach in the study of ConflictResolution.” Arts and Science Journal, I (1982): 54-68. ________________” Land Ownership Dispute and Its Settlement In A CultureContact Situation. “ Paper delivered in the 11th Annual National Conference of the Ugnayang Pang-Aghamtao, Inc., Divine Word Univ., Tacloban City, Leyte, April 5-8,1989. Baradas, David. “ Maranao Law: A Study of Conflict and It’s Resolution In a Multicentric Power System/” Ph.D. dissertation abstract. Univ. of Chicago, 1971. Bartolome, Claribel D. “ Maratabat and Rido (Maranao).” Mindanao Journal, XXVII (2004): 32-106. Bently, Carter G. “Law, Disputing and Ethnicity in Lanao, Philippines.” Ph.D. dissertation, Univ. of Washington, 1982. Madale, Nagasura. “Radia Indarapatra: A Socio- Cultural Analysis.” Ph.D dissertation, Univ. of the Philippines, 1982. Magdalena, Federico V. “Theories of Social Conflict: A Bibliographic Review.” Mindanao Journal (1990): 67-72. Matuan, Moctar I. “The Maranao migrants in Metro Manila.” Dansalan Quarterly. 6, 2 (1985): 89-157

RIDO V2.indd 95

10/4/2007 8:23:02 AM

96 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao Mednick, Melvin. “Encampment of the Lake: The Social Organization of a Moslem (Moro) People.” Ph.D dissertation, Univ. of Kansas, 1967. Murdock, George. Social Structure. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1969. Riemer, Carlton L. “ Maranao Maratabat and the Concepts of Pride, Honor and Self Esteem.” Dansalan research Center Occasional Papers, IV (May 1970). Saber, Mamitua. “ The Transition From A Traditional To A Legal Authority System: A Philippine Case.” Ph.D dissertation, Univ. of Kansas, 1967. Saber, Mamitua, Mauyag Tamano and Charles Warriner. “The Maratabat of the Maranao.” The Maranao, eds. Mamitua Saber and Abdullah Madale. Manila: Solidaridad Publishing House. Published in 1960 in Philippine Sociological Review. Sumaguina, Ismael B. “Distributed Political Competence And Stress on Village System: The Case of Three Maranao Village Communities In Muslim Mindanao.” Ph.D Dissertation, Univ. of the Philippines, 1988.

RIDO V2.indd 96

10/4/2007 8:23:03 AM


ch a p ter f o u r

Management of Clan Conflict and Rido Among the Tausug, Magindanao, Maranao, Sama, and Yakan Tribes
Ofelia L. Durante, Norma T. Gomez, Ester O. Sevilla, and Howard J. Mañego Ateneo de Zamboanga University Research Center and Notre Dame University Research Center

HE PROPENSITY of national media to sensationalize stories of violence in Mindanao has projected it as a “zone of conflict,” despite the fact that armed hostilities occur mostly in southwestern and central Mindanao. Since these areas, particularly the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (armm), contain large segments of the Moro population, the conflict is often attributed to or associated with the Moro secessionist movement. Gutierrez (1995:129) notes that Muslim Mindanao is known for its troubled history. Aside from the secessionist movement and feuding clans, private armed groups and colorful strongmen set against a backdrop of poverty, underdevelopment, neglect, and national government manipulation are the other major players in a region that appears to be perpetually unstable. Rido is only a part of a complex web of violence inflicted on Mindanao. Given the differences in history, culture, and religion between Christians and Muslims and the current armed struggle being waged by the Moros, the national media—which operate on the principle that “bad news is good news”—have come to feast on the killings and other crimes committed by the Muslims. On the other hand, Christians who commit crimes are not identified by their religion. Cagoco-Guiam (2000) asks: why is that norm not applied when a Muslim is involved? In the same manner, the term rido
|| 97 ||


RIDO V2.indd 97

10/4/2007 8:23:03 AM

98 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

is used only when referring to Muslims, thereby creating the impression that this is done only by Muslims. In an interview with Romy Elusfa of Mindanews (10 November, 2004), Gadzali Jaafar describes rido among Muslim families in Mindanao as a “social problem” which the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (milf) finds difficult to solve due to political rivalries and the proliferation of firearms. The difficulty is compounded by politicians and other groups with vested interest who exploit these conflicts. The milf vice chair for political affairs claims that in the past, Muslims usually resorted to rido if heinous crimes and other offenses would hurt the maratabat (honor) of any member of their families, especially the women and children. This practice, which is against Islam, has been very much exploited and has become so rampant that even politicians consider their political battles as rido. Today, rido has taken on the features of modern warfare. Large clans with modern heavy weapons fight each other behind lines, standard trenches, and foxholes. The more serious clashes take place among the Tausug (Gonzales, 1999). As a rule in any conflict, women, the elderly, and children are treated as neutrals; violence against them is severely censured (Kiefer, 1972). According to Gutoc (2004), however, children and women are no longer exempt from the usually male-led vendetta these days. And some victims are not even part of rido. Given the kind of warfare used by feuding families, “the only ones who got hurt were the innocent and the powerless,” according to Toto Paglas, the mayor of Datu Paglas in Maguindanao (Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, 2002). Sometimes, as in the incident in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, the military and the milf would accuse each other of using inter-family feud for waging war. Major Dickson Hermoso of the Government Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (ccch) says local politics and the dynamics of paramilitary forces feed into the larger conflict between the government forces and the milf (Canuday, 2004). In some instances, some rebels are involved in the fray individually since they are residents of the area or have relatives living there. Family/clan feuds call for solutions quite different from those that are supposed to resolve the centuries-old grievances of the Moros against the national government. The problem should be viewed separately from the Moro rebellion. According to Abinales (2004), this means viewing politics in Muslim Mindanao as more than just a battle between the state and separatists. Datu Zamzamin Ampatuan, executive director of the Office of the Muslim Affairs, warns against linking clan conflicts with the bigger issue of the Moro secessionist rebellion: “Unless we can look at these things as mere ‘local

RIDO V2.indd 98

10/4/2007 8:23:03 AM

Tausug, Magindanao, Maranao, Sama, and Yakan Tribes || 99

conflict’ and isolate the incident from the peace talks, there is a danger that the peace negotiations will again be derailed” (Juliet Labog-Javellana, 2004). Therefore we should try to better understand rido to prevent and manage such cases of violence for the sake of genuine peace and development in Mindanao. Methodology One to two focus-group discussions with eight to 18 participants were conducted in each of the municipalities identified in the study. There were 10 municipalities included in the study, selected according to the following criteria: (1) areas with past or active clan conflicts; and (2) areas inhabited by the following ethnic groups: Magindanao in Sultan Kudarat, Maranao in Lanao del Sur, Tausug in Sulu, Yakan in Basilan, and Sama in Tawi-Tawi. The participants of the focus group discussions were political, traditional, and religious leaders; clan leaders involved in clan conflicts; and other community personages. Interviews with key informants, such as the provincial governors, mayors, provincial commanders, members of the peace and order councils, muftis, members of provincial reunification and reconciliation councils, and other influential persons in the community were also conducted. Twelve to 18 interviews were conducted per province. The Study Communities Southern Philippines is home to three major groups of inhabitants referred to as the island’s tri-people. The latest figures show that the indigenous peoples or lumad comprise 5%; the Moros 28.23%; and the Christians, the settlers and their descendants, 71.77% of Mindananao’s 16 million people (Notre Dame Journal, 1995). The indigenous peoples make up 18 tribes. These are the Ata, Bagobo, Banwaon, Dibabawon, Bla-an, Bukidnon, Higaunon, Talaandig, Mamanwa, Mandaya, Mangguwangan, Manobo, Mansaka, Subanon, Tagakaolo, T’boli, Tiruray, and Ubo. Although most of them are Christians, of various Protestant denominations, they seldom refer to themselves in their religious identities (Rodil, 2001). Their ancestral domain encompasses 17 provinces and 14 cities in Mindanao. The term Moro refers to the 13 ethno-linguistic groups of Mindanao, including the Maranao, Magindanao, Tausug, Sama, Sangil, Iranun, Kalagan, Kalibugan, Yakan, Jama Mapun, Palawani, Molibog, and Badjao. The members of these groups are largely Muslim, except for the Kalagan and

RIDO V2.indd 99

10/4/2007 8:23:03 AM

100 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Palawani who have many non-Muslims among them; the Badjaos are generally non-Muslim (Rodil, 2001). They are clustered mostly in the provinces of Lanao del Sur, Tawi-Tawi, Sulu, Maguindanao, and Basilan. In the cities, they are found in Marawi, Cotabato, and Zamboanga. Prior to the occupation in 1913 by the Americans of the Bangsamoro homeland, 98% of the population was Moro (Kamlian, 1999). Colonization and migration, along with the later policies and programs of the national government, have effectively bottled up the Moros to southwestern Mindanao (Gomez, 2000). Now, they constitute the majority only in the armm. Based on official census, the Moro are the majority in the provinces of Sulu, 97%; Tawi-Tawi, 96%; Lanao del Sur, 94%; Maguindanao, 75%; and Basilan, 71% (Teves, 2004).

Sultan Kudarat Lanao del Sur Basilan

Palimbang Columbio Kapatagan Sultan Gumander Lantawan Sumisip Jolo Indanan


Tawi-Tawi Tandubas South Ubian
It is in the armm that rido is reported to be widespread, especially among the Maranao, Tausug, Magindanao, Yakan, and Sama ethno-linguistic groups. Together, these tribes constitute the majority of the Moro population. Magindanao. The basin of the Cotabato River (Pulangi River, Rio Grande de Mindanao) is the homeland of the Magindanao or “people of the inundated or flooded plains.” The Magindanao are subdivided into two principal groups: tao sa ilod (people of the lower valley) and tao sa laya (people of the upper valley). The tao sa ilod are concentrated in the areas around Cotabato City and extend to south Dinaig. They are primarily sedentary and agriculturists. Traditionally,

RIDO V2.indd 100

10/4/2007 8:23:04 AM

Tausug, Magindanao, Maranao, Sama, and Yakan Tribes || 101

they constituted the sultanate of Maguindanao based near present-day Cotabato city. The Tau-sa Laya are found mainly in the areas of Datu Piang and extend south to Buluan. They practice semi-sedentary agriculture and grow corn and upland rice. Traditionally, they constituted the rajahship of Buayan based near present-day town of Datu Piang. Gomez (2000) describes Maguindanao as a loose confederation of independent datuships. The introduction of Islam by Kabungsuan had not provided the uniting political force. The datus remained relatively independent, with each datu acting as “sultan” in his own realm and vying for supremacy in the area. Petty sultanates or datuships have a longer history in Cotabato and Sulu. Political fragmentation is much more pervasive in Cotabato. Maranao. The last major group to be Islamized is the Maranao. The homeland of the Maranao is in the immediate vicinity of Lake Lanao. Hence, their name which means “people of the lake.” About 95% of the Maranao live in Lanao del Sur. The rest are found mostly in the mountain towns of Lanao del Norte, a few in Bukidnon and Maguindanao. As the most commercially oriented of all Moro groups, the Maranao merchants can be found all over Mindanao and in key cities of the Philippines. Linguistically, they are closely related to the Magindanao. The Maranao have not developed a central organization similar to that of the Tausug or the loose confederacy of datus as in the Cotabato river valley. But recent studies on the Maranao reveal a structured and organized socio-political organization. The pat-pa-pongampong ko ranao (the four states of the lake: Masiu, Unayan, Bayabao and Balo-i) is believed to have been founded by their traditional ancestors. The descendants of Indarapatra were the earliest datus who concluded a taritib, a social contract or agreement providing the bases for claiming rights and obligations by an individual or groups of individuals within the group. Along with taritib, Maranao society is said to be maintained by another institution, the maratabat. All legitimate members of Maranao society must, in theory, be able to find a place on a salsila/tarsila to indicate descent not only from Sharif Kabunsuan but also from epical ancestors depicted in folk epics, the Radia Indarapatra and the Darangen. The pat-a-pongampong is the embodiment of Maranao society (Gomez, 2000). Tausug. The term derives from tau meaning man and sug meaning current and translates into “people of the current.” It refers to the majority Islamized group in the Sulu archipelago, their language and culture. The Tausug, according to Rasul (1979), are the most dominant of the Moro ethnic groups and perhaps the bravest and the most proud. They

RIDO V2.indd 101

10/4/2007 8:23:05 AM

102 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

attained the highest political development of all the Muslims in Mindanao and Sulu before the intrusion of the Westerners. For nearly 500 years, the Tausug existed under one government, a sultanate ruled by a royal house consecrated and recognized by the people. The Tausug are now spread across Tawi-Tawi, Basilan, Zamboanga, Palawan, and the Davao provinces. The language spoken by the Tausug is primarily adopted from the vocabulary of the Tagimaha (the party of the protector) in whose locality the sultan of Sulu lived and established the capital of the sultanate in Buansa/ Jolo. Rasul refers to this language of the inhabitants of Sulu as Bahasa Sug. Like the Maranao, the Tausug before Islam already had datus or chiefs with defined rights and privileges. The first sultan and the datus had to come up with their own taritib or agreement which limited the political power and right of the sultan over the datus and subjects. Sulu society is made up of a hierarchy of ethnic groups. At the top are the Tausug who are the most numerous. Only Tausug can become sultan and datus. The other ethnic groups—Samal, Badjao, Yakan and Jama Mapun—are at the fringes of the society (Gomez, 2000). Yakan. The word Yakan denotes Dayak origin. Various Yakan folk stories indicate that they are descendants of both migrating Dayak from Northeast Borneo and Sama from Johore a long time ago. Thus, some Yakan identify themselves as Sama-Yakan. The Yakans are mostly found in the interior of Basilan island. They do not normally live in compact villages but build their houses out of sight of each other, scattered among their plots of farmland. They cultivate upland rice, corn, and other crops. Basilan’s history is related to that of the Sulu archipelago. The island came under the rule of the sultanate of Sulu which became a center of power in the 1700s. But the sultanate had little influence over the Yakan who lived in the interior. They speak a language known as Bahasa Yakan which is a variation of Samal Sinama or Siama and the Tausug language. Sama. The native inhabitants of Tawi-Tawi call themselves Sama. Their name is derived from sama-sama which means “togetherness.” Their language is called Sinama. This is described by Kurais II (1979) as following the pattern of the Malay when emphasizing a point or idea or description. A term is doubled as in Malay jaui-jaui, meaning “far away.” The term eventually became “Tawi-Tawi,” the official name of the present province. Tan and Resureccion (2001) distinguish two types of Sama people based on where they live and their source of livelihood. These are the Sama Daleya, who live on land, and the Sama Dilaut, who live on water. The Sama Daleya are described as peace-loving. This nature predisposes them to avoid confrontation as a first recourse in resolving conflict.

RIDO V2.indd 102

10/4/2007 8:23:05 AM

Tausug, Magindanao, Maranao, Sama, and Yakan Tribes || 103

However, they can be fierce fighters especially whey they are pushed beyond endurance. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the Sama Bangingi were the masters of the southern sea who kept the Spanish colonizers at bay. The Sama are also family-oriented. The Sama came under the sultanate of Sulu. They had community governments headed by datus who enforced local laws and customs and arbitrated local affairs. At the close of the 19th century, Tawi-Tawi was governed by the datus and the officials of the Sultan. The inhabitants paid their taxes, called hazil, to the sultan, who owned the land and sea resources, through their datus. Gowing and McAmis (1974) point to variations in Moro political organizations. There was no political authority embracing all of the Moro groups, and each individual group was broken up into one or more principalities. The Tausug were under the sultanate of Sulu which encompassed North Borneo, Southern Palawan, and parts of the southern Mindanao coast. The Magindanao were distributed among several sultanates but only two were important: Maguindanao and Buayan. The Maranao, however, were extremely segmented. In 1979, Forest listed no less than 33 sultanates dividing up a population of 61,000 persons. On the other hand, groups such as Samal, Yakan, and Badjao had no independent political existence and were subject people. Rasul (1979) clarifies that, despite their differences, all the Moro groups are united by Islam, by the Arabic alphabet, and by the Shari’ah or Islamic law founded upon the Holy Qur’an. They are all proud of their glorious history; zealous of their hopes, dreams, and aspirations as a people; and assertive of their politico-religious rights and liberties. Rido and Development A peace and development study conducted recently by the Philippine Business for Social Progress (pbsp) shows the armm as the poorest region in the country. Poverty incidence is 57.3% in contrast to the national average of 31.8%. Per capita annual income is about US$200 compared to the national average of more than US$1000. In terms of the human development index (hdi)—the UN’s standard in measuring quality of life—Sulu, Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, and Tawi-Tawi are at the bottom five of the country’s 78 provinces. Functional literacy rate in the armm is 61.2% compared to the national average of 75.4%. In the 2000 nscb Family and income survey (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 10 March 2003), Sulu posted the highest poverty incidence with 63.2%.

RIDO V2.indd 103

10/4/2007 8:23:06 AM

104 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

A World Bank report (2003) also finds the armm to have the highest poverty incidence and the lowest level of human development among the 16 regions in the Philippines. Poverty incidence (63%) is twice that of the nation as a whole. The average household income is only 57% of the national average and 85% of the country’s poorest households live in the armm. In a workshop held in August 2004 in Davao City, the political leaders and government workers of Sulu listed three major problems of their area as poverty, unstable peace and order, and poor access to basic services. Poverty is traced to low agricultural productivity and value addition, unstable peace and order, and degradation of the environment. Armed clashes between the Philippine military and groups like the milf, the Abu Sayyaf continue. These clashes are exacerbated by feuds between politicians and clans. This situation discourages investment and entrepreneurship. Poor access to basic services has resulted in low literacy, high infant mortality, and lack of skilled manpower. From the standpoint of the individual, rido limits freedom, destroys livelihood, and breeds insecurity. A respondent from Lanao del Norte, in a study of B.R. Rodil (2000:144), describes rido thus: Life with rido is being a prisoner in your house. A person without rido can go anywhere. A person with rido is like a carabao tethered to a tree. He can only move around as far as the rope will allow. When you have rido, you are never stable, you are like a prisoner. You cannot work, you cannot go out of your house, you cannot help anybody, because you are afraid your enemy may kill you. Clan Conflicts/Rido and their Causes Among the Maranao, Gonzales (2000) states that indigenous culture and practice, history, current socio-economic issues, and the general violence that characterizes modern politics in the area constitute the context and basis for clan conflicts. He attributes the conflicts, especially those recent clashes in Maranao areas, to land disputes dating back to the 1900s when ancestral lands were given to the settlers from the Visayas and other parts of Mindanao. Along with the resettlement program was introduced the Torens titling system alien to the Maranao in those days. Another cause are the electoral contests where losing parties or those who suspect foul play declare rido against their opponents. The disputes become bloodier as former Moro revolutionary commanders who have amassed weaponry and trained manpower join the fray.

RIDO V2.indd 104

10/4/2007 8:23:06 AM

Tausug, Magindanao, Maranao, Sama, and Yakan Tribes || 105

According to Gowing (1979), the Maranao Muslims are especially sensitive to maratabat (from the Arab word martabbat which connotes rank, status, and the respect that is due a particular rank or status). They have expanded the meaning beyond the Arabic and have surrounded it with many sociological and psychological overtones. From “rank,” the word has come to imply sensitivity about rank; from “prestige,” seeking after prestige; from “status,” status honor and status enhancement (Riemer, 1976, pp.6-8, as cited by Gowing, 1979). It is observed that maratabat is not specific to the Maranao. The other Moro groups such as the Magindanao and the Tausug also manifest it. In fact, all human beings practice maratabat in one form or the other. However, those who have studied the nature and practice of maratabat agree that it is more valued by the Maranao than by any other group. A Magindanao professor of Islamic Studies at Notre Dame University in Cotabato City claims that maratabat is not as strong among his tribe as it is with the Maranao. The practice of rido, which the Magindanao call lido, is not indigenous to the group, says the professor, and might have been borrowed from their Maranao neighbors. Maratabat, according to Bula (as cited in Bartolome 2004), is one of the major causes of conflict among the Maranao, as well as the cause of the nonresolution of such conflicts. Baradas (as cited in Gowing, 1979) believes that adherence to maratabat gives the Maranao the rationale for revenge. In Basilan, the rivalry between the politically dominant Tausug and the more numerous Yakan can be traced to disputes over land, election results, and women (Gonzales, 2000). Cases of Clan Conflict The earliest case of rido in the study area dates back to the early 1970s. In the 70s, around 13 cases of clan conflicts were reported, (Maranao, seven; Sama, six); in the 1980s, eight cases were reported with six among the Maranao and two cases among the Sama; in the 1990s, 19 cases were reported (Magindanao, seven; Sama, six; Maranao, six); and since year 2000, 14 cases (three among the Magindanao, eight among the Maranao, and three among the Sama). There were 34 cases with unspecified dates that reportedly occurred among Yakan groups in Basilan. In Sulu study area, 39 cases of rido were reported. From these cases of clan conflicts, about 278 deaths were reported through the fgds and kiis. The figures did not include the number of deaths from Basilan, Tawi-Tawi, and Sulu. In those areas, the respondents simply stated that deaths could “no longer be counted.”

RIDO V2.indd 105

10/4/2007 8:23:06 AM

106 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Of the cases reported, 43 have been settled (Magindanao, two; Maranao, 22; Sama, two; and Yakan, eight; 28 on going (Magindanao, eight; Maranaofour; Tausug, two; and Yakan, 13); while 25 cases remain suspended/unresolved. The status of 30 other cases were unclear or could not be recalled by respondents.
TABLE 1: Number of Cases, Year of Occurrence, Number of Deaths, and Status Ethnic Groups Year of Occurrence and # of Cases 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s Year not specified Magindanao 7 3 Maranao 7 6 6 8 Sama 6 2 6 3 1 Yakan 34 Tausug 39 Number Status of Deaths On-going Settled Suspended Status unknown 65 8 2 213 4 22 1 Many 1 2 10 5 Many 13 8 10 3 Many 2 9 4 24

Causes of Conflict Among the Magindanao, Maranao, Sama, Tausug, and Yakan The causes of conflict among some Moro groups cited by earlier scholars and researchers (Gonzales, 2000; Gowing, 1979; Bartolome, 2004) appear to be basically the same as those identified by the respondents of this study. The fgd participants mentioned outright landgrabbing, disputes over land boundaries, inheritance, and land ownership. The key informants also referred to disputes over inheritance but noted that this problem was caused mainly by the traditional practice of relying only on oral pronouncements. Since land titles were unheard of in their traditional culture, the absence of written documents on land ownership among Moros causes misunderstanding, conflict, and eventually, if left unresolved, violence and rido. Conflicts arising from political rivalry, prohibited drugs, proliferation of firearms, and other causes were also reported. While maratabat seems to be the main reason given by earlier scholars for the acts of vengeance among the Moro, this factor was not stressed by many of the respondents in the present study. Aside from the Sama, all the ethnic groups pointed to politics and land disputes as causes of conflict. The Maranao and Tausug respondents specified maratabat as the major cause of conflict in their communities. Other causes cited were petty crimes (Magindanao and Yakan), possession of firearms (Sama and Yakan), and drug-related crimes (Maranao and Sama). Table 2 presents the causes of conflicts among the groups studied. Respondents were not asked to rank these causes in terms of severity or quantity. The data on the causes of clan conflict/rido were based on

RIDO V2.indd 106

10/4/2007 8:23:07 AM

Tausug, Magindanao, Maranao, Sama, and Yakan Tribes || 107

the respondents’ recollection of events that took place in their respective communities.
TABLE 2: Causes of Clan Conflict by Ethnic Group MAGINDANAO · land dispute · political rivalry · petty crimes (theft, misunderstanding) MARANAO ·land dispute · political rivalry · drug related crimes · martabbat YAKAN · family problem (jealousy) · land dispute · political rivalry · petty crimes · mistaken identity/ accidental killing · nonpayment of debts · affiliation either to ASG or to CAFGU TAUSUG SAMA · land dispute · political rivalry · political rivalry · business rivalry · possession · disgrace/shame of firearms · possession · martabbat of firearms · disagreements “nadamay lang” /misunderstanding · elopement

Land Disputes The fact that only the Sama respondents of Tawi-Tawi failed to mention any case of conflict involving land must be because the Sama are basically sea dwellers who often require land only for burial. Respondents from Basilan attributed land conflict to the absence of titles. Since the Torens system of land titling was alien to the early inhabitants of Mindanao, most transactions were done orally. Problems arose when the people who made the agreements passed away. Even boundaries were not specified, and that compounded the problem for the heirs. In Lantawan, Basilan, a farmer was killed by another family who laid claim to the farmer’s land. The victim’s son retaliated, killing several members of the family. Respondents in Indanan, Sulu also reported two cases arising from land dispute. In one, the problem escalated because of rumors spread by a woman belonging to one family. The other case was made more complicated by the family of one of the victims killed in the crossfire. Here, two families joined forces to fight the killer of the innocent bystander. A Maranao mother in Kapatagan ordered her nephew to kill her own son—the oldest among several children—who wanted to claim the land owned by his mother and three sisters. Also, in the same municipality, nine people lost their lives when one rebel leader tried to grab the land of a follower of another rebel leader. The problem remains unresolved and many continue to fear for their lives. Land dispute also led to a clan conflict in Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat. When a man with three wives died, his children by different wives started fighting over property he left behind. Those of the first and third wives were the most adamant in claiming their share of the inheritance, alleging that their father was partial to the children of his second wife who was his

RIDO V2.indd 107

10/4/2007 8:23:07 AM

108 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

favorite. Fortunately, the three mothers intervened, averting a conflict that could have led to a big rido in Palimbang. The opening of public lands to settlers from Luzon, Visayas, and other parts of Mindanao has considerably diminished the ancestral domain of the indigenous people. For this reason, they have become more watchful and determined in keeping what is left of their land. To illustrate, the B’laan residing in some parts of the municipality of Columbio, Sultan Kudarat have complained of harassment by some members of rebel groups. The fgd participants from the affected areas claimed countless casualties resulting from this conflict. In recent decades, as agribusiness became highly profitable, vast tracks of land have been converted to plantations for export crops like banana, cassava, and palm oil trees. Landowners who want to partner with multinational corporations have grabbed land in Sultan Kudarat, according to some respondents. One key informant revealed that a local leader wants to transform close to 1,500 ha into a banana plantation similar to that in nearby Datu Paglas municipality. Political Rivalry and Other Politics-Related Issues Political positions have always been hotly contested in the Philippines. To win office, many candidates engage in fraud and violence. This explains the existence of private armies who kill hundreds of people. In the study area, an infamous rivalry between a Magindanao and an Ilocano politician has so far caused the death of many family members and supporters. It has also split the two ethnic populations in the community. Some respondents in fact suggested banning elections for all the trouble they cause. A case in a Basilan town involved a vice-mayor who accused the local executive of withholding his salaries. The shooting transpired in the municipal hall itself and killed 19 people from both sides. It required P1.5 million worth of blood money to settle the kuntara, the Yakan term for rido. In one Sulu municipality, a clan conflict attributed to political rivalry resulted in the burning of the whole town and the death of many people. Other quarrels arose from the distribution of the internal revenue allotment (ira) among the constituents. One barangay official in Tawi-Tawi alleged that he was not given his share from the ira by the barangay captain. This provoked a bitter conflict between the two officials. Some Kapatagan respondents say the ira is the reason why many run for public office and want to win at all cost. The use of the ira has created a host of problems. Some fgd respondents in Kapatagan admitted that they use the IRA as a source for “blood money” to settle feuds.

RIDO V2.indd 108

10/4/2007 8:23:07 AM

Tausug, Magindanao, Maranao, Sama, and Yakan Tribes || 109

The Commission on Elections (comelec), say respondents, has been unable to ensure clean elections and to settle poll disputes that cause rido. As in many other parts of the nation, if not the national government itself, lack of political maturity partly explains why politics has become the “milking cow” and the private preserve of a few families. Political dynasties dominate both national and local polls. A family or clan entrenched in office, even at the barangay level, will give up its turf over, literally, so many dead bodies. One key informant sums up the state of the nation’s politics by describing a politician who “is not ready and will not likely give up his new source of status, personal glory, and livelihood.” Proliferation of Small Firearms Perhaps confrontations among political rivals and their respective followers would not be as bloody if firearms are not so readily available. The proliferation of guns was cited by the Moro groups in Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi as a cause of conflict but was not mentioned by the respondents from Lanao del Sur and Sultan Kudarat. Key informants in Basilan attribute the proliferation of firearms to the conflict between the rebel groups and the government forces, which started during the martial law days. With the creation of paramilitary groups like the Civilian Home Defense Force (chdf) and Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (cafgu), guns became plentiful. One key informant observed that Basilan was peaceful in pre-mnlf days. Once arms fell into the hands of irresponsible people, trouble began. An interesting case in Sulu involved a man who, in attempting to pacify two relatives fighting over a gun, ended up killing both of them. Two bystanders were hit by stray bullets and also died instantly. The man himself was shot dead by unknown parties. These were senseless deaths caused by the presence of firearms. Fortunately, this incident did not lead to rido since the family members settled the conflict before it could escalate. Another case in Sulu saw an armed group in a plantation fire upon another group, killing three men. The group retaliated and felled some from the other side. It took years to end the feud whose cause remains unclear. Use of Prohibited Drugs In recent years, say respondents, prohibited drugs have caused crimes that lead to death and rido. An fgd participant from Sultan Gumander, Lanao del Sur, recounted an incident when a 14-year old cafgu member killed three people in a shooting spree. The people suspected that the boy (although already married at that time) was under the influence of drugs.

RIDO V2.indd 109

10/4/2007 8:23:08 AM

110 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Respondents in Tawi-Tawi cited indiscriminate firing of guns by users of illegal drugs that killed innocent bystanders. There were also reported cases of men “high” on drugs who hacked victims to death. Fgd participants from Kapatagan also cited the case, mentioned earlier, of a mother who ordered her nephew to kill her own son. It turned out that the son was a drug addict who harassed his mother and the rest of the family every time he was under the influence. Another drug addict killed a child for no reason at all. “Nakursunadahan” or “tripping” was the term used. The respondents were one in saying that drug use is now rampant even in small barangays. Killing in Defense of Maratabat Maratabat was identified by two out of the five ethnic groups—the Maranao, and the Tausug—as a cause of conflict. The Magindanao, Yakan, and Sama respondents did not refer to the term maratabat, although defense of honor figured prominently in their narrations. Some of the cases attributed to maratabat or its equivalent are the following: • A man entered the house of a married woman who happened to be home alone. When the husband arrived, he killed the “intruder.” The husband justified his action as defense of his wife’s honor. Similar cases were cited in the fgds conducted among the Maranao and Sama groups. • Sama respondents also narrated the story of a stepfather who, unconvinced of the sincerity of his stepdaughter’s suitor, killed the man. The victim’s family retaliated. A rido broke out. • An unmarried Sama woman was molested by a man (a case of katchaw). This led the relatives of the woman to kill the man in defense of the family honor. In Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat, more than 40 men lost their lives due to a case of rape. This conflict worsened because one party had the support of the military while the other had an mnlf commander on their side. • The relatives of a couple who eloped argued and people ended up dead. For the Maranao, elopement is a serious breach of maratabat. There are many stories of women killed by their own relatives because they eloped with men the women’s parents did not approve of. • A groom was not able to comply with the terms related to dowry/ bride price as tradition dictated. There was a heated argument, followed by killing. In one case cited (Sulu), several houses were also burned. The clan feud became so intense that it took five years to reconcile the two families. • It is shameful for a family not to avenge a member who is killed. In Sumisip, Basilan, the brother of a cafgu member was killed by an Abu Sayyaf. Since the victim’s brother could not find the killer, it was the Abu Sayyaf ’s brother who had to pay for the crime. At the time of the interview,

RIDO V2.indd 110

10/4/2007 8:23:08 AM

Tausug, Magindanao, Maranao, Sama, and Yakan Tribes || 111

the avenger expressed fear that he could also be targeted for revenge but he declared his faith in God. Other Causes of Feud Other causes of clan feud identified by the respondents were: mistaken identity, nalinguan/accidental killing, nonpayment of debt, cattle rustling, affiliation with either the Abu Sayyaf Group (asg) or cafgu, nadamay lang or people getting involved in the feud by giving or allowing sanctuary to one of the parties, business rivalry, and misunderstanding. There were also conflicts that stemmed from marital/family discords. Jealousy was cited as one of the causes leading to family disharmony. A key informant in the municipality of Sultan Gumander (now renamed Picong) in Lanao del Sur narrated a case of rido that lasted more than 10 years. A prominent woman of barangay Nunungan was reportedly murdered by someone from an influential clan in Malabang. Four big clans of the woman united to exact revenge on the murderer who took refuge in Barangay Liangan. More than 200 armed men attacked the barangay, killing many innocent residents. In time the murderer settled his feud with the clans in Nunugan and returned to Malabang. Fearing reprisal from the Nunugan clans, hundreds of families from Liangan evacuated to Malabang where they expected to be protected by the man they had given sanctuary to. Unfortunately, life in Malabang proved to be very difficult and many of the evacuees ended up as mendicants. Worse, they had problems with the clan of their former ally. Upon learning about the peace zone in Sultan Gumander (now Picong) and of the peace committee chairman, the leaders of the Liangan people approached Anton and asked that they be allowed to return to their home village. They vowed to abide by the rules of the peace zone. After more than ten years of “exile,” the families returned home to live in peace. Factors Leading to Escalation of Rido Several conditions can cause the escalation of a rido. Clan conflicts are often not confined to one area. Families involved in feuds can call on their relatives in other places. Due to the proliferation of firearms in the communities, minor arguments can lead to murder. The targeting of clan members not directly involved in the feud expands the circle of violence. Other kin can also exacerbate conflicts through their words and actions. Affiliation of clans with armed groups like the milf or cafgu also intensifies certain conflicts.

RIDO V2.indd 111

10/4/2007 8:23:09 AM

112 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

The slow response and/or failure of the local police to solve criminal cases to the satisfaction of the aggrieved party can also lead to retaliation. Sometimes, the authorities are seen as taking sides. An aggrieved family is expected to uphold its maratabat by avenging the killing of any member. After a homicide, the stockpiling of weapons and calling to arms of relatives and allies begin on both sides. The most celebrated cases of rido happened in Sultan Gumander in the 1970s when more than 100 people in Maladeg, Liangan, and Dimbawangan died; in Palimbang, with some 45 deaths recorded in the 1990s; and in Tandubas, with unspecified number of deaths which started in the 70s and is still on-going. Clan Conflict and Resolution Process For generations people have attempted to deal with clan conflicts through formal courts, violence, leaving the matter to God/Allah, or through amicable or extra-judicial settlement. Mediation and Amicable Settlement Mediation is essentially a dialogue with the involvement of a third party who has limited or no authoritative decision-making power but merely assist the involved parties to voluntarily reach a mutually acceptable settlement of the issues in dispute. Apart from addressing substantive issues, mediation is also a means of building trust between the conflicting parties. In the mediation process, it is important that the parties involved respect the mediator. Islamic culture has a long tradition of mediation. In many pastoral societies in the Middle East, conflicts were often resolved through a community meeting of elders. Mediation is very important especially in societies where honor or pride is given very high regard. Face to face negotiations are often extremely difficult. An intermediary is needed to separate the parties and work out an acceptable arrangement that preserves honor for both sides. Settlement of clan conflicts among the different ethnic groups covered by this study most often than not made use of mediation. This strategy is culturally accepted and found to be very effective. It is even recommended by municipal clerks of court and the military. By presenting to the concerned parties the different implications and consequences of pursuing the case in court, people are encouraged to settle amicably. There are, however, those who choose to resolve their conflict using the judicial approach. A formal body or institutionalized authority (the court)

RIDO V2.indd 112

10/4/2007 8:23:09 AM

Tausug, Magindanao, Maranao, Sama, and Yakan Tribes || 113

intervenes. The judge determines who is right and who is wrong. The parties have to hire lawyers. The outcome produces a winner, and a loser. Amicable settlement, on the other hand, is done outside the courtroom. Its aim is not to determine which party is wrong or right but to settle conflict in a manner acceptable to the contending parties. The result is a “winwin” situation. This is the task of the mediator. The Mediators Mediators play a critical role in clan conflict resolution. Without them, the wheels of amicable settlement cannot start rolling. The assistance of a mediator is called for when the parties cannot communicate directly. Acting as mediator entails great responsibilities. The mediator serves as link, opener of the communication channel, and facilitator of the dialogue. On top of this, the mediator is responsible for raising the required blood money, if the offending party cannot pay. At times, the mediator ends up paying the whole amount. Accepting mediation does not imply that the parties would do whatever the mediator says. It merely signifies their willingness to seriously consider his/her suggestions. The kind of people needed in mediation has undergone change in the course of time. In the past mediators were appointed by the sultan. These were the panglima or religious leaders (maharaja among the Sama). At present, although there are still religious leaders involved, many cases are referred to an elected official, the barangay captain. Mediator(s) can be an individual or a group. They include: Relatives of conflicting parties. As much as possible, all of the ethnic groups studied try to settle conflicts by calling on the intervention of family members before seeking the assistance of an external mediator or referring the case to the barangay captain. This is especially effective in conflicts between people related by affinity or consanguinity. The parties usually seek out a close common relative to serve as mediator. For the Sama of Tawi-Tawi, having common relatives as mediators is founded on the concept of common pehak (eggs or gonads of a fish). The saying da pehak kitam (we are of the same gonad) describes the essence of communal unity. Family heads (kamattoahan) and senior relatives common to conflicting parties, preferably those who command respect, are tapped as go-betweens. Both parties are advised to calm down and settle the conflict for the following possible reasons: • being magdanakan (member of the same nuclear family), • being da laha (blood relatives), • being da omboh (descended from same ancestor),

RIDO V2.indd 113

10/4/2007 8:23:09 AM

114 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

• • • •

being da leod (member of the same clan), being da kaoman (belonging to the same community), being da pehak (member of the same ethnicity), and being magdanakan ma agama (brothers in faith).

Council of Elders. The community’s council of elders may also serve as mediators. The council, which is organized whenever necessary, is composed of religious leaders, imams, barangay officials, elderly and other respected individuals. In the municipality of Sumisip in Basilan, an ordinance refers all cases of clan conflict to the council of elders. At the barangay level, it is the barangay captain that assumes the role of mediator. In some areas like Maladeg, Lanao del Sur, it is the peace committee that takes the lead in the mediation process. Local Chief Executives. Local chief executives at various levels (mayors, board members, governors) are effective mediators. They are sought out especially when the parties involved are big and affluent clans. It is believed that a conflict involving affluent clans requires someone of high office or influence to resolve. Local executives do not only command respect but also financial resources. The involvement of local chief executives as mediators often implies the use of government funds as blood money. The success of such mediation also depends on the continuance in office of the executives who are committed to peace or the election of successors who are similarly inclined. There are instances when initiatives of mayors to settle feuds were discontinued by the new administration. Military. Clan conflicts involving influential and “powerful” families are very difficult to resolve since the parties are well armed and have many supporters. In these situations, military intervention is the most practical and effective way of resolving violent conflicts. This approach is relied upon and often used in Sulu. Military intervention is deemed necessary to prevent further bloodshed and restore normal economic activity. The involvement of soldiers as mediators is premised on the fact that the military is far superior to the feuding clans in terms of firepower, discipline, and combat training and experience. Women. Generally, women do not have key roles in clan conflict resolution. By tradition, they are not and should not be involved in conflict. However, in some instances, they become involved as members of the barangay council, wives of the local chief executives who are serving as mediators, or as heads of lgus themselves. In Sulu, the wives of the contending parties in a rido were the ones who initiated negotiations. In instances where women are involved, they serve as:

RIDO V2.indd 114

10/4/2007 8:23:09 AM

Tausug, Magindanao, Maranao, Sama, and Yakan Tribes || 115

• Channels of communication. This role is evident in the pre-negotiation stage. They are sent to find out if the parties are open to negotiation. • “Human shields.” Being regarded as harmless, women serve those who need protection. Hurting or attacking women is regarded as shameful. • Messengers. They are usually the first to be sent to retrieve corpses, especially if these are found in the territory of the rival party where male relatives are at great risk of being killed. • Medics. They attend to the needs of the wounded. • Consultants. Women, particularly the very old, are consulted by local leaders on community concerns such as conflict settlement. Qualities of Effective Mediators Not everyone can serve as mediator. Given the sensitivity of the mediation process and its implications on the lives of the contending parties and the welfare of the whole community, the mediator must be carefully chosen. A mediator must possess credibility, fairness, trustworthiness, expertise in the negotiation process, and ability to bring the parties together on the basis of their respective interests. He must also command respect in the community. In difficult cases where one of the parties refuses to enter into settlement, the mediator must identify his own replacement, a person whom the refusing party is greatly indebted to (pinagkakautangan ng malaking utang na loob). In cases where parties are much agitated, the mediator must be tactful and avoid making incendiary remarks. In instances where the offending party cannot afford the required blood money, the mediator must be able to help raise the amount. In some instances, the mediator must shoulder the entire amount—something local chief executives can do. Some Strategies In Settling Clan Conflict Clan conflict resolution employs several peacemaking strategies. These, along with the skills of the mediators, lead to successful settlement. Giving of blood money. It is said that engaging in a rido is very expensive and only those who have the resources can sustain it. In the same manner, resolving rido can be costly. Resolution can take years and exact a tremendous price on conflicting parties as well as mediators. The giving of “blood money” is often, if not always, a part of clan conflict settlement, especially if the conflict has led to several deaths. Blood money is an accepted means to exact retribution and appease the aggrieved party.

RIDO V2.indd 115

10/4/2007 8:23:10 AM

116 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

The amount of blood money can vary depending on the nature of the dispute, the number of deaths, and the socio-economic status of the parties. The amount usually results from the negotiations between the mediator and the parties involved. In some areas, the amount of blood money is based on the ordinances enacted by the local government. In one municipality in Basilan, the prescribed amount is P120,000. The amount can be reduced depending on the case. Among the Maranao, the usual amount exacted is P120,000 for every casualty. In Lanao del Sur, any injury that results in blood loss, even if just a drop, costs P50,000. The requirement of blood money, however, can also hamper settlement whenever the concerned party cannot pay, especially when huge amounts are called for. Some mediators prefer settlement without blood money. According to them, there is no guarantee that violence will stop with the payment of blood money, especially on the part of those who can afford to pay. Lgu officials admit that public funds for development have been diverted to help resolve violent clan conflicts. These officials reason out that without peace in the communities, there can be no development. However, using these funds for blood money can be a source of corruption. For conflicts involving moral damages or physical injuries (particularly among the Sama), an amount of money, called diyat, is given to the aggrieved party as gesture of apology. The gesture also proscribes the use of a white bowl (pinggan pote), white plate (lay pote), and white saucer (tapak pote) to signify purity of intention. Signing of settlement agreements. There are settlements that require the signing of formal written agreements. Often, these are settlements facilitated by the military or the local government. This is a common practice in Sulu. In most areas, people believe that the presence of witnesses is enough to seal an agreement. This explains the dearth of documentation on conflict resolution in Mindanao. A settlement agreement written in English and translated into the local language, may contain the following: • Quotations from the Holy Qur-an. On top of the written agreement, relevant verses from the Qur-an enjoin the parties to reconcile. An example is the quotation “Believers are but a single brotherhood: so make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers; and fear Allah, that ye may receive mercy.” (Holy Qur-an S 49, A 10). • Names of the parties involved. The names of the parties are indicated, along with their addresses. In some cases, only the names of representatives of the parties appear. In Lanao del Sur, the names of all immediate members

RIDO V2.indd 116

10/4/2007 8:23:10 AM

Tausug, Magindanao, Maranao, Sama, and Yakan Tribes || 117

of the family are included. Among the Maranao, the names of children still in their mothers’ wombs are sometimes included. This is to avoid rekindling of the feud by the unborn child in the future. Parents are given the option to commit their unborn child to the settlement. Otherwise, upon reaching the right age, the child must decide whether or not he/she accepts the settlement. A kanduri is held wherein elders explain the issue to the young person and try to maintain the peace. • Names of the mediators and negotiators. Mediators and other key personalities and organizations instrumental in the settlement are acknowledged. • Expression to settle voluntarily. Both parties express their consent to achieve reconciliation between their families and relatives and forget everything related to the conflict. • Cost of the settlement. The amount of blood money involved in the settlement may be indicated. Other forms of compensation and arrangements are also included, especially for conflicts that result to damage of property and physical injury. • Penalty clause. Sanctions for violations of the agreement are specified. Violations are to be dealt with accordingly. Military action will be taken against the party concerned. • Binding of the agreement with the witnesses. The parties issue a statement binding them to the agreement in the Name of the Almighty Allah. Through this gesture, the parties are made brothers again in Islam. • Date and venue of the settlement. • Signatures of the representatives of the parties, and the witnesses.

RIDO V2.indd 117

10/4/2007 8:23:10 AM

118 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Swearing upon the Holy Qur-an. Rival parties swear by the Holy Quran to make peace. This is done during a ceremony referred to by the Sama as pagtiparat. This ceremony is presided by a religious leader or imam. Where there is no formal written agreement, this rite symbolically binds the parties. Community celebration. A celebration (called kanduri for the Maranao, kanduli for the Magindanao, magsapa for the Sama) immediately follows the conclusion of the agreement. The whole community joins the celebration as witnesses to the settlement of the conflict. Intermarriages. Intermarriages between rival parties turn them from antagonists into relatives. Except for the Maranao, this practice is no longer prevalent. Other strategies. In the absence of formal agreements, politicians and community leaders are often invited to attend settlement rites. Among the Sama, close family and communal ties—gravesites are extensions of their homes—are stressed during negotiations. The Sama consider intra-tribal disputes as shameful. Clan Conflict Resolution Process Diagram 1 shows the process observed in the resolution of clan conflicts.
Meeting of the conflicting parties ith the mediator and the witnesses Payment of “blood money” and other damage Signing of written agreement

Mediator negotiates with the parties separately

Mediator facilitates the terms and conditions for the settlement Declaration of Ceasefire Constant dialogue with both parties

Community celebration

Religious ceremony

Swearing upon the Holy Qur’an

When conflict occurs, the mediator meets separately with the conflicting parties to ask if they are willing to settle the case. The Maranao refer to this as “shuttle diplomacy.” If the parties are amenable, a ceasefire is declared

RIDO V2.indd 118

10/4/2007 8:23:12 AM

Tausug, Magindanao, Maranao, Sama, and Yakan Tribes || 119

and the settlement process begins. Among the Sama, the murder weapon is at times surrendered to the pnp or local police. During the ceasefire, the parties are kept apart. The mediator then figures out the amount of blood money and other damages to be paid, the time and place of the settlement, and the people who will be invited as witnesses. Among the Sama, a separate meeting between the representatives of both parties and the mediator is held on neutral turf to finalize the terms of settlement. After they agree on the terms, the parties meet on the specified time and location for the final settlement. At this point, local government officials and key personalities from the community are asked to serve as witnesses. The guilty party pays the blood money and other damages to the aggrieved. Among the Maranao, part of the blood money is paid in advance of the meeting as a sign of sincerity. Payment of blood money is followed by the signing of the peace pact by the parties and the witnesses. In some instances, the parties are asked to swear on the Holy Qur-an that they will never again engage in conflict with each other. In cases where no blood money or written agreement is required, the religious leader or imam performs a ceremony to bind the agreement in the name of Allah and make the parties brothers again in Islam. The parties then embrace. The settlement rites end with a community feast or kanduri/kanduli/magsapa. In contrast to the Maranao, where settlement process is encouraged to be open to the public, the Sama prefer that peace talks be carried on only between the parties involved and witnesses. It must be noted that clan conflict cases are first referred to barangay officials. If the cases are not resolved at this level, they are then elevated to the municipal and provincial levels as necessary. Conflict-Resolution Initiatives One basic factor in facilitating settlement of clan conflict is the recognition, especially by the local leadership, that such phenomenon exists. In all the areas covered by this study, provincial, municipal, and barangay officials acknowledge the urgency of the problem and support institutionalizing the settlement process. Peace-making Programs and Bodies. At the regional level, particularly in the armm, former Governor Pangandaman created the Regional Reconciliation and Unification Commission (rruc). At the provincial level, a special program called Provincial Reconciliation and Unification Program (pruc) was implemented by former Sulu

RIDO V2.indd 119

10/4/2007 8:23:13 AM

120 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Governor Yusop H. Jikiri to help resolve conflict cases in the province. Blood money is sourced from the Provincial Unification Fund. A similar program, the Provincial Mobile Group, operates in Tawi-Tawi. At the village level the Barangay Peace and Order Council (poc) facilitates settlement of conflicts. Maladeg is unique in proclaiming itself as a peace zone. The Peace Committee works to prevent clan feuds and to protect those implicated. Relevant Legislation. Some lgus have enacted local laws to deal with clan feuds. The municipality of Sumisip in Basilan, for example, passed an ordinance pegging blood money at P120,000. In Tawi-Tawi, the provincial government is deliberating on a resolution concerning clan conflicts that stem from cases of elopement. Other Initiatives. For clan conflicts rooted in economics, the grant of livelihood projects, as in Sulu, is becoming part of the settlement. On the other hand, for conflicts involving land ownership, the local government may seek the assistance of the Bureau of Land, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, or the Department of Agrarian Reform. Factors that Facilitate Conflict Settlement Factors that have facilitated settlement of clan conflict are: willingness of parties to settle, involvement of common relatives in peace making, availability of skilled mediators and source of blood money, and the recognition by local leaders of the problem and their commitment to find solutions. Reasons for Unsettled Conflicts On the other hand, failure to resolve cases is often due to several factors. First is the refusal or resistance of either or both parties to settle. Some people refuse to settle because they have already filed cases in court. Others reject the payment of blood money because they want to put their kin’s murderer in jail. Second is the absence of a mediator because of the financial responsibility. Third is the unavailability of a credible and committed mediator. Fourth, either one or both parties have left the area. Those who cannot fight back usually move away as it is deemed disgraceful not to take revenge. Fifth, the blood money cannot be raised. Sixth, there is a change in local leadership and the new administration is not interested in pursuing the matter. Seventh, one or both parties are involved in other clan conflicts. Lastly, some conflicts “expire” due to the length of negotiations, military intervention, or intermarriage.

RIDO V2.indd 120

10/4/2007 8:23:13 AM

Tausug, Magindanao, Maranao, Sama, and Yakan Tribes || 121

Options and Challenges Rido can only be eradicated or at least minimized through the concerted effort of various sectors. That this phenomenon impinges on major areas of concern surfaced in the research utilization workshops in the areas under study—Sultan Gumander and Kapatagan in Lanao del Sur; Isulan in Sultan Kudarat; and Tawi-Tawi, Basilan and Sulu. In attendance were 108 participants. Representatives of the lgus formed the biggest group, followed by the academe, ngos/POs and military. Other groups represented were the traditional leaders, ulama and priests, youth, national government agencies, media, and business. This highly knowledgeable and well-intentioned group came up with a list of challenges and recommendations to address the problem. Education. Participants stressed the role of both Islamic and secular education in promoting a culture of peace. They called for more enlightened understanding of maratabat and of traditional culture as well as integration of peace education in schools and training in conflict resolution for religious and community leaders. Tawi-Tawi, Basilan and Sulu proposed values formation activities to be conducted in all barangays. Disarmament. The participants blamed the proliferation of licensed and unlicensed firearms for intensifying the violence in rido and causing more death and destruction. Participants from Sultan Gumander proposed that loose firearms be strictly prohibited. In contrast, those from Tawi-Tawi wanted a comprehensive campaign against illegal firearms and their subsequent licensing. Basilan participants preferred the imposition of a firearm ban, while others would rather limit the sale of guns. Economic Opportunities. Lack of economic opportunities and gainful employment can lead to despair that cause violence. Idleness, poverty, and an uncertain future can induce people to become rebels, criminals, or participants in clan conflicts. Employment must be generated and livelihood programs provided. Peace and Order. Since the 1970s, the predominantly Moro provinces have waged an armed struggle for self-determination which has occasionally caused the national government to adopt an all-out war policy. The wars against the colonial powers are over. But the Moro people continue to suffer the neglect of the national government. The persistence of rido indicates a justice system that is unable to enforce the law. As Muslims, the research participants expressed the need to strengthen the Shari’ah law. Tawi-Tawi and Basilan participants said only authorized personnel should be allowed to carry firearms. Governance. Poor governance was a major concern. Participants cited anomalies in the recruitment of police and military personnel; improper

RIDO V2.indd 121

10/4/2007 8:23:14 AM

122 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

and ineffective use of the internal revenue allotment (ira); the reactive, rather than pro-active, orientation of local leaders; and lack of collaboration between the lgus, the community and the police in upholding the law. Regarding clan conflict, the participants noted the absence of strong, comprehensive government intervention on community problems especially conflict management. They noted the different rates of blood money imposed by municipal governments in the settlement of cases. Recommendations include promotion of the traditional way of resolving conflict; participation of the cvo, pnp, lgu and peace advocates in addressing clan conflicts; strengthening the council of elders; and advocacy of peace (People Empowerment Addressing Conflict Escalation). Clan Conflict Management. To effectively manage conflict, the participants recommended the following: transparency in the resolution process; organizing the councils of elders on the provincial and municipal levels; collaboration between the government and the councils of elders; the participation of women, educators and religious leaders; sincerity among the mediators; indemnification of casualties; the application of paruala (Moro code); and honing the skills of mediators. The last can be done through studying the role of royal leaders and the preparation of a manual on clanconflict resolution. For settled cases, there must be strict monitoring of compliance with agreements. Activities to strengthen family ties, clan rapport, and communal harmony must be encouraged Other Concerns. Also mentioned as contributing to clan conflicts are illegal drugs and the matter of land titling. Participants recommended that public awareness campaigns be undertaken for both issues. To instill values like discipline and fairness, sports programs have to be developed and promoted. Recommendations Given the gravity and extent of clan conflicts/rido the following recommendations are offered: Policies • The government at all levels must strictly enforce gun laws and confiscate illegal firearms. • The government must ensure clean, honest, and orderly elections. Not only the namfrel but other citizens’ groups such as the councils of elders, as well as traditional and religious leaders of known probity and moral ascendancy should be accredited to oversee elections including the proclamation of winners.

RIDO V2.indd 122

10/4/2007 8:23:14 AM

Tausug, Magindanao, Maranao, Sama, and Yakan Tribes || 123

• The government must support the traditional way of resolving clan conflict in the area. As pointed out by Diaz (2005), the Anglo-American justice system is anchored on crime, punishment, and retribution. It operates on a “win-lose” situation. On the other hand, the traditional system erases crime, cleanses the violator and restores harmony once reparation is met. As such, it creates a “win-win” situation. • If blood money is to be sourced, partly or wholly, from the ira or the mediator, the beneficiary family/clan should be encouraged to use the amount for infrastructure projects to benefit the community that has been deeply affected by the conflict. These projects can serve as enduring reminders to the reconciled parties. Moreover, the participation of the residents in these development projects can deter the reconciled parties from reneging on their solemn pledge to “bury the hatchet.” Declaration and celebration of a Peace Day to strengthen social bonds and highlight the quest for peace. • Being both protected and highly regarded in local Muslim society, women should be involved in settling rido cases. Women are more patient and less hotheaded. Programs • Promote the culture of peace in schools and other sectors. This program must be based on Islamic laws and values, indigenous culture, and the people’s aspirations. Integral to this program is the prevention and resolution of local conflicts • Provide livelihood projects and assistance. To encourage industry, communities can emulate the practice of some municipalities, notably Datu Paglas in Maguindanao, of putting up signboards saying: “Bawal ang tamad dito sa bayan ng _______”. • Implement sports development programs to keep the young and unemployed busy. But the facilities have to be provided. • A manual on clan conflict resolution must be developed to help train mediators. • Develop popular reading material like comics that show the negative side of rido. These must contain quotations from the Holy Qur’an to show that rido is un-Islamic. Material must be distributed to the grassroots. Bibliography
Abinales, Patricio. “Getting rid of rido.” Newsbreak, Oct. 25, 2004. Arshad, Azhar. “The role of spiritual education in encouraging world peace.” Islamic Millenium Journal. 1, 1, (Sept.-Nov. 2001). Bagayaua, Gemma. “Women who dare.” Newsbreak. Dec. 20, 2004.

RIDO V2.indd 123

10/4/2007 8:23:14 AM

124 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao Bartolome, Claribel. “Maratabat and rido: implications for peace and national development.” www.msumain.edu.ph/mindanaojournal/m14.html Cagoco-Guiam, Rufa. “Telling the truth of the other: images of Islam and Muslim in the Philippines.” The Media and Peace Reporting. Pasig City: Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, 2000. Canuday, Jowel. “They win the peace.” Newsbreak. Dec. 20, 2004. Canuday, Jowel. “ARMM execs pushed for culture-based resolution of conflicts.” MindaNews, (Feb. 2, 2004). Diaz, Patricio. A challenge of Islam. MindaNews. http:www.cyberdyaryo.com/opinion/op 2001_1012_01.htm Diaz, Patricio. “Justice system of ‘savages’.” MindaNews, (Feb. 16, 2005). Gomez, Hilario Jr. The Moro Rebellion and the Search for Peace: A Study on Christian-Muslim Relations in the Philippines. Zamboanga City: Silsilah Publications, 2000. Gonzales, Francisco. “Sultans in a violent world,” Rebels, Warlords and Ulama, eds. Kristina Gaerlan and Mara Stankovitch. Quezon City: Institute for Popular Democracy, 1999. Gowing, Peter. Muslim Filipino Heritage and Horizon. Quezon City: New Day Publishers, 1979. Gowing, Peter and Robert McAmis. The Muslim Filipinos Manila: Solidaridad Publishing House, 1974. Gutierrez, Eric. “In the Battlefields of the Warlords.” Boss: Case Studies of Local Politics in the Philippines. Manila: Phil. Center for Investigative Journalism, 1995. Gutoc, Samira. “In cold blood.” Newsbreak, Nov. 22, 2004. Gutoc, Samira. “Rido kills former barangay chairman.” Newsbreak, Aug. 23, 2004. Gutoc, Samira. “Another rido.” MindaNews, Sept. 2, 2004. “Human development for peace and prosperity in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.” Nov. 2003. Hussin, Parouk. Speech delivered. Mindanao Working Group, Manila, Mar. 20, 2003. Javellana, Juliet et al. “Gov’t working to keep peace talks on track after clashes with MILF.” Phil. Daily Inquirer, Aug. 30, 2004. Kamlian, Jamail. Bangsamoro Society and Culture. Iligan: MSU Peace Center and Research, 1999. Kiefer, Thomas. The Tausog: Violence and Law in a Philippine Moslem Society. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1972. Lacorte, Germelina. “Sulu political leaders start bid to end feuds.” Phil. Daily Inquirer, Aug. 9, 2004. Maguindanao. http://library.thinkquest.org/coo3235/maguindanao.html Marohomsalic, Nasser. A History of the Bangsa Moro in the Philippines. Quezon City: VJH Graphics Inc., 2001. Musor, Gonaranao. Culture of violence. http://www.bangsamoro.com/mvoice/ mv_020603_c.php Mustafa, Noralyn. “The Tausog enigma.” Phil. Daily Inquirer, Sept. 16, 2000. Phil. Center for Investigative Journalism. Society—the other Mindanao. http:// www.pcij.org/imag/latest/mindanao 2.html

RIDO V2.indd 124

10/4/2007 8:23:15 AM

Tausug, Magindanao, Maranao, Sama, and Yakan Tribes || 125

Qutb, Sayyed. “The Islamic Concept of Peace.” Possibilities for Peace in Southern Philippines, ed. Nagasura Madale et al. Zamboanga City: Silsilah Publications, 1996. Rasul, Jainal. Muslim-Christian Land: Ours to Share. Quezon City: Alemar-Phoenix Publishing Co., Inc., 1979. Rodil, Rudy. The peace process – it is time for affirmative action. http://www.mindanao.com/kalinaw/peaceproc/mutualaffaxn.htm. Rodil, Rudy B. Kalinaw Mindanaw: The Story of the GRP-MNLF Peace Process, 19751996. Davao: Mincode, 2000. Rodil, Rudy. The tri-people relationship. DAGA Dossier, 2001. “Sulu Leaders’ Covenant for Collaborative Action for Sustainable Peace and Prosperity.” Eden Nature Park, Davao City, Aug. 8, 2004. The New Webster Dictionary. New York: Lexicon International Publishers Guild, 1992. Tan, Samuel. “History and Culture in the Mindanao Conflict.” Paper presented. Silsilah Dialogue Institute, Zamboanga City, May 22, 2001. Tausog. http://library.thinkquest.org/coo3235/tausog.html Teves, Magno. “An Islamic State Within A Federal Philippines.” The Bangsamoro Journal, I (2004). The Yakan. www.ncip.gov.ph/respources/ethnodetail/php.ethnoid=106 Ting, Gwendalene. Yakan. http://litera1no4.tripod.com/yakan_frame.html UNDP. Human Development Report, 2000. Velasco, Faye ( 1998). Tausug. www. litera1no4.tripod.com/adm/popunder World Bank. Social Assessment of Conflict-Affected Areas in Mindanao. Philippine Post Conflict Series No. 1. Pasig City: World Bank Office, 2003.

RIDO V2.indd 125

10/4/2007 8:23:15 AM


ch a p ter f ive

Responses to Interkin Group Conflict in Northern Mindanao
Erlinda Montillo-Burton, Moctar Matuan, Guimba Poingan, and Jay Rey Alovera The Research Institute for Mindanao Culture (RIMCU), Xavier University

HERE ARE a number of studies on conflict resolution among the indigenous peoples of Mindanao (Schlegel, 1970, Burton, 1991; Bula 2001). This study focuses on how interkin group conflict may be contained and resolved at the onset. Its main objectives are to determine the measures or controls employed to prevent escalation of conflict by concerned kin groups and the community at large, and to determine when rido occurs. The study looks at similarities and/or differences in rido/lido practices between the non-Islamized communities in Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental (Manobo, Higaonon, and Talaandig) and an Islamized community (Meranao) in Lanao del Sur. In this manner, the results of the study open up new avenues for research on interkin group conflict. Data-collection Techniques Two main data-collection techniques were employed: focus group discussion (fgd) and key informant interview. Case studies were also done. For each of the research area, two fgds were conducted among the religious leaders (e.g. ulama), the traditional leaders such as the datus, and some barangay officials. Ten key informant interviews were conducted and life histories for the case studies were collected. The team also interviewed members of the academe, religious groups, and traditional leaders.


|| 126 ||

RIDO V2.indd 126

10/4/2007 8:23:15 AM

Responses to Interkin Group Conflict in Northern Mindanao || 127

Geography Bukidnon province is landlocked. It is bounded on the north by Misamis Oriental, on the east by Agusan del Sur and Davao, on the west by the Lanao province, and on the south by North Cotabato. The greater part of Bukidnon is gentle-rolling plateau, which appears to be a high broad unbroken plain rising gently towards the mountains. Its surface is cut by many deep canyons, which widen into valleys dominated by grassy plains. The Bukidnon plateau covers most of Bukidnon province, which is a broad upland plain between the mountain ranges of central Mindanao and the northern coast. It measures around 803,840 ha separating the Islamized communities of Cotabato from the Christianized towns in the north. In the eastern part, it is bordered by a densely forested mountain range and separated from the Agusan River Valley. The western periphery of the province adjoins the rugged high mountains of Lanao. Mt. Kitanglad, the highest mountain range in Mindanao, lies in the heart of the Bukidnon plateau. From here, runoffs flow into several rivers that cut the plateau into steep canyons and deep gorges. North of Dalwangan divide are two major river systems—the Cagayan and Tagoloan—which empty into Macajalar Bay. These rivers flow down south to join the Pulangi (Rio Grande de Mindanao) and drains into the Cotabato Gulf. This plateau is inhabited by indigenous communities who speak variants of Manobo language: the Talaandig, who are mostly distributed in western Bukidnon from Malaybalay towards Lantapan and Talakag, the three sub-groups of Western Manobo—Pulanginon of southern Bukidnon, Tigwahanon, who are distributed along the Tigwa River, and the Matigsalug along the Salug River that cuts across San Fernando and joins the Davao River; and the Higaonon of northern Bukidnon who came up the plateau from the coastal areas of Misamis Oriental. Misamis Oriental has an irregular coastline indented by two bays: Macajalar and Gingoog. It is bounded by Macajalar Bay and Bohol Sea, on the east by Agusan del Norte, on the west by Iligan Bay, and on the south by Bukidnon and Lanao del Norte. The eastern part of the province consists of angular hills abutted by streams in deep gorges, while the central region is characterized by sloping lowlands and river valleys. The western portion has rough hills rising abruptly from the sea and the coastlands are narrow. Several rivers cut across the province, which flow from their headwaters in the prominent mountain ranges down to the bays. The coastal areas of the province are well developed due to the presence of industries and heavily populated by the migrant settlers known as the

RIDO V2.indd 127

10/4/2007 8:23:16 AM

128 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

dumagat. The uplands are still inhabited by the Higaonon, who still practice their traditional culture. Lanao. The Lake Lanao region is the home of the Meranao. The lake, located in North Central Mindanao, is some 135 sq mi in area and sits at an altitude of 2,300 feet above sea level. This is one of the potential tourist and recreation sites in Mindanao. Tropical vegetation covers the mountain slopes of Lanao. The climate is pleasant and cool, owing to the altitude and the lake breeze. The old province of Lanao was created in 1914 with Dansalan City as its capital. Due to the influx of Christian migrants from Luzon and the Visayas to the northern part of the province, the territory was eventually divided in 1959 into Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte by virtue of Republic Act No. 2228. Today, Lanao del Sur is populated by 95% Meranao Muslims and 5% Christians. Marawi City, Malabang, Balabagan, and Wao are the only districts with visible Christian populations. On the other hand, Lanao del Norte is 60% Christian and 40% Meranao Muslim. The province is bounded by Lanao del Norte on the north, Illana Bay on the west, Maguindanao on the south, and Bukidnon on the east. Considered as a fourth-class province, Lanao del Sur is made up of one city and 39 municipalities. Marawi City, (the new name of Dansalan City) still serves as the capital. The city is host to many educational institutions, including the Mindanao State University. It is also the administrative, cultural, medical, and transportation center of the province. In the south and serving as natural boundaries separating Lanao del Sur from Maguindanao and North Cotabato are volcanic mountain ranges. The Maridogao Valley can be found near the Bukidnon boundary. At the heart of the province is Lake Lanao, the largest lake in Mindanao and second largest in the Philippines. Draining the lake is the Agus River which bisects the two Lanao provinces as it flows northward to Iligan Bay. Seven hydro-electric plants along the Agus River supply electricity to the whole of Mindanao. Plateaus are located north of the lake. Deep canyons cut near the edges of these plateaus where waterfalls provide drainage. The Indigenous Peoples Matigsalug Manobo (San Fernando, Bukidnon) The Matigsalug Manobo are found in the southern parts of Bukidnon, specifically in the municipalities of Kitaotao and San Fernando. The

RIDO V2.indd 128

10/4/2007 8:23:16 AM

Responses to Interkin Group Conflict in Northern Mindanao || 129

Matigsalug Manobo are a variant of the Manobo-speaking groups referred to as such as they are found thriving near the Salug River (matig-salug is a Manobo term meaning “people living along the Salug”). There are more than 20 communities of the Matigsalug Manobo in San Fernando, Bukidnon, nine of which belong to the Sinuda ancestral domain of Kitaotao. San Fernando was declared a reservation for the Matigsalug Manobo in the 1970s, but due to the influx of migrant lowlanders, the indigenous people are scattered in the hinterlands while migrants occupy the center where they own land acquired from the Manobo, now planted to rice, corn, and sugarcane. The Matigsalug Manobo are swidden agriculturists who thrive on camote (sweet potato). They also plant corn that they sell in the poblacion (town center). They used to hunt forest game but extensive logging since the 1970s has greatly reduced the forest. They also plant rice but minimally. Some tribesmen work as laborers in lowland farms. Every community is headed by an igbuyag (tribal chief) who is selected by the people through recognition of his capacity to settle disputes, help in the payment of indemnity, and defend the people from enemies. As such, an igbuyag is necessarily a bagani (a tribal warrior). There is no hierarchy in the Matigsalug Manobo political system. The tribal chief lives similarly as the other community members, working on his own to feed his family. Being chieftain is actually an additional obligation one simply accepts. Currently, the tribal chieftains are elected by virtue of the power of the local governing units who will not recognize a community whose igbuyag is unelected. The Matigsalug Manobo are animists. They believe in the diwata (spirit deities) who live in the trees, rivers, and land. The highest diwata is the manama who is the creator of the water and the land. The magbabaya is the diwata who dwells in the sky. Rituals are performed to thank or appease the diwata for healing, hunting or burial. The rituals are simple. Chicken or pig is offered to the diwata along with betel nut. The family is the smallest unit of their social organization. It is nuclear and extended. The reckoning of relatives is bilateral, i.e., recognition of the lineage of both parents. They are strictly exogamous (marrying from outside the community). A community is composed of related families and marrying a relative is taboo. They practice matrilocal residency, i.e., the husband lives in his wife’s community after marriage. The duay (polygyny) is practiced by those who can afford. Higaonon (Claveria, Misamis Oriental) The Higaonon, a sub-ethnolinguistic group of the Manobo linguistic stock, are distributed in Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental, and in Agusan del Sur

RIDO V2.indd 129

10/4/2007 8:23:16 AM

130 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

(referred to as the Banwaon). Higaonon means “shrimps removed from the water” to connote their displacement from the coastal settlements to the hinterlands. They are culturally and linguistically related to the Manobo. They engage in either swidden or sedentary farming, fishing, and hunting. The family is the unit of subsistence. For clearing, harvesting or felling trees, the community members work together. This practice is called hunglos. The Higaonon community is headed by a datu or chieftain. The lower datus who lead certain villages (tulugan or family community) in subsistence activities such as trapping, fishing, planting or hunting are called didungkulan. The datu has two main functions, i.e., to judge and arbitrate disputes and to assist the baylan (shaman) in religious ceremonies. The datu, once chosen, undergoes several ceremonies in his lifetime. The basic social unit is the family. A group of families is called a gaup which also serves as the political unit. Most members of a community are related either by consanguinity or affinity. Kindred are traced bilaterally and lineage is recognized from both parents. Marriage is construed as an alliance between families rather than contract between individuals. Polygyny is allowed, although oftentimes, only the datu can afford the practice. The Higaonon cosmology has four worlds, namely, the langit (heaven), kalibutan (earth), didalum ha nanad (underworld) and ulagingan (the paradise of the Higaonon epic heroes). They are animists who recognize a hierarchy of spirit deities (diwata) headed by the magbabaya. The rituals are officiated by the datu and the baylan. Talaandig (Lantapan and Talakag, Bukidnon) The Talaandig are a sub-variant of the binukid-speaking groups in Bukidnon. They are also culturally and linguistically related to the Manobo. Talaandig literally means “people living in the slopes.” They are generally found in Lantapan, Bukidnon. Some communities are found in Talakag, an adjacent municipality to Lantapan. They are distinguished by their traditional costumes that boast geometric designs with bright colors. Like other indigenous groups in Bukidnon, the Talaandig are swidden cultivators. They clear plots mostly on the mountain slopes. Their staple food is camote (sweet potato), though they also plant banana, cassava, and yam. Corn and palay are not very popular with the Talaandig. The men hunt and trap as they live on the slopes of Mt. Kitanglad, a dormant volcano declared a national park. They supplement their diet by fishing in the rivers and streams. The Talaandig live in family-communities called the tuluga headed by a datu. The customary law (batasan) is the instrument of governance and

RIDO V2.indd 130

10/4/2007 8:23:17 AM

Responses to Interkin Group Conflict in Northern Mindanao || 131

social order. There are several datus in a community: the balaghusay (arbitrator) is an expert in customary arbitration, the oralist or historian is called palagugud, the talamuhat or baylan is the ritualist (shaman), the healer is called mananambal, the malagbasuk is the expert in agricultural activities, and the warrior is called the bagani. The functions of the datuship cover social, political, economic, and religious activities. Women leaders are referred to as the bai. The datuship is usually inherited and passed on through informal training. The institutionalization of the datuship is done through a ritual called panagulambong. The Talaandig believe that man is only a traveller resting on the earth. A person comes to the earth as spirit who acquires material existence. Humans are born indebted to deities. As such, we should make our religious sacrifices before passing on or else be imprisoned on earth, unable to journey to our perfection in the ulagingan, said to be the home of the epic hero Agyu. The Talaandig social organization is patriarchal and the father’s authority is obeyed and respected. The reckoning of lineage though is bilateral, based on consanguinal relationships. Affinal relationships are also recognized in the kinship system. The family unit is nuclear-extended. The Meranao The name Meranao, me (adjective marker) plus ranao (lake) means approximately “lake shore dwellers.” In the early salsila (genealogy) and still today, this term refers to the native people living around Lake Lanao. It is not known when the Meranao started to populate Lanao, but it is probable that they were migrants from the coast who mixed with earlier inhabitants in the lake area. They have close cultural and linguistic relationships with the Ilanun and Maguindanao. The languages of these three groups indicate descent from a common “proto-Danao” language. The socio-cultural practices, mores, and outlook of the three groups show more similarities than differences. In 2000, the Meranao of Lanao del Sur were reported to number 760,154 (95% of total population). This figure does not include those residing in Lanao del Norte and those who migrated to other places due to the Mindanao conflict and the Meranao propensity for trade. Meranao traders are present throughout the archipelago. Some scholars believe that the Meranao are the largest of the country’s 13 Muslim ethno-linguistic groups, but others believe that the distinction belong to the Maguindanaon. In spite of isolation of the Meranao in the interior of Mindanao for centuries, traces of foreign influences, especially Indian, Chinese, and Islamic, are visible in their material and non-material culture. Chinese influence is

RIDO V2.indd 131

10/4/2007 8:23:17 AM

132 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

apparent in the antique porcelain ware. The famous Maharaja Lawana, on the other hand, is believed to be an adaptation of the Ramayana of India. Islam is the most prominent influence. As a complete way of life, Islam provides general principles for the conduct of religious, social, cultural, economic, political, and legal affairs. Socio-Political Organization One of the most striking characteristics of Meranao culture is their notion of a distinctive society, pangampong ko ranao (encampment of the lake), that unites all Meranao speakers under a single structure of institutions, values, and beliefs (Mednick, 1965: 42). Lanao has four pangampong: Masiu, Unayan, Bayabao, and Baloi. Each pangampong has a system of government handed down from one generation to the next and adhering to a set of pre-Islamic laws (unwritten) referred to as igma ago taritib (consensus and code of custom). Some provisions of the taritib have their origin in legends, codes or contracts devised by the early leaders/ancestors of the Meranaos. The taritib and the salsila (genealogies) define kinship groups and the bangsa (status or rank) based on ancestral family trees. The salsila, therefore, has become the basis of leadership and authority in Meranao society. Because each pangampong has its own system of government based on igma ago taritib, the pangampongs are divided and subdivided in varying fashion. Consequently, the pangampongs also differ in defining relationships between ingeds (settlement), set of political leaders, and other aspects of daily life. The taritib of each pangampong is independent of others. In cases involving different pangampongs, another set of taritib and the set of leaders who can execute them are consulted. Economic Life Around 70% of the Meranaos inhabit the Lake Lanao shore and riverbanks. The lake is a source of sustenance and livelihood for the Meranaos who often sell their surplus fish catch in Marawi City. Primitive methods of catching fish by the use of nets and bamboo traps are still in use. Fish culture is not feasible in Lake Lanao because of its size and depth. The introduction of new species to the lake and the construction of a dam at its outlet, as well as of the Agus Hydro-Electric Plant I by the National Power Corporation in the 1980s have greatly reduced the fish population. Agriculture is the principal pursuit of the Meranao. In the basak (lowland) area, rice is the main crop. Due to the absence of irrigation facilities, capital, and technical know how, farmers can hardly provide for their families. Aside from rice, the upland farmers also plant corn and fruits such as

RIDO V2.indd 132

10/4/2007 8:23:18 AM

Responses to Interkin Group Conflict in Northern Mindanao || 133

bananas, jackfruit, marang, durian, avocado, mangoes, and lanzones. Cabbage, eggplant, pechay, onion, carrots, cassava, camote and potatoes are grown, but not in commercial quantities. Weaving is also an important economic activity of the Meranao, though done solely by women. Mats and malong woven in Lanao are sold all over the country. Brass making and blacksmithing seem to be the monopoly of the Tugaya people. The Merano also operate retail outlets, restaurants, and other consumer services. Government employment is another major sources of income in the province, while private sector employment is low because there are no factories in the area. Only the private schools in Marawi City and some big stores provide employment. Concepts of Law and Justice Among the Lumad Unlike literate societies that practice penal law, non-literate societies follow the law of wrong or torts (private law) (Maine, 1879), under which relatives are collectively held responsible for a person’s misdeeds (Hoebel, 1947: 398399). The lumad have no indigenous word corresponding to the modern concept of “justice” in relation to individual “rights.” For the latter idea, they use the Bisayan word katungod. In pre-conquest Filipino society, the system of justice was deeply rooted in religion, magic, and myth. The crucial aspect of their judicial processes included the swearing of an oath and trial by ordeal. Oath swearing was supported by the testimony of witnesses and served as the main source of proof. Since the use of documentary records was non-existent, testimonial evidence was very significant. Religion provided vital support to the presumption of justice (Fernandez, 1976: 128). Trial by ordeal assumed that the spirits or deities had the power to intervene in human affairs. Thus, the wicked was punished while the innocent, protected. The accused refusing to undergo the ordeal was presumed guilty; injury suffered through the ordeal was deemed a sign of guilt provided by the spirits. Despite the introduction of the penal system to the Philippines, traditional systems of rendering justice survive in many communities. Customary Laws Social order among the indigenous peoples is maintained through the adherence to their customary laws. These laws serve as the basis of the datus in settling disputes. The lumad do not have the concept of individual rights, only that of indemnity through payment for offenses committed. Every of-

RIDO V2.indd 133

10/4/2007 8:23:18 AM

134 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

fense carries a corresponding payment. The payments though are highly negotiable and dependent on the skill of the datu in the art of compromise and negotiation. It is also important to note that those people who want to involve themselves in settling conflicts must be willing to contribute to the payment of indemnity. For the lumad, what is important is that the dispute is settled and social order is restored as soon as possible. Conflicts that lead to pangayaw or magahat (retaliation) can disrupt an entire community’s economic subsistence. These customary laws are known as gantangan palabian for the Matigsalug Manobo and sukod (mangalilis ha batu naimi ha batasan) for the Higaonon. The gantangan and sukod are terms that both connote measurement. These terms are used in the particular areas of research. In the other variants of the Manobo and Higaonon, other terms are used. Bansa or Bantug Bansa or bantug (honor or pride) is highly valued among the Matigsalug Manobo and the Higaonon. Any act committed against the bansa or bantug of a person is payable through indemnity ordered by the datu or igbuyag during settlement. Such offense may also cost the offender his life. Trial by Ordeal Both the Higaonon and the Matigsalug Manobo practice trial by ordeal to determine the offender in cases wherein accusations without evidence are brought to the datu or igbuyag. The Matigsalug call their trial tigi-an while the Higaonon call theirs bala. It is believed that both the tigi-an and bala are guided by the diwata and thus can never render wrong decisions. It is advisable not to undergo such ordeal as the guilty will always be caught and penalized. Better to admit the crime as the ordeal may cause one’s death (especially in the Matigsalug). The Matigsalug trial by ordeal is much more dangerous compared to the Higaonon way. Tigi-an There are four ways by which the trial is conducted. • Hindang. The accused person holds a branch of hindang (a tree that is itchy to touch) then immerses himself in the river. If the person is innocent, nothing will happen to him and he may stay underwater for several hours. If the person is guilty, water and sand will enter his nose, mouth, and ears. This may cause death. • Bagyang. Bagyang is an itchy leaf chopped into seven pieces and eaten by the accused piece by piece. If the person is not guilty, nothing will

RIDO V2.indd 134

10/4/2007 8:23:18 AM

Responses to Interkin Group Conflict in Northern Mindanao || 135

happen. If the accused is guilty, his throat will expand and his tongue will shorten or retract. • Gabi. The gabi stalk and leaf is placed in boiling water. If nothing happens, the accused is innocent. If the leaf and stalk wilt, the accused is guilty. If there are several accused, several leaves are put on boiling water representing each of the accused. If a leaf wilts, the person represented by the leaf is guilty. • Pinabagang puthaw. A piece of metal is heated on fire till it glows red. The accused is ordered to hold the metal. If the accused is guilty, the red-hot metal will be welded with his hand till it is cut off. Otherwise, the metal will not harm him or may even leap off his palm. If the accuser’s contention is unfounded, he must pay the accused indemnity for false accusation. If accuser refuses to pay, he is killed. Bala There are four ways of trial by ordeal for the Higaonon: • Bangkaw. A spear is handed to the accused to measure his arms’ length. The length is marked. The accused measures the length of his arms again. If result of the second measurement falls short of the first, the accused is found guilty and penalized. • Say-og. A thread with a weight on the other end is handed to the accused who is ordered to keep the thread still. If the weight moves, the accused is considered guilty. • Tunglo. This literally means “to curse.” In cases where the offender is unknown, the datu performs a pamalas and implores the help of the magbabaya (supreme deity) to inflict pain on the unknown offender. For instance, the datu may curse the offender to fall from a tree. Any member of the community who falls from a tree is considered the guilty party. • Tagna. Divination. The baylan performs a ritual and pinpoints the offender. This is often conducted when the accused is branded as a buluyanon (witch). Pangayaw, Magahat And Lido Pangayaw and magahat are two related concepts among the lumad. Pangayaw refers to a retaliatory act by an offended person intended to kill the offender. This is more of a spur-of-the-moment decision to retaliate to redeem one’s honor. The target of a pangayaw is, generally, the offender. Magahat is more organized and premeditated. It generally refers to a raid and is usually headed by the datu or the bagani (warrior). The purpose of the magahat is also retaliatory, although the other community is informed by sending a rattan with knots to indicate the number of days before the

RIDO V2.indd 135

10/4/2007 8:23:19 AM

136 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

raid is conducted. This gives the community time to rid itself of all women and children who may not be spared. While there is the option for the men to evacuate as well, doing so is considered cowardice and not very good for the bansa or bantug. A pangayaw does not require any warning be sent to the other side as the object is to kill the offender. If the offender cannot be found, anyone in the community first seen by the retaliator is killed. This can lead to magahat. Among the Higaonon, the term used for conflict is lido. Conflict that involves killing is referred to as lido hu katangkawan (the highest form of conflict). Kumanaytay un sa Alimaong ta balukan hu Datu Literally, this means that the mabalaw or alimaong (tribal warrior) is allowed to “walk down the arms” of the datu. This means that the warrior is ordered by the datu to kill an offender. The mabalaw is given three days to carry out the order. This happens when the offense is so great that settlement will not suffice. Disobedience to the order of the datu especially during settlements may cost one his life. As a rule, only the datu can order anyone to be killed. There are instances though that the offended person kills the offender in a moment of anger. In such cases the datu interferes immediately to prevent pangayaw (retaliation). This is a practice among the Higaonon. Panabud This is a unique practice of the Matigsalug Manobo. This literally means that an offended person challenges anyone (but usually a bagani) to kill the offender. The challenge may take any form. The most common and honorable way is to offer the bagani a tangkulok. The tangkulok is the headdress of an igbuyag and a symbol of honor. In this case, it is assumed that an igbuyag is making the challenge to the bagani as only an igbuyag can own a tangkulok. The tangkulok shall be used by the bagani when he accepts the challenge. Another way is to spit on the face or the hands of a person or bagani and challenge him to kill for you. Some would throw a chicken on the feet of a bagani with words to challenge his bansa (honor/pride). Still others would hit the bagani with a branch to challenge his bansa. Some women would throw themselves on the feet of several men and shed tears while calling upon them to avenge her. Sometimes, according to accounts, shedding a tear in front of a bagani is enough to challenge him. Challenging a bagani to perform an act that may bring him harm is a way of honoring his bravery. When a bagani refuses to accept the challenge, he must return twice the

RIDO V2.indd 136

10/4/2007 8:23:19 AM

Responses to Interkin Group Conflict in Northern Mindanao || 137

amount of what was given him like the tangkulok or chicken or pig. Aside from this, he is branded a coward or someone “who wears skirts.” Challenging the bagani to kill someone does not mean that the challenger is a coward. It means that the challenger cannot commit the act as he is not a bagani or that the person to be killed is a friend or kin. When the bagani accepts the challenge, he goes on a pangayaw—to run amok. He seeks out his target. Anyone who crosses his path is likewise killed. If the bagani fails to carry out his mission in three days, it is believed the talagbusao will inflict harm on him. If in case the bagani cannot find the person marked for execution, he must find a substitute to appease the talagbusao (deity). When the mission is over, the bagani returns to the challenger and the latter may honor the warrior with another tangkulok or any item of value. The challenger then takes full responsibility for the act. The bagani is absolved of any responsibility for the killing. The challenger shall pay the offended party indemnity for the killing. Or if the offended party refuses to settle the dispute, they can opt to perform pangayaw, not on the bagani but on the challenger. Common Causes Of Conflict That Lead To Pangayaw The conflicts cited in this section are actual events. Among the Matigsalug Manobo, pangayaw is still prevalent. Among the Higaonon, the practice has waned; in fact, the elders cannot recall any major conflict that occured during the past 30 years. Some of these incidents happened in the distant past while others are recent. Matigsalug Manobo Panalusow. This marital conflict was incited by jealousy. During a quarrel, the wife expressed regrets for marrying her husband. She said she’d been better off marrying another man she loved. The angry husband searched for the man described by his wife, killed him, cut off his head and brought it to his wife. The relatives of the murdered man retaliated and the conflict grew. Pangayaw started and all the relatives and community members became targets. The igbuyags were alarmed and summoned the couple’s relatives. The igbuyag ordered a lebut. Lebut means “to end the source of the problem.” The husband was handed over to the relatives of the wife and the wife to the relatives of the husband. Both were tortured and were beheaded by a bagani. The bodies were chopped into pieces and scattered. The killings stopped. Ahow/Ahawey. This conflict resulted from a case of wife grabbing. A man’s wife was abducted by another man from another village. The

RIDO V2.indd 137

10/4/2007 8:23:20 AM

138 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

aggrieved husband approached a bagani to do a panabud. The bagani accepted and the pangayaw started. The warrior went to the abductor’s village and slew the first person he saw. This is called suha-suha, i.e., during a pangayaw, any person can be killed to remind the people not to break the customary law. The conflict was settled on neutral ground by a datu who was not from either community. Five horses were paid as indemnity. Balo-balo. This conflict arises from non-payment of bugay (dowry/ bride price) for remarriage. The customary law dictates that a widow/widower who wants to remarry repay the parents or relatives of the deceased spouse the dowry or bride price (samblag) given to the live partner. When the surviving partner refuses to pay, a pangayaw can ensue. The surviving partner who refuses to pay is killed. This is very common in the area. Lebogoy/Panlibug. This conflict was caused by adultery between neighbors. The wife of the first neighbor had an affair with the husband of the second neighbor. The husband and other neighbors suspected the affair but had no evidence. The husband brought the case to the igbuyag who performed the tigi-an (trial by ordeal). The other man admitted to adultery. Since there was no evidence, he was penalized one horse to be slaughtered to appease the relatives of the offended party. The horse could not be kept by the husband because it was payment for the deed. Peg-imatey/Peg-imateyey. This is an on going conflict caused by murder. A bagani involved in a land dispute killed his opponent and took the man’s wife. The man’s relatives threatened a magahat (ritual mass killing) if the bagani failed to indemnify the relatives with five horses. The bagani approached his brother for help to pay the indemnity. His brother refused and was killed by the bagani in anger. The conflict is still going on as his relatives refuse to accept his offer of three horses instead of five. He is now an igbuyag and ought to resolve the problem himself. The barangay council and other groups in the tribe refuse to interfere. The law dictates that anyone who gets involved must be ready to help pay the indemnity. The intra-family nature of the discord makes it difficult to settle. Meantime, the family members avoid each other. Dampas. This is a form of conflict resolution wherein stealing is resorted to with the consent of the igbuyag. The stolen good (usually an animal) must be brought to the igbuyag for the conflict to be resolved. Bringing the animal elsewhere means there is intent to steal and therefore punishable. A lumad man borrowed money from another with the promise of paying back two horses after two years. The borrower failed to honor his debt. The creditor sought intervention of the igbuyag but the debtor still refused to pay. The creditor asked the igbuyag for permission to do the dampas. The igbuyag allowed it. The creditor, however, mistakenly took the

RIDO V2.indd 138

10/4/2007 8:23:20 AM

Responses to Interkin Group Conflict in Northern Mindanao || 139

horse of another person. The owner was angered and magahat ensued. The conflict led to the killing of two people and others stayed away from their farms. The conflict was eventually settled by the igbuyag who happened to be related to both parties. Payment was made and the case was resolved. Oripon. Kidnapping of children, though no longer practiced, was rampant in the past. According to accounts, pangayaw and magahat usually occured when children were abducted to be sold or as payment for debt. The children were made slaves. A certain bagani, whose child was taken, has vowed not to step foot on the land of the Salug nor drink from the river because he believed that it had been sullied by the deeds of the Matigsalug Manobo. He wanted a tampuda tu balagon to be performed in order to cleanse the deed. The problem was, nobody knew who took his child. Pugos. The Matigsalug Manobo are very protective of their women. In the past, rape was common and caused tribal wars. Proven rapists were tortured and killed. Some say the memory of past wars is the reason why male and female adolescents are still prohibited from being seen together. A sala (cultural penalty) is imposed by the elders on those who violate the taboo and the offenders are immediately wedded to each other. This practice was adopted to prevent tribal wars. Other potential causes of pangayaw are: · Panlemet. Ridiculing, criticizing, mocking or insulting another person. · Panakew. Stealing someone else’s goods such as beehive or game. · Taleseb/Tampulo. Bearing false witness against another. · Bagwal. Disobeying parents-in-law. Higaonon Bul-uyanon. A bul-uyanon is one who practices witchcraft, a common cause of conflict in olden times. For instance, a healthy person who fell sick after the visit of another person may suspect the latter of hexing. If the baylan confirmed that the visitor was a witch, the latter, and his relatives, would be put to death immediately. Panagat sa Lasang. In the past, stealing was a grave crime. For instance, when a person was caught taking honey from another’s beehive, he could have his head forced into the beehive still teeming with bees. Lido could ensue from this. The same was true with stealing wild boar from someone else’s trap. Abduction. This is still part of pangayaw, where the offender kidnaps children to be sold as slaves. This is no longer practiced, but in the past it was a major cause of lido. The people point to the umayamnon—who live along the Umayam Riven—as the culprits.

RIDO V2.indd 139

10/4/2007 8:23:21 AM

140 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Wife Grabbing. There is a case of a wife who left her husband because of constant beatings and went to her father’s house. The husband believed that his wife was having an affair and killed his father-in-law. The relatives retaliated and lido ensued. The husband was imprisoned. The remaining relatives had to perform the tampuda ho balagon to appease the spirits and prevent them from inflicting sickness throughout the tribe. Among the Meranao The Meranao, like some other tribes in the Philippines, have to live with three concurrent legal systems: the traditional customary law known as the taritib ago igma, the Islamic Law or Shari’ah, and the Philippine legal system. Unfortunately, in most cases, these three legal systems contradict each other, making it difficult for a Meranao to decide which of these systems to follow. Choosing to abide by any of the three systems could make him an outcast or infidel. Every time a Meranao has a legal problem, he must weigh the three systems and choose the one most favorable and convenient to him in a given situation. Hence, a Meranao is constantly worried and confused by these different sets of regulations. This may partly explain, if not to justify, the violent character of Meranao society. The taritib ago igma is an indigenous set of rules and regulations with corresponding procedures and sanctions promulgated by traditional authority before the coming of Islam and the Spaniards. It covers the political, social, and economic life of the Meranao. Despite rejection by Islam and by the present republic, the taritib ago igma remains part of Meranao life. In fact, Meranao society remains comparatively traditional especially as regards marriage, burial rites, the sultanate system, social mobility, family structure and ties, and the concept of rido including the modes and mechanism of settling disputes. Our findings reflect the traditional perspective on settling disputes and conflict management. The Nature of Rido Rido are classified into big or grave and small or light. Big or grave rido involves murder (bono), serious crimes against women or against chastity, public offense against individual/family honor. Small or light rido includes accidental killing, altercation, grave or light threats, slander, grudges, etc. However, when a small or light rido is not resolved during the initial stage, it can escalate to a big or grave rido. A light rido can, however , be considered grave if it is difficult to settle.

RIDO V2.indd 140

10/4/2007 8:23:21 AM

Responses to Interkin Group Conflict in Northern Mindanao || 141

The common causes of rido are: • Superiority complex, display of arrogance (kibr), domination of one party over another, lack of regard for others, enmity, envy, or jealousy. • Land disputes, mostly brought about by the lack of land titles or tax declaration of real properties, and unmarked boundaries; absence of testament or last will of the deceased parents; usurpation by the rich heir of the entire or greater part of the inherited land in gross disregard of the legitimate rights of the poor or illiterate co-heirs; absence of written contract or agreement on land transactions like sale, barter, lease, rent, donation, usufruct, collateral, land borrowing, or lending, etc. There is a popular belief among Meranao that when the causes of a rido are land and women, they are hard to settle and involve much loss of lives and property. • Cases involving illegal drugs, addiction, habitual drunkenness, gambling, and other vices. • Robbery and theft. • Elopement, abduction, kidnapping, acts of lasciviousness, rape (including statutory rape), illegitimate pregnancy, other crimes against women and chastity, juvenile delinquencies, etc. • Graft and corruption in the government bureaucracy, misappropriation or malversation of public funds like the internal revenue allotment (ira) funds most especially in the local government units. • Electioneering and election-related anomalies and irregularities. • Maratabat (offense to honor) • Ignorance and disregard of ethics and religious law. • Some people serve as brokers of rido by trading information—real or fabricated—to ignite the anger of both sides of the conflict. Among Meranao, justice is attained and preserved if the reward or penalty given is commensurate to the good done or wrong committed. A kali (local judge) or a jury plays a vital role in every case. The kali or jury must not only be fair and just but also knowledgeable on the substantive and procedural aspects of the taritib ago igma. The character of the judge must be beyond reproach. The cardinal principle in the judicial dispensation of justice is saksi ki modai sapa ki modalai which means that the complainant/plaintiff is entitled to present witnesses while the defendant/respondent is entitled to swear before God in the presence of the Qur’an. At the outset, the complainant has the prior right and the responsibility to present at least two competent and credible witnesses. If the complainant cannot produce the required witnesses or his witnesses are either incompetent or not credible or both, the burden of proof shifts to the respondent who can swear before

RIDO V2.indd 141

10/4/2007 8:23:22 AM

142 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

God in the presence of the Qur’an that he is innocent of the charges. Under the law, one male witness is equivalent to two female witnesses. In the course of the trial, the engaged wakil or counsels assist the parties in every stage of the proceedings. In the case of amicable settlement, the negotiator performs the functions of the kali or jury but the procedure is abbreviated and simplified and the approach is inquisitorial. Still, minimum due process must be observed. The conduct of the judicial trial or the amicable settlement may be facilitated by the sultan or datu , the negotiators, or concerned relatives and community members. These facilitators also ensure the effective implementation of whatever decision made by the kali, jurors or negotiators which may involve: kitas (execution), diat (blood money), sapa (swearing), sapot (wearing white cloth), letakan, lephad (lashing), rajam (stoning), kandori, thoma (reprimand), rila (forgiveness), taog (deportation or excommunication or exile), dorog (compensatory damages) and pamamanikan (offender goes to the residence of the offended as sign of repentance and/ or surrender). The Maratabat Operationally, maratabat can mean honor, pride, ego, and sense of shame or amor propio. It is associated with the Meranao’s extraordinary zeal in protecting his name and that of his family, clan, or group. Sometimes, maratabat is also equated or intimately related to lineage (bangsa) or social status in the community. People belonging to royalty or ruling classes have higher degree of maratabat than commoners. Offenses against the maratabat of woman are deemed more serious than those committed against male maratabat. A Meranao can easily forgive or forget physical injuries but not an offense against his maratabat. There are many rido which are caused by offense to maratabat and many rido that cannot be settled because of maratabat. Retaliation is often regarded as the only means to vindicate the offended party in the eyes of the public. Conflict Management and Resolution Although the traditional ways have been largely supplanted by modern judiciary process, the tribal communities have preserved their manner of conflict resolution, though adapted to changing times. The Lumad Way It is imperative for the subsistent lumad to settle any dispute before it escalates into a lido or a magahat that disrupts economic activity. The lido can be quite disruptive since, in the absence of the marked individual, others

RIDO V2.indd 142

10/4/2007 8:23:23 AM

Responses to Interkin Group Conflict in Northern Mindanao || 143

can be killed in his stead to appease the bloodthirsty talagbusao or the mandalangan (warrior guardian spirit). Initial Stage and Escalation of Conflict Among the lumad, the distinction between major and minor conflict is not very clear. A conflict that can be settled with a ritual offering of chicken and a manggad may be considered minor, while stealing may be considered a major offense. Any offense among the lumad is potential cause of magahat or lido. When the bansa or bantug is offended, lives could be lost. It is also hard to determine an initial stage of conflict. A simple offense can lead to killing while a major offense may not directly lead to magahat or lido. Generally, a magahat or a lido requires a tampuda tu balagon to be completely settled, after the payment of indemnity. In some cases, conflicts are not settled unless someone is killed. In cases of adultery, the datu might not intervene unless the offended person has killed the other man. Adultery is a major crime against the bansa that must be restored before dispute settlement. Some lumad opt to go to the datu immediately to settle the conflict. Others retaliate immediately. As a matter of practice, a dispute is settled immediately through payment of indemnity or perhaps killing those who committed the initial crime. The lumad are generally pacifists. Their survival requires early conflict resolution. Resolution of Conflict Traditional modes of resolution are unwritten and may be modified to suit particular cases. Among the methods that have survived from olden times are the following: Tampuda ho balagon/Tampura to balagon. This means cutting the vine of discord. A thin rattan vine is placed on a table or log or any wooden support. Both ends are tied to the heads of chicken. Both parties then cut the vine simultaneously. Failure of one side to cut its end of the vine means that party is still holding a grudge against the other side or that the diwata (spirit) does not want the conflict to be resolved. This could lead to violence. The warriors or kin of both parties may commence battle at once. For the Higaonon, the party who fails to cut his end of the vine is deemed guilty and may be killed by the other party without interference from others. Anyone who interferes is not spared. The tampuda may only be performed if the conflict involves killing. Payment of manggad or bahandi or hahum. Before any tampuda is done, exchange of goods (manggad, bahandi, or gahum) takes place in cases where lido or pangayaw has already occurred. The one who started the conflict must pay more. For the Matigsalug, a human life is equivalent to five

RIDO V2.indd 143

10/4/2007 8:23:23 AM

144 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

horses, although this is negotiable. For the Higaonon, payment is negotiated among elders. For both the Higaonon and the Matigsalug, manggad and gahum involve goods such as animals or cloth/clothes or gong. Bahandi is only for the Higaonon. This involves use of antique jars or porcelain ware as payment. Pamalas or singampo. Aside from the payment of manggad, bahandi or gahum, a pig is ritually slain by use of a new bolo. The pig represents the life of the offending party. The life of the pig is exchanged for that of the offender. The slaughtered pig is eaten to appease the relatives of the slain. The offender cannot eat the pig as it represents him. The pamalas or singampo binds both parties. It is believed that the diwata will bring illness to the party (including his family) who breaks the pact. If only one side breaks the pact, the community can kill him to prevent the curse of the diwata from harming the rest of the community. For the Higaonon, a pact breaker’s blood is stained and, therefore, anyone who shares his blood, including family and even in-laws, is likewise slain to prevent contagion. Smearing with pig’s blood. This is only practiced by the Matigsalug Manobo. When an offended person does not want to settle a dispute but to kill the offender (pangayew), the igbuyag/datu may resort to a ritual of smearing with pig’s blood. The offended party is tricked to leave his house. Once the person is gone, the igbuyag and his aide slaughter a pig outside the house and smear the inside with the pig’s blood. The pig represents the life of the offender. This ritual brings a conditional curse upon the offended person that should he pursue his planned revenge, the talagbusao will be angered and will cause his death. The offended person desists from pursuing revenge for fear of the consequences and agrees to settle. Avenging with the datu/igbuyag’s consent. For the Matigsalug, an offended person may go to the igbuyag to report a crime and ask permission to kill the offender. The igbuyag gives the offended person three days to kill the offender. If the offended person fails to do so in three days, the case goes to the datu for settlement. The offended person may no longer kill the offender. Doing so is considered disobedience to the igbuyag. The igbuyag reserves the right to kill the avenger. For the Higaonon, an offended person must directly go to the datu to report an offense. If the datu deems it necessary for the offender to be killed, he sends the alimaong or mabalaw (tribal warrior) to carry out the execution. Only the datu has the power to order an execution. Settling disputes without the datu. Minor disputes may be settled without the datu/igbuyag. The two parties may simply agree on payment of manggad. Pamalas is done by offering a chicken to the diwata. In case of intra-familial conflict, a chicken offering may suffice.

RIDO V2.indd 144

10/4/2007 8:23:24 AM

Responses to Interkin Group Conflict in Northern Mindanao || 145

Dampas. This is practiced only by the Matigsalug. When a person refuses to pay his debt, the igbuyag may order the creditor to steal an animal or anything of value from the debtor. The stolen animal or good must be brought to the igbuyag for settlement to start. Failure to bring the stolen animal or good to the igbuyag is interpreted as stealing and the creditor is penalized. Lebut or bake. The source of the conflict is eliminated or killed to stop further aggravations. The relatives of opposing parties are summoned by the igbuyag. Each party is delivered to the relatives of his opponent to be tortured and killed. For the Matigsalug, killing the source of conflict is vital. Non-traditional Mechanisms In some instances, the lumad also seek the intervention of the barangay justice system, under the Local Government Code, to settle dispute. In San Fernando, Bukidnon, disputes between the Matigsalug Manobo and the Dumagat (lowlanders)—who are not subject to Manobo customary law— are settled by the lupong tagapamayapa, an arbitration committee created by the barangay council whose members are appointed by the barangay captain. The barangay council respects the authority of the datu in settling disputes among the lumad. In the case of the Higaonon in Minalwang Claveria, where the population is 95% lumad, the lupon is the sole arbitrator. The barangay council is composed mainly of lumad. Cases that require traditional ways, such as the tampuda hu balagon, may be referred to the supreme datu. The Merano Way The Initial Stage of Conflict The Meranao have a number of conflict avoidance mechanisms or conflict prevention strategies. Conflict prevention refers to management of conflicting goals in the community to avoid violent confrontation. Institution building is one form of conflict prevention. Among the Meranao, the institutionalization of the taritib ago igma is one such mechanism. Both the Meranao’s traditional political system and religion advocate peace. The sultanate system mandates the use of the sultan’s vast power and resources to promote peace and harmony. Islam, a term derived from the Arabic word salam (peace), teaches the upholding of peace. It is a means to attain justice and deter violence and oppression. The Meranao try to resolve conflicts at their onset.

RIDO V2.indd 145

10/4/2007 8:23:25 AM

146 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

People Involved in Conflict Management In any conflict situation, the first step is to inform the sultan or datu, ulama (religious leaders), government officials, politicians, common relatives or go-betweens or any members of the community or any persons who are experienced and interested in settling disputes, regardless of tribe, religion, sex, profession, or occupation. These people may then consider the nature of the conflict, the parties involved, and the probable facilitators/ mediators. Identifying the parties involved draws the line between allies and adversaries. Relatives up to the fifth civil degree of either party are considered legitimate targets of reprisal. Identifying relatives can also mean finding the best go-betweens. After knowing the nature and dynamics of the conflict, negotiators decide whether or not it is helpful to try to resolve the dispute immediately, because there are cases of rido where settlement is best delayed. In this case the disputants are separated by “buffers” who may be common relatives, ulama, sultan and datus, politicians, or government law enforcers, to prevent escalation of the conflict. Even women are encouraged to take active role in the initial stage of conflict resolution. The elders who are knowledgeable of the genealogy of the conflicting parties also play important role by explaining to both sides their blood relationships and intermarriage ties. This helps reduce enmity. Conflict Escalation When killing takes place, the most concerned members of the community, especially common relatives, may organize a team of mediators to intervene. There are a number of options available to the negotiators/mediators. First, if possible, to bring the assailant to the safe custody of the government authorities, perhaps to the mayor, governor, congressman or to any influential politician or traditional leader like the sultan or datu or to the nearest pnp or army detachment or prison detention center, pending negotiation. If the assailant or his family does not agree to this or if he goes into hiding, the mediators may try to persuade or pressure the offending party to move to where they can be safe from the avenging family. After the parties are separated or the assailant is detained, the negotiators then establish separate contacts with the parties. It is important for the facilitators/negotiators to be sensitive to the feelings, interests, and needs of each side. During the preliminary discussion, the facilitators/negotiators must not offend the maratabat and honor of the parties or appear biased. Among Meranaos, shame often leads to anger. When one is shamed in front of people, the tendency is to get angry and

RIDO V2.indd 146

10/4/2007 8:23:26 AM

Responses to Interkin Group Conflict in Northern Mindanao || 147

retaliate against the aggressor. The Meranao can also display an overweening arrogance (kibr). This is why the conflicting parties should be dealt with by the facilitators/negotiators separately to avoid confrontation. Even at the end of negotiations, the conflicting parties are not allowed to talk in each other’s presence so as to avoid the utterance of words that one side may deem offensive. Before any talks can commence, well-chosen emissaries (maongangen-asogo) are sent to both sides to ascertain their willingness to talk. In the discussion of the central issues, it is always helpful for the facilitators/negotiators to show respect and personal concern for the parties because a Meranao becomes more violent when he feels that he is not respected or his worth is not recognized. He becomes cooperative when he feels that he is treated as partner of equal importance to the process. He must believe that his interests are being protected and that negotiators are impartial. That is why it is helpful that the aggressor be put in detention or custody before talks begin. After thorough discussion of the conflict, possible solutions are offered to both parties. The solution must be mutually acceptable and beneficial to both sides. Making both parties feel happy about the expected outcome of the process is an art form. The hope is to reach a win-win solution. Traditional Mechanisms As provided for under the taritib ago igma, the solutions/interventions that can be resorted to by the facilitators/negotiators include the following: Kakitas. Death penalty in case of murder, whether or not there are mitigating circumstances. Kandiat. Blood money to be paid to relatives of the victims in case the killing is accidental or through reckless imprudence, the amount of which varies depending upon the attendant circumstances of the victim like status, profession, income, number of dependents, etc. Kashappa. Denial by the accused, and sometimes by his relatives as well, before God in the presence of the Qur’an of the charges against him. This can be resorted to when the issue of the conflict is offense against person, property, or chastity. Kashapot. Wearing of white clothing by the aggressor, and sometimes by some of his relatives, on demand of the aggrieved party, while walking to the residence of the offended party as a sign of admission of guilt and surrender. This solution is appropriate for grave rido involving offense against person or chastity like rape, abduction, elopement, acts of lasciviousness, etc. Kapheletakan. This penalty requires the offender to carry a piece of bamboo with two holes through which his two hands protrude. The duration of

RIDO V2.indd 147

10/4/2007 8:23:26 AM

148 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

the penalty depends upon the attending circumstances. This is resorted to when the offense is against chastity of an unmarried woman, regardless of the civil status of the male offender. Kalephad. Eighty lashes or beatings on the back of the unmarried offender in the case of adultery and fornication. Perajamen. Stoning to death in case of adultery by a married individual Kakandori. Offender or go-betweens call for a gathering and offer food and money to those in attendance. There are also prayers to seek blessings for conflicting parties. This is resorted to in case of light rido involving domestic quarrel or slight injuries. Kandori is also considered as an accessory penalty for grave rido because it is usually tendered during the gathering for the final settlement of the rido. The money is provided by the sultan or datu, politicians, and the people in the community. Kapangetoma. Offender is seriously reprimanded and warned that a similar offense in the future will be dealt with strictly using customary law. Associated with the reprimand/warning is a sermon to the offender on good manner and right conduct based on the Meranao culture. Applied for slight rido. Karila. Pardon by the offended party of the offender in a slight conflict where no damage or injury is suffered. This is based on the belief that God loves the forgiving person. Kataog. Exile or banishment of the offender. This can be imposed on the offender, regardless of the issue of the conflict. Dorogen. Offender must return twice the value of what he had stolen from aggrieved party. Part of the penalty goes to the facilitators/negotiators as reward. Ka-salk. Disputed property like land is divided equally among the disputants. Kapamalo. Male offender, who denies the charge, is required to give certain amount of money to a woman who accuses him of offense against chastity. Kapamamanikan. Offender is accompanied by his relatives, the sultan or datus, facilitator/negotiator, and the community members to the residence of the offended party to ask for pardon. After a solution is identified the next step is to get the conflicting parties to agree to it. They will do so if both feel that they are winners and their maratabat, honor, and pride are upheld. It is only when agreements are implemented that healing and reconciliation can begin.

RIDO V2.indd 148

10/4/2007 8:23:27 AM

Responses to Interkin Group Conflict in Northern Mindanao || 149

The Kandori The usual manner of culminating the settlement process is the holding of the gathering known as kandori, attended by respected leaders, politicians, government officials including the pnp provincial director, the Army brigade commander or detachment commander, the ulama, the disputants, and their designated representatives. It is on this occasion that the disputants confront each other for the first time during the process, but none of them is allowed to speak to avoid offense to anyone’s maratabat,. The holding of kandori is largely ceremonial because the substantive parts of the agreement are fulfilled beforehand. But the most important activity in the kandori is the oath-taking ceremony, where all the parties swear before God in the presence of the Qur’an to end their rido without reservation. This is the last stage of the settlement process. The rido is resolved. But to keep the peace, the parties are encouraged to inter-marry. In case of recurrence of conflict, the offender starts a new and different rido without reference to the one resolved. Some Cases Among the Lumad The Noble Act of Datu Pinaluay: Changing a Traditional Law This incident happened in the Higaonon settlement in Minalwang. According to accounts, a conflict ensued between the supreme Datu Pinaluay and another datu in another community. This led to the conduct of pangayaw between the two communities. Datu Pinaluay was a peaceful man. He initiated the settling of the dispute between the two communities. After the exchange of gahum (goods), the tampuda hu balagon was performed to seal the peace deal. The customary law dictates that when the two parties face each other in a tampuda, the vine must be cut on both ends. The one who fails to cut his end of the vine is deemed to be maintaining his grudge and may be killed by the opposing party without interference from relatives. During the tampuda, Datu Pinaluay was able to cut his end of the vine while the other party failed to do likewise. Seeing the uncut vine, Datu Pinaluay raised his sundang (bolo) and cut the vine in half. According to accounts, Datu Pinaluay refused to follow the customary law so as to end the conflict. The incident is seen by many as the first move among the Higaonon to end the practice of punishing an offender by death. The act of Datu Pinaluay changed an ancient law. For the past 30 years, the tribe has not put to death anyone and has not experienced any major conflict among its people.

RIDO V2.indd 149

10/4/2007 8:23:28 AM

150 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Husay In the late 60s or early 70s, Kalagangan in San Fernando, Bukidnon, was already home to majority of the Matigsalug Manobo in the municipality. This was by virtue of an order of then President Ferdinand Marcos to declare the area a reservation for the Matigsalug Manobo. They were given 14,000 ha lumad reservation. It was also during that time when the dumagat (the Bisaya, specifically the Ilonggo) moved into the area to buy or rent land from the lumad, who were willing to trade their land for food, clothing or even alcohol. In this manner, the lumad gradually lose their land to the dumagat. This phenomenon prompted Datu Panuda to rebel against the barangay governance in Kalagangan which was controlled by the dumagat who were considered “educated” enough to run the local governance unit. Datu Panuda wanted the area to be controlled by the lumad but the dumagat refused to move out. Datu Panuda led a pangayaw against the dumagat that caused several deaths. The military were detailed in the area to prevent more bloodshed. The plaza in Kalaganagan used to be a killing field for both sides. Datu Panuda was considered a skilled bagani and it was difficult to capture him in the dense forest. Allegedly, some soldiers and civilian dumagat, who could not find Datu Panuda, attacked the remote community of Malunasay, razing the village, and killing 12 people, including the village datu’s son. The raid was considered unjustified which calls for a pangayaw or magahat. The community prepared to retaliate. The government, through then Presidential Assistance for National Minorities (panamin) Commissioner Manuel ‘Manda’ Elizalde, acknowledged the mistake committed by the military and the dumagat civilians. The tribal leaders were summoned to resolve the conflict and prevent a pangayaw. As husay (payment of indemnity), a parcel of land along the road was given to the Malunasay community. The leaders agreed to the husay and immediately ceased their preparations for the pangayaw. After some years, the lumad went back to their community. The Malunasay community, together with nine other sitios, became part of the cadt of the Sinuda Claim. Makopa, the area given to the Malunasay community as husay, was in time, inhabited by some dumagat. The lumad allowed the dumagat to stay on at Makopa on the understanding that the dumagat would move out once the lumad decide to use the land. However, in a recent land survey, Makopa was made part of the local government territory. The Malunasay community which had transferred to Simsimon, objected to this claim as the area was given to them as husay for the massacre that occurred in the 1970s.

RIDO V2.indd 150

10/4/2007 8:23:29 AM

Responses to Interkin Group Conflict in Northern Mindanao || 151

At present, two groups are claiming the land as it is technically part of the Kalagangan Domain, since the Sinuda cadt only extends as far as the Salug River. Makopa is situated on the other side of the river. The Simsimon Community, by virtue of their ownership of the land as husay, is asking the present inhabitants of Makopa to leave as soon as possible. Failure to do so will lead to pangayaw. The issue is currently being deliberated in the municipal governance. The conflict is not so much over land ownership but the fact that the land was indemnity for the death of lumad kin. It was husay that prevented pangayaw. Taking away the husay could rekindle the old grudge between the Matigsalug Manobo of Malunasay and the dumagat migrants of Kalagangan. The Talaandig Experience: Partisan Politics Breeds Enmity This is a case of conflict between two related kindred in a Talaandig community in Lantapan, Bukidnon. The conflict is so old, no one remembers how it all started. To date, the conflict has taken many lives. One community says the dispute started three decades ago, another says five. According to an informant from a third community, the two groups are related. The conflict stemmed from the introduction of electoral politics to the area. The ancestors of the two kindred, Nawahag and Wingagaw, were very close cousins. The two families were so tight that whenever one side got into a fight in a nearby barangay during the tabu (market day), on the next tabu, the two kin groups would join forces to avenge their common kin. The fights were usually between them and the dumagat. When the area was declared a barangay sometime in the 1960s, the two kin groups alternately held the office of the tiniente del barrio (now barangay captain). During those times, the heads of the barrios were not elected but appointed by the gobernadorcillo. The arrangement proved to be effective as the community lived in harmony. Then came the time when elections were enacted by virtue of the Constitutional mandate. At first, the two cousins alternately ran uncontested for barangay captain during elections. But once Wingagaw decided to run against his cousin, Nawahag, conflict began. The community was split. Recently, the barangay secretary, a Wingagaw kin, secretly filed his candidacy for barangay captain—running against the incumbent, his uncle, a Nawahag kin. The uncle had decided to withdraw his candidacy, but was unable to do so officially. He lost to his nephew. The secret filing of candidacy was seen by the Nawahag side as an insult. Tension between the two kin groups was rekindled. It is difficult to trace how the killings started. Some say it started when two members of the opposing kin got into a brawl during a bayle (community

RIDO V2.indd 151

10/4/2007 8:23:29 AM

152 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

dance). A member of the Wingagaw kin reprimanded a drunken Nawahag for beating his nephew. This started the brawl in which the Nahawag was badly hurt. There were more scuffles during the next few years but no killings yet. Later, a Nawahag kin known as a potential challenger of the incumbent Wingagaw barangay captain was shot by unidentified gunmen. He was hospitalized for a few months before he died. The suspects for the killing were the two nephews and son of the barangay captain who was accused by the Nawahag kin of masterminding the murder. Despite testimony to the contrary, the Nawahag insisted on their charge and trouble between the sides erupted. Another possible cause of the killings was the accidental death of a member of the Nawahag kin who tried to stop the fight between two members of both families. Apparently, a Nawahag kin was expelled from the land he tilled by the landlord, a Wingagaw. From then on, the Nawahag, whenever drunk, would challenge the landlord to a fight. A member of the Nawahag kin interceded in one incident and was struck in the neck by the bolo of the landlord. He died and the Wingagaw member admitted the crime and served a jail sentence. There were many more killings and brawls that worsened the conflict between the two kindred groups. The death of a political supporter of one side would be blamed on the other group. Any tiff between distant relatives of the two sides, no matter how trivial, would be considered an act of vengeance. So far, more than 30 people have reportedly died from these incidents. Some years back, after a New Year incident in the Manupali River which led to the partial disability of a member of the Wingagaw kin, a tampuda hu balagon was conducted after the payment of indemnity by the Nawahag kin. The tampuda ritual was conducted by a datu respected by both kin groups. The ritual was witnessed by the provincial governor and the municipal trial court judge. Still, the killings continued, the most recent of which happened on February 2005. This may be because the tampuda ritual conducted was specific to a particular incident. It was not a tampuda for the drawn-out conflict between the two kin groups. Thus, while the specific conflict may have been resolved, the bigger one remains. Currently, the provincial government is trying to end the conflict. In October 2004, a planned amicable settlement was postponed due to another killing. Another attempt was made in November, but to no avail. Both parties remain suspicious of each other. Military units are posted in the area to maintain order. Meanwhile, the violence and finger pointing continue.

RIDO V2.indd 152

10/4/2007 8:23:29 AM

Responses to Interkin Group Conflict in Northern Mindanao || 153

Tampuda Hu Balagon Two young men—Manobo and Talaandig—were very good friends since they were schoolmates and worked for the same employer. It was the birthday of the Manobo boy and he invited his Talaandig friend to celebrate in one of the carinderias of the town. After a few drinks, they went home for it was already late at night. On their way home, the Talaandig, who was carrying a knife, stabbed his Manobo friend to death and fled. However, a witness reported the incident to the Manobo’s family who then consulted their datu. The initial reaction of the Manobo kin group was to search for the assailant, to kill him in retaliation, and perform a pangayaw. However, their datu advised them to wait until he was able to see the Talaandig datu, who was also the relative of the offender and known for his prowess in arbitration. This matter was also reported to the police, who, along with the datu, were able to persuade the offender to surrender. Due to the seriousness of the offense, several datus from the Manobo and the Talaandig communities were called to investigate. The Talaandig assailant himself could not explain his motive and felt that he was made to kill his friend by an evil power which the datu believed was the talabusao/tagbusao (an evil diwata, also the patron diwata of baganis or warriors). The datus decided to hold a tampuda hu balagon/baegon to prevent a full-scale inter-tribal conflict. In the process, the Talaandig group offered indemnity in terms of cash, sacks of rice, two carabaos, and a horse. The horse was returned to the Talaandig because it was puny looking; the Manobo wanted a healthier mare. This delayed proceedings since a replacement had to be found. The tampuda was slated to take place on the night of a full moon, with the hope that there would be no omens, such as the sound of the limokon (omen bird). Prior to the tampuda, in the morning of the same day, all the datus from the two communities who were invited to arbitrate and mediate the case in the Talaandig tuluga (tribal community), met at the residence of one of the Talaandig for a ritual. The gathering called upon the intercession of the diwatas. They shared the mam-on (betel chew), a symbol of respect for each other, and said their prayers to magbabaya (supreme deity). This was followed by killing of five chickens, as offerings to the spirits, and the blood smeared on the feet of those in attendance. Two pigs were killed by stabbing with a spear and likewise offered as a sacrifice to appease the spirits. Before noon, the relatives and supporters of the two parties, the datu mediators, observers, and some members of the police force transferred to the ceremonial grounds of the tuluga for the tampuda ritual. A small bamboo platform was erected four feet above the ground, and decorated with young coconut fronds. On the platform were a plate containing slices of

RIDO V2.indd 153

10/4/2007 8:23:30 AM

154 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

bunga (betel nut), some buyo leaves (pepper leaves) which were sprinkled with apog (lime from burnt seashells). A young rattan vine (one inch in diameter) about four feet long was laid across the platform. Near the rattan was a sharp-looking bladed weapon to be used in cutting the balagon or vine. Under the platform were a pig and two white-feathered chickens, to be offered again to the spirits. The main datu arbitrators from the two tribal communities officiated the tampuda ritual. Each one took turns in calling on Magbabaya to help guide them in the ritual that they were to conduct for the resolution of conflict between their communities. The two chickens were killed first and the blood smeared around the platform. This was followed by the spearing of the pig by the participating datus. The cutting of the baegon/balagon by the two datus took place thereafter. The kin group from each warring party stood on each side of the platform, while the police watched from a distance. All held their breath as the vine was cut. The warriors—alimaongs of the Talaandig and the baganis of the Manobo—held on to their weapons (bolos/sundang); the police had their firearms. At one stroke of the weapon by the datus, the vine was cleanly cut. There was jubilation among both groups; the women wept and made a sign of the cross (since some were Catholics); the men embraced each other; and observers applauded. The datus shook hands and embraced. In some cases where tampuda is used, the offender may be exonerated and goes scot-free. However, in this case the offender was required to live with the family of the victim and assume the responsibility of the dead, such as farm work. In some cases, the sister of an offender may be the one made to live with the victim of the family. Some Cases Among the Meranao Murder Hadji Ali, Mama, and Cairod were all natives of Marantao, Lanao del Sur. Like many Meranaos, they lived and did some trading in a municipality of Western Visayas. Hadji Ali, who had savings from his employment in Saudi Arabia, extended loans to Mama and Cairodin. Failure by the debtors to repay their loans on time soured the ties among the three. One day, Hadji Ali went missing. His dismembered corpse was found two days later in a banana plantation. His relatives immediately sent for his remains. Mama and Cairodin also went missing. Police arrested Mama who confessed to the crime, but cleared Cairodin who was still at large. While Mama was serving his sentence in prison, a group of mediators met the aggrieved relatives of Hadji Ali and negotiated for the freeing of

RIDO V2.indd 154

10/4/2007 8:23:30 AM

Responses to Interkin Group Conflict in Northern Mindanao || 155

Cairodin from the rido on account of Mama’s confession. The mediators suggested that Cairodin perform a sappa to deny any hand in the crime. Among Meranao, sappa or denial by swearing before Allah in the presence of the Holy Qur’an is the most effective mode of settling disputes. After several attempts, the relatives of Hadji Ali agreed to the sappa provided that 20 of Cairodin’s qualified relatives join him in doing the sappa. This condition was accepted, the ritual performed, and Cairodin exonerated. This settlement was honored by all parties as it was guaranteed by the group of mediators who were all respected leaders in Marantao. As Mama served out his prison term, another group of mediators negotiated for the settlement of his case. Diat, or blood money was offered to the relatives of Alli. The amount fixed by the mediators was accepted and received by the aggrieved party. It was further agreed that upon his release, Mama would be surrendered to the relatives of Hadji Ali. The purpose of this temporary settlement was to prevent the spread of the conflict by shielding the immediate relatives of Mama from vendetta. Years later, after his release, Mama, instead of returning to Marantao, stayed in the adjacent municipality. Mama’s release was known to the relatives of Hadji Ali. About a year later, Domaob, the adolescent son of Hadji Ali, shot to death Esmayatin, the father of Mama, in the adjacent barangay. Esmayatin died defenseless because he thought their rido had been settled. The tension heightened once again. Another group of mediators moved to prevent escalation of the conflict. When the mediators confronted Domaob about his action, the young man replied that the other side failed to comply with the agreement to surrender Mama to Ali’s family once the former was released from prison. Months later, Mama took hostage Farouk, the maternal uncle of Domaob and demanded Domaob as ransom. For a while, there was a stalemate. Some elements of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (milf) were involved in the negotiation for the release of Farouk. One influential commander of the milf was a relative of Farouk, who took hold of Farouk while he was in milf hands. After several attempts at mediation, it was agreed that the blood money paid by Mama for killing Hadji Ali would be returned and Farouk would be released without ransom. With the strong influence of the composite team of mediators, especially milf, the rido was finally settled. Domaob is now a trader in the Visayas while Mama is a farmer in the adjacent municipality. Adultery This conflict involved two Meranao couples living in Davao City, namely, Mr. Ibra and his wife, Sauda; and Mr. Ali and his wife, Bae. Ibra and Sauda

RIDO V2.indd 155

10/4/2007 8:23:30 AM

156 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

have five minor children. They had been residing in Davao for over 15 years. Their marriage was a peaceful and happy one. On the other hand, Ali, a Meranao, and his wife, Bae, a Maguindanaon were childless. The two couples had been good residential and business neighbors for sometime. Ali, however, became suspicious of the seeming intimacy between his wife and their neighbor, Ibra. Ali was known to their community as a jealous husband, while Bae was seen as an attractive lady whose gestures could be easily misunderstood by others. One day, a rumor was circulated that Ibra and Bae were caught in a compromising position by Ali in a beach resort. This rumor was fueled by the disappearance of Ali and Bae. The incident was formally reported by Ali to the elders of the community. During investigation, only Ali was heard as Ibra and Bae went missing. Later on, it was found out that immediately after the alleged incident in the beach, Ibra fled to Lanao del Sur via Kidapawan, while Bae also fled to her hometown in Maguindanao. Upon inquiry by the mediators, Ali made the following account of the incident: For several months, I had noticed that my wife and Ibra had unusually close relationship and I became suspicious of them. I closely observed and monitored their interactions. On Dec. 15, 2003, noon, both my wife and Ibra were not in our respective stalls in the market. I immediately drove my motorcycle to the beach and there I saw my wife and Ibra having illicit sex. I exchanged blows with Ibra, but he was able to escape half-naked and my wife was able to escape also. There were, however, no witnesses to corroborate Ali’s testimony. On the other hand, when Ibra was confronted by the mediators in Marawi City, he disclosed the following information: It is true that Bae and I had a close relationship but that was only as neighbors and friends. It is also true Ali saw us together at the beach on Dec. 15, 2003, but our meeting there was purely accidental. Bae was there to swim and I was breaking in my new motorcycle. We did nothing immoral or illicit but only exchanged the usual greetings between friends. I never exchanged blows with Ali at the beach or elsewhere. I went to Lanao del Sur to allow Ali time to cool-off and reflect so he may realize the truth. Again, there were no witnesses to corroborate Ibra’s testimony. There were no witnesses to the commission of the alleged crime. Bae gave no statement but wrote a letter denying her husband’s charges and reiterating that his excessive jealousy had been a source of marital problems.

RIDO V2.indd 156

10/4/2007 8:23:31 AM

Responses to Interkin Group Conflict in Northern Mindanao || 157

The first attempt at settlement in Davao did not prosper. The venue of the case was transferred to Lanao del Sur per request of the parties. Ali reported the case to the milf, which immediately assumed jurisdiction. Two aleem and one commander, all of the milf, who were all related by blood to the parties, served as mediators to settle the dispute amicably outside of the milf judicial processes. Adultery is a capital offense in Islam and the penalty is stoning to death. To avoid this measure, a three-man team of mediators offered to settle the case through the traditional taritib ago igma by way of pamalao where the accused gives money as a means of denying the charges against him. After series of negotiations and critical judicial consultations, the mediators decided on a pamalao or denial money of P50,000. This amount was given by Ibra to Ali for use as dowry should Ali decide to marry another woman. The case was settled. Ibra and Sauda continue to reside in Davao City while Ali has transferred residence though he and Bae are, reportedly, back together. Breach of Contract After the 2000 local elections in Palapa, Lanao del Sur, the newly installed mayor, Datu Hamis, called for a special meeting of all winning candidates in his town. After the meeting, the mayor invited his vice mayor, Salik Alimoden, for a confidential meeting. The other officials present were municipal treasurer Malonzo Makir and barangay chairman Lorenzo Musa. The mayor arranged this meeting with his vice mayor, who belonged to a rival political party, for reconciliation and effective governance. The mayor supposedly offered the vice mayor P60,000 every month on condition that the latter would not question the disbursement of local funds like the internal revenue allotment (ira). However, this agreement was not put in writing and after one disbursement, no more funds were given to the vice mayor. Whenever the vice mayor would complain to the mayor, he would be referred to the treasurer who, for his part, would insist on a written order from the mayor for disbursement of the money. After many months of being given the go-around, the vice mayor was able to convince some local officials to file a criminal case against their mayor before the Ombudsman in Davao City. The mayor was suspended and faced a possible jail term. In this situation, mediators negotiated with the vice mayor to withdraw the case and prevent a serious rido. When the vice mayor refused, the mayor, through negotiators, promised the vice mayor P80,000 a month in the presence of influential leaders as witnesses to the new agreement. The vice mayor consented but the agreement was again

RIDO V2.indd 157

10/4/2007 8:23:31 AM

158 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

not put in writing. Again, after three releases, no more funds were given the vice mayor. One day, while the vice mayor was on his way to Iligan City with his family, he met Makir, the treasurer, who was also with his family. Both of them stopped at the Marines checkpoint. Immediately the vice mayor parked his car and got off with his son and his brother-in-law, Ali. The treasurer also left his car to meet the other party. The conversation turned heated and both sides came to blows. The daughters of the treasurer called for help. The vice mayor’s son punched one of the girls in the face. To the Meranao, assaulting a woman verbally or physically is a grave offense against maratabat, so both parties went home to prepare for the worst. The relatives of the vice mayor and his wife all went to Pasada, Palapa. Even their relatives residing in the neighboring municipalities and cities left, fearing a shooting war. A group of mediators intervened, namely, Judge Ambong Ractum, sultan of Palapa; Mayor Ramsi Datu Hamis; Mayor Abdul Kilala, sultan of Pasada; and mayor of Palaos. At first, the offended side refused to talk, insisting on death for the offender. Eventually, the offended party agreed to receive money from the offender as penalty for committing grievous ta’azir of the highest order. The offending party was also required to wear white cloth as a sign of surrender to the aggrieved party. After series of talks with religious leaders, a kanduri was held and a prayer ended the rido aspect of the conflict. However, the vice mayor insisted that trouble would recur unless the mayor honors his promise. The mayor, vice mayor and treasurer finally sat down to settle the matter. Case of Aborted Rido Numer wanted to buy ten loaves of bread from the bakery of Edward that was being minded by his daughter. Unfortunately, the bakery was supplying many retailers as it was the month of Ramadhan and sold no more than five loaves to each buyer. The girl was hesitant to sell ten loaves of bread to Numer on suspicion that he might resell them to other customers. The young lady was unaware that Numer had recently built his own mosque inside his compound. He needed ten loaves of bread to serve the members of the jama (those praying on his mosque) at the time of breaking fast (iftar). Numer was angered by the young lady’s refusal to sell him ten loaves. He had been involved in several past rido and was supposed to be a “feared” personality. There was a verbal exchange and the girl’s elder brother intervened to ask Numer’s pardon. But instead of being appeased, the customer slapped the young man, who retaliated. Edward came to his son’s aide and

RIDO V2.indd 158

10/4/2007 8:23:31 AM

Responses to Interkin Group Conflict in Northern Mindanao || 159

beat up Numer. Upon realizing who the customer was, Edward apologized but Numer would not be mollified. Numer left the scene but returned after 20 minutes with two vehicles of armed men who broke into the bakery and took away Edward, his wife, and son. The family was reportedly brought to a secluded place, described by some residence as the “killing field” of Numer’s group. Some say the family was saved by a phone call from Numer’s brother. Moments later, a nephew and a cousin of Numer led another armed group who abducted five Christian bakers from the store. Next day, it was rumored that the baker’s family, as well as four of the bakers, were released but one remained missing. The TV station abs-cbn Cagayan de Oro covered this incident but failed to name the individuals involved. The following day, the bakery was closed the whole day but some Marines and abs-cbn staff were seen in the vicinity. The involvement of the military and the media probably influenced the early release of the abductees. The fifth baker’s fate is still unknown. The bakery reopened the following day. The vice mayor of Marawi City and a provincial official had reportedly helped to settle the matter. The above incident illustrates the effectiveness of Meranao indigenous mechanisms for preventing grave rido. At the first instance, it was the relatives present in the scene who tried to pacify the conflicting parties. Later, Numer’s sister and brother intervened to prevent the murder of Edward’s family, and lastly, the recognized leaders who are also related to one or both sides, helped settle the conflict. Today, Meranao conflicting parties and negotiators often avail of the traditional methods of conflict resolution before resorting to the Shari’ah. Without these methods, up to three times the number rido presently ongoing may have erupted in the past years. These indigenous methods are mostly observed in the remote areas and least observable in population centers such as in Marawi City and in the more urbanized municipalities. It is unfortunate that the oldest of these indigenous methods have been gradually disappearing, probably due to the deaths of those learned in the substance and mechanics of these methods. In the past, sapa and settlement of rido were accompanied by the cutting of a rattan, breaking of a chicken egg, and lighting of a lantern (suga or sulo) to symbolize the end of conflict and perpetual peace between parties. With Islam, only the oath-taking portion of the ritual has remained. Other practices like letakan, lephad, and rajam have also largely disappeared. With various influences continuing to impinge on Meranao life, including the introduction of the cash economy and illegal drugs to an increasing

RIDO V2.indd 159

10/4/2007 8:23:32 AM

160 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

number of Meranaos, it is quite possible that present modes of conflict management will likewise evolve. Conclusion Interkin group conflict is common among different ethnic groups—the lowland Christian communities, the indigenous communities, and Muslim Filipinos. Among the lowland Christians, politics and land disputes seem to be the main cause of conflict wherein vendetta is perpetrated over generations. Feuding among the indigenous communities exists also but is regulated by customary laws. The Muslim Filipinos—Meranao, Tausog, Iranun, and Maguindanao—on the other hand, practice the rido. It is however, more pronounced among the Meranao of the Lanao region. Among the Matigsalug Manobo, the customary laws are still very much observed. Only in cases of conflict involving dumagat and lumad is the nontraditional mechanism (barangay justice) applied. Among the Higaonon of Minalwang, Claveria, the barangay justice system is followed but administered by the lumad themselves who occupy the barangay offices since nearly the entire population of the area is indigenous. This is not true though to the entire Higaonon communities who are still following the traditional way. The Meranao employ a mix of customary, Islamic, and Philippine laws. Thus, while a trial may follow Islamic procedure, the resolution may be based on customary dictates. On the other hand, which among the three systems of law is employed depends on the specifics of each case. However, only Philippine legal court decisions are enforced by the police and the military. As a consequence, the parties who are defeated in these courts may view the judgment as biased and unjust, and resort to rido Kin conflict in all three societies is quite damaging and must be prevented at the initial stage. Among the lumad, it is difficult to determine when a conflict starts or when it escalates. To prevent escalation of conflict, the offended party may opt to report the matter to the datu. However, once pangayaw is committed, negotiations are commenced to prevent the magahat which disrupts the subsistence of the communities. Among the Meranao, the prevention of the escalation of conflict is done through mediators who may be relatives of both parties, close allies, politicians, the ulama or the sultan. Vital to the settlement of feud is the reckoning of the genealogical ties between the two conflicting parties. When negotiations at the initial stage fail, rido takes place. Relatives up to the fifth civil degree or second cousins of the conflicting parties become targets for reprisal. These days, Meranao families are willing to suspend retaliation for as long as the offender is in jail. Negotiations can involve the offering of blood money

RIDO V2.indd 160

10/4/2007 8:23:32 AM

Responses to Interkin Group Conflict in Northern Mindanao || 161

or giving up the assailant for kitas (death by execution). Intermarriages between conflicting clans may be held to bring about long-term peace. The maratabat, bansa and bantug play vital roles in the speedy resolution of conflict. Among the lumad, while an offense of the bansa or bantug may lead to pangayaw, the payment of manggad or gahum can appease the offended. Among the Meranao, an offense to the maratabat is considered grave and is a usual cause of rido. Thus, in settlements, the maratabat of the conflicting sides is upheld and respected. The maratabat may also pose as hindrance to the settlement of conflicts. Common to the indigenous practice of the Meranao, the Matigsalug Manobo, and the Higaonon is the tampuda hu balagon—the ritual cutting of the vine of discord to end all enmity between parties. This is still performed among the indigenous peoples although only for graver conflicts. Some accounts point out that it used to be done among the Meranao. Among the Meranao, in the past, settling rido was also accompanied by the cutting of a rattan, breaking of a chicken egg, and putting out a lamplight (suga or sulo) to symbolize the end and non recurrence of the rido. This indigenous practice, however, was “overshadowed” by the teachings of Islam and disappeared. Vine cutting, egg breaking, and extinguishing lamp light was also practiced by the Higaonon of Minalwang. This shows the cultural similarities between both people. Other manifestations of this relatedness are the use of bantug and bantugan to mean “honor” or “pride”; the terms lido and rido to mean conflict that involves killing and retaliation. Finally, in all three societies, traditional and non-traditional means of conflict resolution and management are employed at the outset of conflict to prevent escalation. The important thing is to settle dispute and restore social order and harmony. Recommendations Matigsalug Manobo and Higaonon · For the indigenous peoples, the recognition and integration of their customary laws as means for resolving and managing conflicts at the barangay governance level is imperative. The laws adhered to by the barangay governance are appropriate for disputes among the dumagat and may not be suited to the customs of the lumad. · Customary laws should be codified for integration into the barangay justice system. · A special body or committee at the barangay level must be created for the lumad and to be administered by them.

RIDO V2.indd 161

10/4/2007 8:23:32 AM

162 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

· The research must be expanded to other Lumad communites for further comparative studies on conflict management and resolution. · The study reveals similarities in conflict resolution and management among the Higaonon and the Meranao as manifested in the terminologies (rido and lido, bantug and bantugan) and the practice of the tampuda hu balagon. It is recommended that further studies of both societies, especially on the indigenous practice of conflict resolution and management, be pursued. · The conflict among the Talaandig persists. It is difficult to explain why such deviation from the lumad norms occurs in this society. The violence in the area hampered research. Further studies should be conducted after tension subsides. Meranao · Government must conduct comprehensive land surveys and land titling, adopt certain Islamic rules, and make sure all transactions are in writing. · Strict enforcement of accounting and auditing laws, rules and regulations in the different local government units from the armm government to the barangays, especially in the disbursements of the internal revenue allotment (ira) and the 20% development funds. · Premarital and marital guidance counseling seminars on the rights, duties, and responsibilities of spouses and children; child care; and family planning. Family management must be institutionalized and required for the issuance of marriage contract and live birth certificates. · Integration or incorporation of mandatory 5% reserve funds for arbitration services out of the 20% development funds over and above the existing funds in all levels of local government units in Lanao provinces and the Marawi City. · Integration of Islamic peace education into the curricula in all levels of education and the publication of peace and conflict management modules for use in seminars, radio-TV programs, Friday sermons (jumah khutba), and other extension programs. · Strengthening the arbitration services in all levels of local governments e.g. Regional Reconciliation and Unification Commission (rruc) of armm, provincial arbitration committees of the provinces, municipal/city arbitration committees of the municipalities/city and the barangay justice by providing sufficient funds for salaries and allowances of commissioners and arbiters. · Gaining the trust and confidence of the Meranao by strengthening the criminal justice system in Lanao provinces and the city of Marawi: the

RIDO V2.indd 162

10/4/2007 8:23:33 AM

Responses to Interkin Group Conflict in Northern Mindanao || 163

judicial courts, including Shari’ah courts and the katarungang pambarangay, the prosecution, the investigation and the custodial services. · Promotion of the institution of taritib ago igma by its codification and incorporation into the legal system and the establishment of the agama court of justice equivalent to barangay justice. · Strict imposition of laws and ordinances on drugs, alcohol, gambling, juvenile delinquencies, etc. · Strict imposition of election laws, rules and regulations and the prosecution, conviction, and imprisonment of the violators.

Barton, Roy F. Ifugao Law. California: University of California, 1919. Burton, Erlinda M. “The Concept of Justice Among the Indigenous Communities of Northeastern Mindanao: A Comparative Study of Customary Laws and Resolution of Conflict.” Research Institute for Mindanao Culture Papers, (1991) Cole, F.C. “The Tingguian: Social, Religious and Economic Life of a Philippine Tribe.” Field Museum of Natural History, Anthropological Series, 14, 2 (1963). The Bilaan. In F. Lebar: Ethnic Group of Insular Southeast Asia Dozier, Edward. The Kalinga of Northern Luzon, Philippines. New York: Holt, Rhinehart and Winston, 1967. Ember, Melvin and Carol Ember. Cultural Anthropology. New York: Appleton Century, 1985. Garvan, John. The Manobo of the Agusan Valley. Washington D.C.: Bureau of Ethnology Series, 1985. Fernandez. Perfecto. Custom Law in the Pre-conquest Philippines. Diliman: UP Law Center, 1976. Hoebel, Adamson. Anthropology: The Study of Man. New York: McGraw Hill Book Company, 1974. Lebar, Frank M. Ed. Ethnic Groups of Insular Southeast Asia. New Haven: Hu m a n Relations Area Files Press, 1972. Maine, Henry. Ancient Law. Every Man Edition, 1959. Melvin Mednick. “Encampment of the Lake: The Social Organization of a MuslimPhilippine (Moro) People.” Ph.D. dissertation, Univ. of Chicago, 1965. Moore, Grace. “The Tiruray.” In F. Lebar: Ethnic Group of Insular Southeast Asia, 1963. Schlegel, Stuart. Tiruray Justice. Berkeley: UCLA Press, 1970.

RIDO V2.indd 163

10/4/2007 8:23:33 AM


ch a p ter s i x

Understanding Inter-ethnic Conflicts in North Cotabato and Bukidnon
Guiamel Alim, Jose Bulao Jr., and Ismael G. Kulat Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society


HIS RESEARCH is about the rido or recurring inter-ethnic conflict between the Menuvu and Maguindanaon tribes, particularly those inhabiting the municipalities of Carmen, Kabacan, and President Roxas in Cotabato, and the municipalities of Damulog and Kadingilan in Bukidnon. The Menuvu and Maguindanaon tribes used to be good neighbors. Before the 1970s, most members of both tribes were fluent in each other’s languages. They traded and inter-married among each other. They often shared food and helped build each other’s homes. Property and animals on both sides were safe from theft. They helped each other in farm work and land was free for anyone to cultivate. People were free to worship as they please. During the 1970s, settlers—later to be known as the ilaga—attacked and killed many Maguindanaon, burned their homes and occupied their lands. To defend themselves against the ilaga, the Maguindanaon organized the so-called “Blackshirts.” This conflict was followed by the war between the Moro National Liberation Front (mnlf) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (afp), a war that dragged on for many years. These conflicts soured the ties between the Menuvu and the Maguindanaon. Some Menuvu tribesmen were recruited by the mnlf to fight the Marcos regime. After the mnlf-led revolution faded, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (milf)—which had largely Maguindanaon members—took over leadership. Many among the Menuvu organized their own armed groups or joined the paramilitary organizations of the afp—the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (cafgu) and the Civilian Volunteers Organization
|| 164 ||

RIDO V2.indd 164

10/4/2007 8:23:34 AM

Understanding Inter-Ethnic Conflicts In North Cotabato and Bukidnon || 165

(cvo)—to fight the milf. These events started the rido between the two tribes which became bitter enemies. Recently, both sides have felt the need to make peace with each other and some groups have negotiated peace pacts. However, they realize that a deeper understanding of the problem is needed for longer lasting solutions. This research is an attempt to help in that understanding. Ordinarily, relief, rehabilitation, and peace and development programs by both government and non-government agencies are centered on direct victims of armed conflicts. Victims are assisted to rebuild their lives and communities. But little of such assistance reaches the remote villages populated by Moro and indigenous peoples such as the barangays in the municipalities of Carmen, Kabacan, and President Roxas in Cotabato and the municipalities of Damulog, and Kadingilan in Bukidnon. Communities Involved in the Research Thirteen barangays were included in the research on rido. Four are in Bukidnon, three in the municipality of Damulog, and one in the municipality of Kadingilan. Nine communities are in the province of Cotabato. Six of these are in the municipality of Carmen, two in the municipality of Kabacan, and one in the municipality of President Roxas. Most of the residents of the areas covered in the research earn their livelihood from farming, poultry and livestock, small-time logging, and traditional crafts. Angga-an Barangay Angga-an is on the southern part of Damulog, Bukidnon, along the boundary with Cotabato which is separated from Bukidnon by the Turonan River. The barangay is 18 km from the town center of Damulog. Its population of 1,300 (637 male, 663 female) include Menuvu (56%), Maguindanaon (34%), and Bisayan (Ilonggo/Cebuano/Ilocano, 10%). Some 58% of the residents, mostly Maguindanaon, have been displaced. Only 2% of Angga-an’s 5,152 ha of land is agricultural, the rest are hills and forests. Cabadiangan Cabadiangan is 17 km from the municipality of Kadingilan, next to the boundary of Cotabato. Its population of 3,729 (2,709 male, 1,020 female) include Bisayan (Ilonggo/Cebuano/Ilocano, 66%) and Menuvu (34%). Only 2% of the barangay’s 3,861 ha of land is agricultural, the rest are hills and forests.

RIDO V2.indd 165

10/4/2007 8:23:34 AM

166 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Cadiis This barangay of Carmen is also the last of Cotabato’s before one enters Bukidnon to the north. It is 33 km from its town center. Its population of 1,581 (955 male, 626 female) includes Bisayan (Ilonggo/ Cebuano/Ilocano, 58%), Menuvu (24%), and Maguindanaon (18%). Thirty percent—Maguindanaon and Menuvu—are displaced. Its land area is 5,464 ha, of which 89% is agricultural, 10% grassland, and 1% forest. High Point, Macabenban This sitio (village) of Macabenban is where the Menuvu live. Maguindanaon and Iranun used to live here but are now afraid to return. Kimadzil Kimadzil is in the middle of Carmen, between barangays Liliongan and Kibudtungan. It is 15 km from the town center and has a population of 1,520 (621 male, 899 female) of Menuvu (47%), Maguindanaon (30%), and Bisayan (Ilonggo/Cebuano/Ilocano, 23%). Twenty percent of this population, mostly Maguindanaon, is displaced. It has a land area of 4,664 ha but almost all are hilly and mountainous. Kisupaan This barangay is 30 km from the town of President Roxas, Cotabato. It is east of Kabacan, Cotabato, along the Pulangi River. Its population is 2,465 (1,545 male, 920 female), composed of Menuvu (64%), Maguindanaon (20%), and Bisayan (Ilonggo/ Cebuano/Ilocano, 16%). Internally displaced persons (Maguindanaon and Menuvu) comprise 23% of the population. The land area is 3,710 ha, 33% of which is plain, 41% hilly, and 26% mountainous. Liliongan This barangay is 18 km from Carmen, northwest of Kimadzil. Its population is 4,322 (1,976 male, 2,346 female), composed of Bisayan (Ilonggo/ Cebuano/Ilocano, 54%), Menuvu (37%), and Maguindanaon (9%). Seven percent of the population is displaced, and these are Maguindanaon. Its land area is 12,029 ha, 30% of which is plain, 40% rolling and cultivated, 20% forest, and 10% unspecified. Macabenban This is the northernmost barangay of Carmen. It is eight km from the highway which passes barangay Malapag, along the boundary with Bukidnon. Its population of 1,788 (885 male, 903 female) include Menuvus (95%)

RIDO V2.indd 166

10/4/2007 8:23:34 AM

Understanding Inter-Ethnic Conflicts In North Cotabato and Bukidnon || 167

and Bisayan (Ilonggo/ Cebuano/Ilocano, 5%). The Maguindanaon and Iranun, who used to live here, have all been relocated. The land area is 3,000 ha, 20% of which is plain, 50% rolling, 30% hilly or mountainous. Malapag This barangay is 27 km north of Carmen, below Macabenban and Cadiis. Its population is 7,080 (3,254 male, 3,726 female), composed of Bisayan (Ilonggo/ Cebuano/Ilocano, 54%), Maguindanaon (43%), and Menuvu (3%). Internally displaced persons compose 15% of the population, mostly Maguindanaon. Its land area is 8,545 ha, 41% of which is plain, 20% rolling, 39% hilly or mountainous. Omonay Omonay is on the southwest part of Damulog, Bukidnon, next to the boundary of Cotabato. It is 14 km away from the town proper. Its population is 1,749 (830 male, 919 female), spread among the Bisayan (Ilonggo/ Cebuano/Ilocano, 48%), Menuvu (35%), and Maguindanaon (17%). The displaced persons (mostly Maguindanaon, but some Menuvu also) are 46% of the population. Its land area is 5,709 ha but only 2% of this is agricultural, the rest consists of forests. Simbuhay This barangay is 27 km northeast of Kabacan, Cotabato. Its population of 1,440 is split between Menuvu and Maguindanaon. Internally displaced persons comprise 34% of the population. Its land is area 2,566 ha, 70% of which is plain and 30% hilly or mountainous. Tamped Tamped is the northern barangay of Kabacan, the last before the boundary town of President Roxas. The barangay is about 60 km from Kabacan proper. Its population of 1,320 is composed of Menuvu (65%), Maguindanaon (25%), and Bisayan (Ilonggo/ Cebuano/Ilocano, 10%). Displaced persons in this barangay are 37% of the population, mostly Maguindanaon and Menuvu. Its land area of 1,290 ha is comprised of 25% plains and 75% hills or mountains. Tangkulan Tangkulan (officially, New Rizal) is on the southeast part of Damulog, Bukidnon, next to the boundary of Cotabato. It is 24 km from the town proper. Its population is 1,028, composed of Bisayan (Ilonggo/ Cebuano/

RIDO V2.indd 167

10/4/2007 8:23:35 AM

168 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Ilocano, 52%) and Menuvu (48%). Its land area is 14,345 ha but 25% of this is forestland, the rest are hills or mountains. Findings and Analysis Profile of the Communities
TABLE 1. Population Distribution by Tribe/ Ethnic Group

Maguindanaon Communities % Angga-an 34 Cabadiangan 09 Cadiis 18 High Point (included in Macabenban) Kimadzil 30 Kisupaan 20 Liliongan 9 Macabenban 51 Malapag 43 Omonay 17 Simbuhay 33 Tamped 25 Tangkulan Total

Menuvu % 56 33 24 47 64 38 46 03 35 67 65 48

Bisayan % 10 57 58 23 16 54 03 53 48 10 52

Total Population 1,300 3,729 1,851 1,520 2,465 4,322 1,788 7,080 1,749 1,440 1,320 1,028 29,592

Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Table 2 shows there are 7,609 internally displaced persons in these communities, out of a population of 29,322. The idps indicated in the table below are those that moved out of their respective communities.
TABLE 2. Ethnicity and Percentage of Internally Displaced Persons Place Angga-an Cabadiangan Cadiis High Point Kimadzil Kisupaan Liliongan Macabenban Malapag Omonay Simbuhay Tamped Tangkulan Total Population Total Displaced % 58 09 35 (included in Macabenban) 20 20 25 65 15 46 34 37 _0 . 29,322 7,609 (26%) Mostly affected Maguindanaons Maguindanaons Mag. and Menuvus Maguindanaons Mag. and Menuvus Mag. and Menuvus Maguindanaons Maguindanaons Maguindanaons Maguindanaons Maguindanaons

RIDO V2.indd 168

10/4/2007 8:23:35 AM

Understanding Inter-Ethnic Conflicts In North Cotabato and Bukidnon || 169

History and Cause of Inter-ethnic Rido Fifty-three percent of the respondents (91 out of 172) say there was harmony between the Menuvu and Maguindanaon in research areas before the 1970s. The 47% who did not mention this peaceful co-existence were either born after the 1970s or were too young to remember those times. The fluency of the older Menuvu and Maguindanaon in each other’s languages, the common histories and traditions as well as past intermarriages between the two groups show that the tribes had lived in peace for many generations before troubles between them erupted. As to the causes of inter-ethnic rido, the communities gave a total of 161 responses. These were grouped into nine categories, as shown in Table 3.
TABLE 3. Frequency and Percentage of Causes of Inter-ethnic Rido as Given by the Communities Responses Frequency 1.The activities of the ILAGA in the 70s and 80s 45 2. Unresolved political boundary between Cotabato and Bukidnon Provinces 21 3. Loss of culture and traditions 18 4. Land disputes 17 5. Only implicated in big wars 16 6. Third party intervention 15 7. Killings, ambushes, massacres, intrusion 12 8. Begun with settlers 11 9. Others 6 a. Ideological conflict; b. Cattle rustling; c. Globalization and modernization; d. Lack of respect to other tribe’s culture; e. Divide and rule tactics; f. Lack of communication among the tribes) Total 161 % 27.95 13.04 11.18 10.56 9.94 9.32 7.45 6.83 3.73


Most respondents point to the activities of the ilaga in the 1970s as the cause of inter-ethnic rido. It is strange that while the ilaga was composed mostly of Bisayan (refers to all settlers including Ilonggo, Cebuano, etc.), that group is no longer involved in the present conflict. It would seem that the Bisayan ignited a conflict that the Menuvu and Maguindanaon have sustained. This realization should be enough for the conflicting sides to end their enmity. The acronym ilaga has come to mean Ilonggo Land Grabbers Association. The ilaga was founded in Cotabato City in September 1970 by seven municipal mayors of the then Cotabato empire province. Although almost all the leaders and members of this group were Ilonggo, there were some Cebuano and Menuvu who joined for personal gains or to avoid troubles with the Ilonggo. It must be noted, however, that not all Ilonggo in central

RIDO V2.indd 169

10/4/2007 8:23:35 AM

170 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Mindanao belonged to this group. The group had relatively few members but they were armed and tolerated, if not encouraged and helped, by some national and local officials. The purpose of this group was to grab lands by intimidating the people, usually Maguindanaon. Some ilagas were able to acquire legal titles to lands occupied by Maguindanaon or Menuvu. The ilaga burned down the homes of the original land owners, forced them to flee, then occupied the land and obtained titles to the property. If the original owners did not come back, the intruders would eventually own the land. If the owners came back, they had to negotiate with the ilaga to avoid further violence. After some years, the group disbanded but much lands had changed hands. The entire former Cotabato province (divided now into Maguindanao, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato, and Sarangani) was infested by the ilaga (which means “rat” in the local language). When the ilaga came to the communities, the people fled. Some Menuvu were recruited by the ilaga as guides in attacking the Moro communities. The Moro felt betrayed by these Menuvu. In some communities, both Maguindanaon and Menuvu fled, leaving their lands to the ilaga. In other communities, only the Maguindanaon or the Menuvu fled. When the Maguindanaon fled, some Menuvu occupied the abandoned lands. This was the situation in the 1970s when the ilaga sowed terror among the inhabitants. The second major cause of inter-ethnic conflict, according to respondents, is the unresolved boundary issue between Cotabato and Bukidnon. Going north, Carmen is the last town of Cotabato before one enters Damulog, Bukidnon. Kadingilan is a town next to Damulog but borders Cotabato province. Some barangays or villages of Carmen, Damulog, and Kadingilan are located side by side, particularly the barangays of Angga-an, Cabadiangan, Cadiis, Macabenban, Omonay, and Tangkulan. Residents of one barangay may sell their products and pay their taxes (e.g., community tax) in another barangay which is more accessible. Conflicts arise when local officials demand that these transactions be made in the proper places. However, residents are often confused because the boundaries are unclear. The third perceived cause of conflict is the loss of culture and traditions. The fourth cause is land dispute, since the ilaga had driven many people from their original property. Often, whenever Menuvu or Maguindanao return to the homes they fled from, they find the land occupied by others. Sometimes the land would be titled under other people’s names. The fifth cause of inter-ethnic feud, according to respondents, is the fact that they are often dragged into the war between government and the Moro secessionist groups.

RIDO V2.indd 170

10/4/2007 8:23:35 AM

Understanding Inter-Ethnic Conflicts In North Cotabato and Bukidnon || 171

The sixth perceived cause is third-party intervention. People in the communities say some politicians and business people like rido so that they can buy up the goods and animals from fleeing residents and resell these at higher prices elsewhere. Politicians also benefit from the violence since most of their enemies flee while those who remain must support the incumbent leaders. The seventh cause of conflict—killings, ambushes, massacres, intrusion—is a result of the previous causes. This is rido proper: killing as retaliation. The eight cause of conflict are settlers who exploit the lack of formal schooling among the Menuvu and Maguindanaon. These settlers would buy lands from the original owners at below market value but would obtain titles to more property than what they actually bought. There were also cases where the settlers would ask permission to till lands owned by one tribe only to mortgage them to another tribe. The settlers would abscond with the money and leave the tribes fighting over ownership of the lands. Ideological conflict happens when one group forces another group or person/s to join in the struggle for self-determination or self-rule. The mnlf—and later, the milf—had to recruit members from outside the Maguindanaon tribe or Moro people. Some Menuvu and a few Bisayan joined these armed groups and came in conflict with the local authorities. Cattle rustling is another source of conflict, as well as the widening gap between rich and poor tribes as a result of the modern methods of agriculture employed by some tribes. From 1972 to 1975, more displacements took place as the Menuvu felt themselves victimized by the Marcos regime and so joined the mnlf to fight alongside the Maguindanaon against government soldiers who were considered allies of the Bisayan. Thus, more Maguindanaon and Menuvu lands were occupied by the ilaga. In the 1980s, some political leaders armed local leaders—mostly Bisayan—to fight against the mnlf. In the 1990s, the milf gained more power and set up perimeter defenses in its areas. There were massacres and ambushes. The boundary dispute between the two provinces arose. There were legal and illegal land disputes. There were instances when Menuvu and Maguindanaon were claiming same areas. Leaders of the indigenous peoples were armed by local executives to go against the Maguindanaon and Iranun. The Pentagon, a kidnap-for-ransom group, based itself in the area. All these contributed to heightening inter-tribal conflict. Since 2000, the proliferation of firearms, illegal occupations of lands, and displacement of peoples have continued unabated. Although the Menuvu and Maguindanao are the principals in the conflict, Bisayan involved

RIDO V2.indd 171

10/4/2007 8:23:36 AM

172 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

with government and multinational corporations, as well as politicians and business people, are also perceived as indirectly involved in the conflict. Factors That Prolonged Inter-ethnic Rido
TABLE 4. Frequency and Percentage of Factors which Prolonged or Aggravated Rido

Elements/Dynamics 1. Ideological conflict (AFP vs MNLF or MILF wars) 2. Vendetta killings, massacres, harassment, ambushes 3. Land disputes 4.“Third-party” intervention (Pentagon, SARCOM, politicians, businessmen, etc. 5. Loss of culture and traditions 6. Rampant cattle rustling 7. Recruitment of either group into armed groups (AFP/CAFGU, MILF, MNLF, etc.) 8. Others: a) cultural discrimination b) No concrete solutions given to problems c) Establishment of MILF perimeter defense d) Political boundary conflict between North Cotabato and Bukidnon e) Rumors Total

Frequency 36 34 26 16 14 11 7

% 23.08 21.79 16.67 10.26 8.97 7.05 4.49

12 156

7.69 100.00

Almost one-fourth of the 156 responses consider “ideological conflict (afp vs. mnlf or milf wars)” as the major factor that has prolonged rido. The ilaga is no longer mentioned. The next most frequently mentioned factor is “vendetta killings, massacres, harassment, ambushes.” This shows how rido is self-perpetuating. The third is “land disputes” (16.67%) followed by “third parties” like the Pentagon group which is perceived to be fomenting rido to make it easier to continue its kidnapping activities. Sarcom (Sariling Command), another armed group, is also seen as interested in prolonging the rido since their services and weapons can be sold to conflicting sides. Respondents also believe that some politicians and business people want rido to continue to advance their political and business interests. The fifth cause of rido prolongation is the “loss of culture and traditions” where conflicts can no longer be resolved through the traditional ways but are brought instead to government officials like the barangay chairperson or the lupong tagapamayapa (arbitration board). This process is alien and tedious to those involved and thus often fails. The next factor, “rampant cattle rustling,” is committed by lawless elements who take advantage of the situation. “Recruitment of either group into armed groups” is number seven on the list. Most of the Menuvu prefer to join the afp/cafgu while the Maguindanao usually join the milf or mnlf where they gain firearms to use against tribal enemies.

RIDO V2.indd 172

10/4/2007 8:23:36 AM

Understanding Inter-Ethnic Conflicts In North Cotabato and Bukidnon || 173

“No concrete solution given to problems” means that persons in authority, both traditional and constitutional, have not come up with definite solution to end rido. They may apprehend individuals and extract promises from them to stop the violence, but usuallly very light or no sanctions at all are given and the fighting continues. The perimeter defenses of the milf, that usually include military camps, are also perceived as prolonging rido. When the milf declares an area as a perimeter defense, it becomes off limits to all non-milf members who may be presumed to be enemies. Problems arise when the areas for such defenses include Menuvu farms. Even if the Menuvu gain permission to work their land, they can be caught in the crossfire should fighting erupt. They often also have to give the milf a share of the harvest. The conflict over provincial boundaries is also perceived as an aggravating factor. Effects of Inter-ethnic Rido on the Communities
TABLE 5. Frequency and Percentage of Effects of Rido on the Communities Effects of Rido 1. Evacuation 2. Damages to crops and properties 3. Sickness, hunger and death 4. Burning of houses 5. Misunderstanding and shattered relations 6. Trauma 7. Civilians are implicated in wars 8. Others: a) Loss of respect of both tribes towards each other b) Poverty c) Loss of farm animals d) Discrimination e) Widened gap between the two tribes f) Children’s schooling stoppedg)Unstable peace and order Total Frequency 23 19 18 13 13 11 8 16 % 19.01 15.70 14.88 10.74 10.74 9.09 6.61 13.22



Most respondents point to evacuation as the major effect of rido (19.01%). People were driven from their homes to live in evacuation shelters or with their relatives. Damage to crops and property is second in frequency as people have to leave behind crops, livestock, and agricultural implements which would eventually be lost. The third most frequent effect is “sickness, hunger, and death,” due to cramped and unhygienic conditions in evacuation centers. Burning of homes also created much pain as people lost everything they owned,

RIDO V2.indd 173

10/4/2007 8:23:37 AM

174 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

including precious possessions. Burning of homes was intended not only to drive people away but to keep them away permanently. Still, those who had nowhere else to go eventually returned to rebuild their lives despite the hardship. Misunderstanding and shattered relations between the two tribes ranked number five. Because of the trauma, ranked number six, people have lived in constant fear and many have taken up arms. Responses show that the two tribes have lost respect for each other. Many of them have been reduced to poverty by war. Their children had to give up school as classrooms became shelters and teachers fled. To the rural folk, their children’s education is seen as a way out of poverty. Role of Land Ownership in Rido Land plays a significant role in this conflict. For the Maguindanaon, land is the third principal side in the symbolic triangle that makes their lives meaningful, with Allah—who governs everything—being the first, and the people who worship God being the second. When land is taken away from the worshippers, it is tantamount to taking away their religion. For the indigenous people, life is a circle where their land, identity, and survival are enclosed. Taking away their land means taking away their life, identity, culture, and survival. Land is connected to their tribal governance and has political significance and economic value. Relation of Rido to Ideological Conflict At a deeper level, this conflict has to do with ideology. The Maguindanaon believe in their right to self-determination; the Menuvu in their right to tribal governance, to live by their own culture. For the Maguindanaon, the ideological aspect of the conflict is accentuated by the liberation groups like the mnlf and milf, while for the indigenous peoples, this is accentuated by the fact that they have yet to agree on a collective name—lumad, or highlander, or cultural communities. While peace pacts made by Maguindanaon communities are subject to approval of “higher” authorities like the milf, the indigenous peoples’ communities are free to chart their own course to peace. Traditional/ Indigenous Systems of Resolving Inter-ethnic Rido Most respondents mentioned the bangon system as a means of settling violent conflict. Bangon literally means “to raise” or “to restore.” It is believed

RIDO V2.indd 174

10/4/2007 8:23:37 AM

Understanding Inter-Ethnic Conflicts In North Cotabato and Bukidnon || 175

that violence degrades the victim, the community, as well as the aggressor. Bangon raises them up or restores them to their original state and relationships before the commission of violence. In the presence of the aggressor, the elders and community members discuss the reasons and extent of the violence and the proper reparations. The discussion usually ends with the aggressor offering his animals for the symbolic cleansing of the community and repairing his ties with the victim. For instance, three carabaos or horses—one for having committed the crime, one for healing the community, and one for restoring good relations with the victim—may be offered by the aggressor. The bangon is done through a ritual called pamaras. The second method of resolving rido is called sapa, where the culprit agrees not to repeat the offense under pain of incurring curses and sanctions. The third method is “elders dialogue,” where elders of the Menuvu (timuays) and elders of the Maguindanaon (datus) meet to talk over instances of violence committed between members of their respective tribes. This is generally the way cases brought before the community is settled. Every tribal village has a council of elders. Whenever trouble occurs in a community, the offender is often related to one or more members of the council who will want to see the matter settled. The elders arrive at a compromise. The council can also resort to bangon. The fourth method of conflict resolution is through the application of husay or settlement. This is the indigenous court of justice that is presided by a village leader who is so acknowledged because of his wealth, education, wisdom, bravery or any other outstanding trait, or a combination of these. The offender and the victim are brought before this leader who will ask them the facts of the case and their views on how justice may better be served. If the three agree on the manner of rendering justice, the agreement is implemented. Sanctions are usually imposed. In cases of stealing, restitution of what was stolen is required. A penalty may also be imposed. If the conflict caused injury, the costs of medical treatments are asked to be paid and a possible penalty imposed. If killing is involved, bangon may be resorted to.
TABLE 6. Frequency and Percentage of the Traditional Systems Mentioned as Methods of Settling Rido in the Communities Traditional Systems 1. Application of bangon system 2. Sapa 3. Elders’ (timuays and datus) dialogue 4. Application of husay system 5. Customs and Traditions (adat) system 6. Application of umpongan policy 7. Signing of covenants 8. Tamped Frequency 19 15 15 14 9 9 8 7 % 15.20 12.00 12.00 11.20 7.20 7.20 6.40 5.60

RIDO V2.indd 175

10/4/2007 8:23:37 AM

176 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao
(CON’D) TABLE 6. Frequency and Percentage of the Traditional Systems Mentioned as Methods of Settling Rido in the Communities 9. Others: a) Bametara b) Diande c) Kukuman d) Pamarase Bagkes f) Daway g) Lindero h) Shari’ah court i) Tempura te balagen j) Putlanan Total

29 125

23.20 100.00

Recommendations Three traditional systems of settling violent conflicts were mentioned in the recommendations. These include all the general processes. Table 8 gives the comparison of these same or similar items.
TABLE 7. Frequency and Percentage of the Recommendations of the Communities for Settling Rido in the Communities Recommendations 1. Revival of the old people’s system 2. Peace dialogues by the tribal elders 3. Covenant signing (diande) 4. Unity of the tri-people 5. Coordination and consultations 6. LGUs/NGOs support to tribal systems and programs 7. Avoid 3rd-party interventions 8. Settlement of political boundary of North Cotabato and Bukidnon 9. Others a) Intermarriages b) Reconciliation programs c) Determine leaders of each tribe d) No return of Moro in High Point e) Back to history (researches) f) Mediation by LGUs/NGOs g) Strengthening and implementation of peace covenants h) Moro-IP youth peace assemblies i) Moro-IP promotion of understanding j) Minimize luxuries k) Immediate return of IDPs l) Rehabilitation supports to returning IDPs m) Survey of ancestral domains n) Assistance to remote schools o) Respect of other tribe’s culture Total Frequency 17 16 14 13 12 12 10 10 22 % 13.49 12.70 11.11 10.32 9.52 9.52 7.94 7.94 17.46



RIDO V2.indd 176

10/4/2007 8:23:37 AM

Understanding Inter-Ethnic Conflicts In North Cotabato and Bukidnon || 177
TABLE 8. Similar Items in Traditional Systems and in the Recommendations for Settling Rido in the Communities Traditional Systems 3. Elders’ (Timuays and Datus) Dialogues 3. Elders’ (Timuays and Datus) Dialogues 5. Customs and Traditions (adat) system 7. Signing of Covenants Recommendations 5. Coordination and consultations 2. Peace dialogues by the tribal elders 9.o) Respect of the other tribe’s culture and traditions 3. Covenant Signing (Diande)

Although bangon is a specific method, it is used in most cases where violence has been inflicted. In that sense, it is a general method. Since the questions raised in the workshops were open ended and the traditional methods were not presented to the communities as specific choices for their recommendations, it is remarkable that the respondents recommended the same general methods. This shows the shared values and perspectives of the community that was present in the various workshop groups. Recommendations • Promote and strengthen mediation and peace dialogues among timuays and datus of conflicting parties. • Provide relief and rehabilitation assistance, including psycho-social services, to returning internally displaced persons (idps), • Form and strengthen mechanisms like the council of elders to implement peace pacts. • Conduct research projects on Menuvu and Maguindanaon culture, and the customary and traditional systems of resolving conflict. • Settle with finality the boundary issue between North Cotabato and Bukidnon. • Form Moro-indigenous peoples youth peace assemblies and consultations. • Expedite applications for ancestral domain claims of the Moro-indigenous peoples. References
Hyppolyt A. S. Pul. Exclusion, Association and Violence: Trends and Triggers in Northern Ghana’s Konkomba-Dagomba Wars. www.ethnonet-africa.org/ p95pubs.php - Internet. Accessed 30 September 2004. Kauffman, Stuart J. Modern Hatreds: The Symbolic Politics of Ethnic War. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. highbeam.com/library/doc0.asp?docid=1G1: 120190127&refid=ink_tptd_mag. Accessed 26 September 2004.

RIDO V2.indd 177

10/4/2007 8:23:38 AM

178 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao Kownslar, A. O. and T. L. Smart. People and Our World A Study of World History. New York: Holt and Rinehart and Winston, 1981. Llorca, Raymond. “Maratabat Society and the Non-Maranao.”The Technician (July 1986): 108-129. Obioha, Emeka E. A. Ethnic Conflicts and the Problem of Resolution in Contemporary Africa: A Case for African Options and Alternatives. www.eldis.org/static/ DOC10376.htm. Accessed 24 September 2004. Rodil, B. R. “The Indigenous Peoples’ Quest for Homelands.” Notre Dame Journal, 30, 2 (2001): 98-109. Sakili, Abraham P. “Muslim Perspective of the Mindanao Problem.” Kasarinlan 11, 3 & 4 (1996): 116-129. Varshney, Ashutosh. Ethnic Conflict and Civic Life. www.alibris.com/search/search. cfm?qisbn=3001001321

RIDO V2.indd 178

10/4/2007 8:23:38 AM

|| 179

Cheap Guns, Costly Feuds
By Carolyn O. Arguillas in Jolo, Sulu ETTLING CLAN feuds doesn’t come cheap in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). When government and rebel forces get dragged into the conflict, it can trigger a full-blown war and cost taxpayers millions of pesos. The feuds almost always end up bloody because guns are affordable and available in the ARMM. Senior Supt. Suaibon Jalad, the provincial police chief, says reports reaching him indicate that in the black market, an M-14 costs P50,000 while an M-16 Armalite costs P35,000. In Lanao del Sur, an M-14 reportedly costs P60,000, an M-16 Armalite, P40,000. In Maguindanao, both firearms are reportedly available for P25,000 each. Normally, branded firearms cost P90,000 to P100,000 each. Because guns are cheap in the area, bullets are cheap, too: P18 for an M-14 and P12 for an M-16 in Sulu. In Lanao del Sur, an M-14 bullet is cheaper at P10 while an M-16 bullet costs between P11 and P12. In Maguindanao, an M-16 bullet costs P16. Usually, bullets cost P50 each. (Several reports have indicated that the firearms and bullets are bought from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, a claim the AFP denies, or from soldiers who want to earn extra cash. In the July 2003 failed Oakwood mutiny, this was among the complaints aired by junior military officers.) Jalad estimates that some 10,000 loose firearms are spread across Sulu’s 18 towns. The figure may even be low, he says. “Before, each house had a gun. People up there in the mountains, almost every household had a gun.” The guns are not licensed because “there is no license for long firearms and these are all long firearms.” The M-14s and M-16s are not the only firearms used in clan feuds. In the island town


of Siasi, for instance, clans shoot each other using mortars. “They don’t use small firearms. They use mortars, machine guns,” priest Jose Ante of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate says. He has been in Sulu for 24 years. In the ARMM areas of Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, and the Islamic city of Marawi, there are around 35,000 loose firearms as of the first week of November 2004, says ARMM regional police chief Supt. Sukarno Ikbala. This figure includes the 9,000-10,000 firearms of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Unreported Crimes Jalad acknowledges that the threat posed by the Abu Sayyaf has declined. These days, “most of the crimes here are purely on personal feuds and personal grudges” or what is commonly referred to as family or clan feuds or rido in Maranao and Maguindanao. Jalad, a Tausug, says it is called kontrakontra here. Ikbala, also a Tausug, says another term for it is banta-banta. The regional trend is similar to Sulu’s. In fact, Ikbala takes pride in saying that ARMM has “the lowest crime rate” in the entire country. “Robbery and theft cases are few.” Based on reported cases, perhaps ARMM may, indeed, register the lowest crime rate. Many crimes, however, end up unreported in this region where guns can easily snuff out the lives of witnesses. Ikbala says there have been no recent kidnappings in the ARMM. The Abu Sayyaf is now “playing hide-and-seek,” and many of them have surrendered. There have also been very few skirmishes between the government and the MILF as the ceasefire forged July last year is still holding. “What we have now are the rido,” Ikbala says. In Sulu, “almost every month, you can

RIDO V2.indd 179

10/4/2007 8:23:38 AM

180 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao
expect an encounter or firefight between two factions. Almost every weekend we introduce a solution to this through peaceful means, through amicable settlement,” says Jalad. Every month, “you can expect two or three incidents” of family feuds, but “some other months, zero.” He says, “But if you get the average, it [happens] once a month.” At the time of the interview in September, Jalad and his team had just arrived from Luuk town “to pacify” the armed groups involved in a kontra-kontra. He doesn’t remember a kontra-kontra that ended in a full-blown war in Sulu. Blood Money But in Maguindanao, rido has repeatedly threatened the peace talks, especially when warring clans seek the intercession of clan members who are either in the military or the MILF. Moro clans are huge because a man can have four wives. Jalad says they put themselves in the middle of the warring parties so a ceasefire can be declared. They also tried out an experiment: they got the warring parties to sign a covenant in English and Tausug. The understanding was that if one side started making trouble, government forces would help the other side. But clans, especially those that are influential, apparently are well aware that government forces—the police or the military—have inferior arms. Jalad says that 20 percent of police personnel nationwide have no firearms. In fact, he adds, a former ARMM police chief made it a requirement for police applicants to buy their own firearms. Jalad says they succeeded in settling a kontra-kontra in Luuk town with the help of Mayor Abdurahman Arbison, the mayor’s son Rep. Munir Arbison, and Gov. Benjamin Loong “whose office is taking charge of the expenses incurred during the amicable settlement.” But for a province that relies heavily on internal revenue allotment to survive, settling a banta-banta or kontra-kontra eats such a huge chunk of the meager budget pie. From the main headquarters in Jolo, going to the conflict areas—whether in the mainland or in the islands—already requires a huge expense in transportation. “Houses could burn down during the firefight, so the provincial government gives a little amount in order that these victims could rebuild their houses,” Jalad says. To respond to the relief and rehabilitation of the affected villages, the municipal and provincial governments draw from their calamity funds. Ikbala says that, in some instances, when talks between the warring parties are in danger of collapsing because one party has not raised the blood money it has to pay to the other, the LGU helps put up the blood money. Western vs. Traditional Laws Ikbala says the regional police have undergone seminars on conflict resolution. Recently, they listened to North Upi Mayor Ramon Piang deliver a lecture on tapping traditional ways in resolving conflicts. Ikbala says the first phase was identifying the feuding families and the stakeholders, and identifying as well whom the warring forces will listen to. The second phase was the seminar. For Governor Loong, focusing on a “massive livelihood program” is one way of solving these feuds. “Sometimes, the conflict stems from economic problems.” Ante says he wanted former Mayor Ibrahim “Toto” Paglas of Datu Paglas, Maguindanao, to “give a testimony or influence people here because his father was killed by the other clan, but he did not institute a revenge. His brother was also killed, but he did not seek revenge in spite of pressures from his relatives. So he is a kind of hope. People can change if they really want to.” Ante, former president of the Notre Dame University, also notes how governance or the

RIDO V2.indd 180

10/4/2007 8:23:39 AM

|| 181 lack of it impacts on the clan feuds in the areas. “I think one of the other reasons for the rido is the lack of governance. Criminals are not punished and caught, so [there is a tendency to think that] in order to protect your family, you have to take up arms, otherwise the whole family will be eliminated.” The “non-integration of Western laws and the traditional laws” also contributed to the problem, Ante points out. Even in the 1960s, he says, even if the courts decided to free an accused because he was found to be innocent under our criminal law system, the accused would be killed by the complainants once he was out of the courtroom. “There was no acceptance [of the criminal law system]. It had not been really integrated into their mindset that this is justice,” he said. In Siasi, where Ante is based, classes are suspended when clans start shooting each other. In the past, a rido would be “settled” with military troops arriving in the area. But this year, Ante says, “the new mayor stepped in and talked to the warring parties.” The previous mayor, he says, was often out of the island town and governance was practically nil. “Now the mayor is around. That is definitely an improvement. See [what] the mere presence of the mayor [can do]?” Since martial law, absenteeism among town officials has been plaguing Siasi and the rest of Sulu and other ARMM areas. Instead of governing their towns, some mayors choose to stay in the nearest cities or provincial capitals. Sulu’s newly elected governor, however, got the vice governor, congressmen, and town mayors to attend a seminar on bridge leadership in cooperation with the Asian Institute of Management-Mirant Center for Bridging Societal Divides and the Asia Foundation. At the end of the seminar on August 8, they signed a “Sulu Leaders’ Covenant for Collaborative Action for Sustainable Peace and Prosperity.” Acknowledging the problems collectively in the nine-page covenant signed by elective officials from different political parties is a giant leap forward for Sulu. Although it would take some time to turn around things, the challenge now is how they would collectively ensure that the action plans in the covenant are implemented. “I told our mayors, we are all CEOs [chief executive officers] of our localities. When you’re a CEO, you should be innovative, you should be creative. If you don’t know, send someone to study or study yourself or get a consultant,” Loong said. But the first thing a CEO must do is to be present in his turf so he would know the problem, understand it, and solve it. In Sulu, the days of governing by remote control from either Jolo or Zamboanga should, hopefully, be over. • Originally published in MindaNews. Reprinted in Newsbreak (January 3/17, 2005) This article was submitted to NEWSBREAK in early November 2004, before the author, together with photojournalist Gene Boyd Lumawag, went back to Sulu for another assignment, this time for Mindanews. It was on the second assignment that Lumawag was shot dead in downtown Jolo by still unidentified assailants.

RIDO V2.indd 181

10/4/2007 8:23:40 AM

182 ||

Women Who Dare
By Gemma B. Bagayaua in Maguindanao ATI-I AKO! Si Babu iyo!” (I am here, your aunty!) These words, spoken by Tarhata Lucman, a slightly built woman of royal blood, could barely be heard amid the sound of gunfire that morning in Tugaya, a remote town in the neighboring province of Lanao del Sur. This was sometime in 1987, and the scene was not a shootout between soldiers and rebels. It was a fight between young men belonging to two distantly related families, which have been in conflict with each other for decades. Princess Tarhata, in her 50s and governor of Lanao del Sur at the time, was herself related to both families. Bad blood between the two families— known in these parts as rido—started in the ‘50s, the result of rivalry between two suitors over a girl. This turned into a full-scale war when one of the suitors murdered the other after they attended a local gathering. Their families were soon locked in a war that lasted three decades and killed many of the town’s promising young leaders. Earlier that morning in 1987, another member of one of the families had been killed by members of the rival family. The victim’s relatives were bent on getting back at his killers. Blood could have flowed once again had Princess Tarhata not positioned herself physically in between the warring camps. Regarded highly among her people, she managed to calm down the combatants enough to enable the victim’s killers to seek refuge in her Marawi City home. She then prevailed upon the other family not to retaliate anymore, stressing that the cycle of violence had to end. To this day, Princess Tarhata remains a regal and commanding presence. When NEWSBREAK interviewed her in September, she was still involved in resolving at least 10 ongoing rido cases in Lanao even if she had long retired from politics. Why Women Princess Tarhata is not the only woman here who is known for intervening in conflicts between families. Paradoxically, in a society where females often take the backseat, women, particularly those who are regarded highly in the community, are often called upon to help resolve rido cases. In Matanog town, this province, 54-yearold Hadji Sitti Imam is known to have helped settle at least 10 rido cases. She once settled a case involving the family of her uncle (her father’s brother) who was killed by her uncle-in-law (her husband’s uncle). By tradition, the family of the murdered man would have considered it their duty to retaliate. It is all part of defending the family’s maratabat, loosely defined as family pride. To prevent more killings, Imam decided to intervene. “I did not want any more trouble because they are neighbors,” she said. She asked her husband’s family to have the culprit jailed and give the family of the dead man blood money. After the victim’s family received the blood money, a ritual gathering of the two clans—called kanduli—was held in Marantao, the village in Matanog where the families live. During the ceremony, the heads of the two families were made to swear upon the Koran that no further hostilities would ensue. At the moment, Imam is mediating a conflict between her uncle, the former mayor of Matanog, and the incumbent mayor who is the nephew of her husband. As in other aspects of governance and politics here, women are often given the backseat when it comes to official conflict mediation. But they play crucial roles in settling conflicts between families because,


RIDO V2.indd 182

10/4/2007 8:23:41 AM

|| 183 as locals point out, families here are often matriarchal in nature. “On the surface, the men make the decisions. But at home, they always consult their wives,” says Tarhata Maglangit, head of the Regional Commission on Bangsamoro Women. Losing Manly Pride Women are both protected and highly regarded in local Muslim society, explains Zenaida Tawagon, leader of a nongovernment organization in Marawi City and herself involved in settling rido cases. A woman’s murder during a rido, she says, commands a higher price in terms of blood money. Thus, unless the rido started with the murder of a woman, a man is considered a coward if he retaliates by killing a woman. Perhaps for this reason, women are able to penetrate places where nobody would go because there is an existing rido, says Tawagon. In one case, she recalls, women were sent by the family of a man killed during a rido to get his body. Aminah Paglas of the Alliance of Concerned Women for Development in Buldon, Maguindanao, says that women are sent as emissaries in conflict resolution because they are often more patient and less hotheaded than men. Paglas recalls that her mother had played peacemaker in conflicts between their own relatives. What makes women crucial in peacemaking is the concept of maratabat, says Koko Lucman, a son of Princess Tarhata. “It is an insult for the family of a man if he is the one to initiate peace talk,” Lucman says. “It’s like losing your manly pride.” It is a lot easier if a woman initiates the talks, he explains. Qualifications Not everybody can play peacemaker, though. One has to be highly esteemed in society to be able to intervene in a rido, says Maglangit. For instance, people in her town listen to Imam because not only is she the daughter of a datu; she has been selected as the local bai alabi—a rank equal to princess in the Christian world. Keeping the peace is one of the traditional responsibilities of a bai alabi, says Princess Tarhata—who has been asked but refused to serve as bai alabi. Her father, the late Senator Alauya Alonto, was a Maranao sultan. Tawagon, on the other hand, is the wife of a sultan in Marawi. The mediator must be able to show the parties involved that she is impartial, Imam says. “She must be fair. Not the sort who betrays.” Education, particularly knowledge of the Koran, is also important because Koranic teachings are often cited by mediators in persuading combatants to reconcile with their rivals, says Linda Burton, a professor at the Xavier University who is studying rido cases. “Islam is peace,” explains Princess Tarhata. “This is because our prophet is a trader. You can’t trade if there is war.” Princess Tarhata, whose family owns the Jamaitul Philippine Al Islamiyah—the first Islamic school in Marawi where both English and Arabic subjects are taught—is considered very highly educated, Burton says. On the other hand, while Imam may not have been schooled in the national education system, she is considered highly learned in Islamic teachings. As a young maiden, her daughter recalls, Imam was champion of a Koran Reading Contest in the former town of Bugasan (now divided into the towns of Parang, Buldon, Matanog, and Barira). No Easy Task Playing the mediator is not for the weak of heart. If one fails to handle matters well, one can invite trouble or unwittingly get caught in the crossfire. Yet these women dare to break through the barriers between combating parties in order to wage peace. It has not been easy. Young men nowadays are much more hotheaded, says Imam.

RIDO V2.indd 183

10/4/2007 8:23:41 AM

184 ||
And, she adds, guns are much easier to acquire now, unlike before when men fought using only their bolos. Which is why Princess Tarhata, who shares Imam’s views on the matter, is campaigning for a general disarmament. To be an effective mediator, one also has to be a person of means because sometimes the mediator is called upon to chip in for the blood money required to appease an aggrieved party. Tawagon recalls having to spend for the hospitalization of somebody injured in an automobile accident to prevent hostilities between the family of the injured and the family of the other party in the accident. She also hosted the kanduli between the two parties at her own house. Tawagon was a relative of one of the parties in the case. Another case that Tawagon resolved involved a land dispute. To settle matters, she had to buy the property in order to give it to the other family. That family later paid her in installment but at a much-reduced price. But Tawagon considers it money well spent. “This is how we help each other.” • Newsbreak (December 20, 2004)

RIDO V2.indd 184

10/4/2007 8:23:41 AM

|| 185

It’s All About Power
By Gemma B. Bagayaua in Maguindanao Newsbreak Staff writer As his routine would have it, Abdulkadir Candao, 65, drove his two young children to school on the morning of Feb. 3, 2003. On that particular Monday, however, the family didn’t reach Notre Dame University, which was around 30 minutes away from their house in Cotabato City. Armed men riding a motorcycle intercepted their car and opened fire. The children, aged 10 and 9, were unharmed, but their father died. The Candaos are convinced—and have openly said—that the brains behind the murder is Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan. There’s been bad blood between their families for some time. In the gubernatorial race two years earlier, Ampatuan defeated Abdulkadir’s younger brother, Zacaria Candao. The latter filed a protest before the Commission on Elections, alleging that he was cheated. At the time of his death, Abdulkadir was his brother’s chief security officer. The principal suspect in his murder, a certain Boy Bangkuri, was reportedly Ampatuan’s chief of security. Vendetta killings resulting from family feuds, locally known as rido, are common in these parts. Rido can be ignited by any affront to a family’s pride or maratabat. It could be anything from a verbal slight or a quarrel over women and property. The Candaos and Ampatuans are a particular concern, however, because government soldiers and Muslim rebels, particularly the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), have been dragged into their feud. There have been times when clashes between the two groups were rooted in the dispute between the two families. This has hampered the peace process involving the government and the MILF. Governor Ampatuan is related to two key figures in the Arroyo government. One is Simeon Datumanong, who was justice secretary at the time of Abdulkadir’s murder, and now Maguidanao congressman once more. Another is Zamzamin Ampatuan, head of the Office on Muslim Affairs, a government unit directly under the Office of the President. The President’s victory in Maguindanao in the 2004 election is largely attributed to the support of the Ampatuans. For his part, Zacaria Candao doesn’t hold any government position now, but his family remains a force to reckon with in the local political scene. In 1976, President Ferdinand Marcos appointed Candao as Maguindanao governor. From 1990 to 1993, he served as governor of what would become the forerunner of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). From 1995 to 2001, he was the governor of Maguindanao, but lost to Ampatuan in his reelection bid in 2001. Candao has openly accused the military in Maguindanao of partisanship and of orchestrating his loss in the 2001 elections. Government troops, he claimed then, refused to allow his poll watchers into the precincts of some towns. Candao was the legal counsel of the now-mainstream Moro National Liberation Front, and has been tagged by the military as a supporter of the rebel MILF. More Casualties Abdulkadir Candao is not the only casualty of this feud; two nephews were also killed before him. On March 17, 2002, Murad Bajunaid was abducted and was later reported by locals to have been killed with a chain saw. His body was never found. On Jan. 19, 2003, Abdullah Datumanong was abducted and, eyewitnesses reported, was burned alive. The two Candao nephews were last seen in the town of Shariff Aguak, Ampatuan’s bailiwick. The Ampatuans also lost relatives. In September 2001, MindaNews quoted a

RIDO V2.indd 185

10/4/2007 8:23:42 AM

186 ||
statement from the office of Governor Ampatuan that said Ashgal Ampatuan, a nephew of the governor and brother of Mayor Akmad Ampatuan of Mamasapano town, was killed in a clash between government troops and the MILF in Barangay Tatapan in Shariff Aguak. On Dec. 24, 2002, a homemade bomb exploded during a party inside the house of Saudie Ampatuan, mayor of Datu Piang town and son of the governor. Saudi and 12 persons were killed. The governor himself claims to have survived a number of ambush tries. In an interview with NEWSBREAK, Norie Unas, provincial administrator and spokesperson of the governor, denied any feud between the Ampatuans and the Candaos. “We do not mind them now,” he said, referring to the Candaos. “You can say that they are now politically irrelevant.” Bangkuri, according to Unas, was not personally connected to the governor, but was assigned to the latter officially from his mother unit in the military. “When we learned that he was a suspect, we let him go.” Previously, however, Unas invariably blamed Governor Ampatuan’s political rivals and the MILF as those behind the attempts on the governor’s life. In the case of the clash that resulted in his nephew’s death, the governor noted in a statement that the MILF elements who attacked Shariff Aguak were led by Ustadz Ameril Umbra Kato, reportedly an ally of former Governor Candao. In the death of Saudie Ampatuan, reports quoted Zamzamin Ampatuan as saying that the MILF targeted Saudie because the latter was pro-military. During the interview, Unas took pains to point out the links between the Candao and the MILF. He said Candao was responsible for the creation of the MILF. “It was an open secret here at the time that he was funding the MILF.” Another proof of Candao’s MILF links, according to Unas, is the fact that he won as governor despite having no bailiwick of his own. “He enjoys popularity due to the MILF.” Maguindanao, Unas said, is the breeding ground of the MILF. “They are all over the place.” Convinced of the MILF threat, Ampatuan, who now moves about in a Humvee, called on the military to increase its presence in the area. The military obliged. Worse, a military official says, the Army in the area allowed the governor to maintain a virtual private army of at least 500 civilians. A military source privy to the operations of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (Cafgu) told NEWSBREAK, however, that there are two companies that receive orders from the governor. Each Cafgu company, the source said, has at least 88 personnel. The Cafgus were originally deployed to provide security for a Philippine-Malaysian venture that was supposed to establish a tapioca and cassava plantation in Talayan town, but they were never disbanded when the project didn’t push through. The source said the governor and the mayors allied with him also maintain a total of about 300 armed civilian volunteers. Considered part of the government’s territorial defense system, civilian volunteer organizations (CVOs) are supposed to gather vital information on peace and order concerns within a locality and pass this on to proper authorities. Under the Local Government Code, they are supposed to remain unarmed. CVOs organized by the local government officials in Maguindanao, however, are fully armed. Private Army Maintaining such an army requires resources. A confidential AFP memorandum on the effects of the family feuds in Maguindanao, issued in November 2004, noted that the National Police and the military have been providing the CVOs with guns and ammunition. The families of those recruited into the

RIDO V2.indd 186

10/4/2007 8:23:42 AM

|| 187 CVOs and the special Cafgus are housed in “core shelters built by the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development).” Governed by unclear links to the military chain of command, members of the CVOs and special Cafgus, according to the memorandum, have pillaged and looted communities that are supposedly sympathetic to the MILF. It added that communities affected by these atrocities often seek the protection of the MILF because they perceive the military to be partial to the Ampatuans and his political allies. Making the situation worse is the fact that a number of CVO and special Cafgu members—and even the Ampatuans themselves—have separate feuds with members of the MILF or their relatives. In a number of instances, sources both from the military and the MILF said, skirmishes that brought the military to MILF camps were actually sparked by personal feuds between members of these civilian units and some MILF members who were trying to protect their relatives. In many instances, the MILF is unable to control its members, the military source said. Unas denies that the military has no control over the Cafgus in Maguindanao. They do take commands from the governor, he says, but only because “they can’t possibly get their orders from the MILF.” As for alleged abuses committed by the Cafgus, Unas says that people are just out to smear the reputation of the civilian units because they can’t attack the government while the Cafgus are there. People are also hurling accusations at Ampatuan, Unas says, because “we are pursuing reforms in a non-violent way.” The memorandum presented several solutions to this situation. One is to replace the 37th Infantry Battalion, which has been assigned in Maguindanao for almost four years now. Members of the battalion have apparently become friends of local officials. As a result, according to the memorandum, many of the unit’s personnel have gotten “deeply involved in the rido system.” Another proposed solution is to impose penalties on military commanders who provide logistical support to the armed CVOs, and to implement more stringent measures in controlling the special Cafgu units. These are short-term solutions. The final solution to the problem is obviously to resolve existing family feuds. But since the Candao-Ampatuan feud is rooted in political rivalry, it’s not easy to solve. In the ARMM, clashes resulting from electoral conflicts have been avoided by dividing local government units between major clans. This meant carving new municipalities from the existing ones. This is particularly true in Maguindanao, where seven new municipalities have been created since 2001. Unas said that by partitioning the municipalities between the main, “deserving” contenders, the time and efforts that otherwise would have been spent to “heal” problems resulting from the tight contest can be used for other purposes. A bill seeking to divide the province of Maguindanao is pending before the Regional Legislative Assembly (RLA). Locals say this is being floated as a solution to the CandaoAmpatuan feud. The proposal seeks to carve from Maguindanao the new province of the Iranons. The Iranon tribe occupies the towns that are close to the boundaries of Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur. Sultan Kudarat, the hometown of Candao, is one of those towns. Unas denies that the proposal is linked to the Candao-Ampatuan feud. He said that the proposal to split the province stemmed from the Iranons’ desire to find their identity, and that Ampatuan, during the 2001 campaign, promised to work on this. Unas said it was Candao who vetoed the bill when he was still governor. In an interview with NEWSBREAK, Candao said he favors the creation of the Iranon

RIDO V2.indd 187

10/4/2007 8:23:42 AM

188 ||
province. President Arroyo is receptive to the idea, he said. During his term as governor, Candao said he thumbed down the proposal because the new province would cut across boundaries of legislative districts, and the RLA was supposedly not empowered to allow that. A new province will give Candao his own turf. But questions on which towns will be carved out of Maguindanao continue to hamper the bill’s progress. At present, sources say, the bill is gathering dust in the RLA dockets. Whether it passes the legislative mill remains to be seen. And even if it does, it is doubtful that creating too many fiefdoms will bring peace and progress to this troubled province. • Newbreak (February 28, 2005)

RIDO V2.indd 188

10/4/2007 8:23:43 AM


A marine contingent was stationed in this ghost village in Bayang, Lanao del Sur, where scores of houses were burned because of rido.

Because loose firearms are aplenty in Lanao del Sur, ridos have become more violent.


RIDO V2.indd 189

10/4/2007 8:23:43 AM


Real cannons and grenade launchers are like toys for children inside the former Camp Abubakre of the MILF in Butig, Lanao del Sur.


They teach them young in Lanao del Sur, like this girl getting firing lessons from an MILF combatant in what used to be Camp Abubakre in Butig town.

RIDO V2.indd 190

10/4/2007 8:23:44 AM



With the police headquarters abandoned, nobody is there to help control rido in a village in Bayang, Lanao del Sur. A Maranao boy (inset) contemplates his future in a rido-ridden village in Bayang, Lanao del Sur. His family’s house, which is facing Lake Lanao, has several holes like those on the right because of enemy fire.

RIDO V2.indd 191

10/4/2007 8:23:46 AM


A once beautiful two-storey house in Bayang, Lanao del Sur, is now abandoned, its walls riddled with machine gun bullets.


Residents flee a Maguindanao village where warring clans engage in a rido.

RIDO V2.indd 192

10/4/2007 8:23:53 AM


Iligan Mayor Franklin Quijano listens to a bereaved Maranao, whose son was killed in a rido in the hinterlands of Iligan. This photo was taken in 2000.


An elderly Maguindanawon thanks MILF leader Benjamin Midtimbang (right) and Army Maj. Dickson Hermoso (in vest) for stopping armed clashes in her village.

RIDO V2.indd 193

10/4/2007 8:23:54 AM

194 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao


(Top and right) Members of a ceasefire committee help settle rido in the municipality of Datu Saudi Ampatuan in Maguindanao.

RIDO V2.indd 194


10/4/2007 8:23:56 AM

Introduction || 195


Researchers present findings on rido to the members of the Joint GRP-MILF Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities and the IMT during their 7th Tripartite Meeting.

One of the researchers bringing back to the communities the results of the rido study.


RIDO V2.indd 195

10/4/2007 8:23:57 AM


Staff of the Notre Dame of Jolo College prepare to conduct mediation and conflict mapping training among seaweed farmers and fisherfolk in Sulu. Competition over marine resources is often a cause of conflicts among locals.


Traditional leaders of Sulu conducting strategic planning with Tulung Lupah Sug for a mosque-based intervention to address feuding in local communities.

RIDO V2.indd 196

10/4/2007 8:23:59 AM


Consultation meeting in Kudarangan, Midsayap to disseminate information about rido settlement among grassroot clan members to ensure everyone is in agreement.


USAID official Mr. Robert Wuertz addressing reunited clan members during a Grand Kanduli in Paidu Pulangi, Pikit, North Cotabato.

RIDO V2.indd 197

10/4/2007 8:24:00 AM


A common neutral relative of Mangansakan and Tayuan clans stands by the grave of a common ancestor to enjoin the clans to support the hard-earned peace.


Kanduli (thanksgiving) ritual proper led by traditional religious leaders (panditas).

RIDO V2.indd 198

10/4/2007 8:24:01 AM


Feuding clans end their feud by paying respect at the grave of a common ancestor.


After the kanduli, everybody is happy.

RIDO V2.indd 199

10/4/2007 8:24:02 AM


Rido settlement in Marantao, Lanao del Sur.


Maranao families swear on the Qur’an that they will end clan wars.

RIDO V2.indd 200

10/4/2007 8:24:03 AM


ch a p ter s even

Management and Resolution of Rido Among Meranao in Baloi, Lanao del Norte: Case Studies
Monalinda Emperio Doro

IKE OTHER communities, the Meranao of Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur have their share of conflict. In his study, Bentley (1982) observes that the prevalence of inter-family feud or rido among the Meranao results from their extreme sensitivity to personal slights and their refusal to be individually, or collectively, dominated. Rido has caused much death and destruction and retarded the economic, political, and spiritual development of the Meranao. The most affected are the young who are raised into a life of violence and conflict. Caris (1992) points out that the typical consequences of rido are criminality, violence, and disrespect for law and order. These effects tend to increase illiteracy and poverty. Maratabat or honor/pride is the main reason why the Meranao persist on avenging real or perceived grievances and often refuse to submit to judicial processes. Legal sanctions alone often fail to assuage offended maratabat. Maratabat has to do with an individual’s honor and esteem, rank and position, as well as the nobility of one’s family and kin. Any offense against maratabat such as the murder or molestation of one’s kin, landgrabbing, or insult justifies killing the offender. This can lead to a cycle of violence. In documenting several cases of rido among the Meranao, this study hopes to help find a solution to this social problem. It explores the dynamics between the traditional and modern ways of conflict resolution.


|| 201 ||

RIDO V2.indd 201

10/4/2007 8:24:05 AM

202 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Conflict Resolution Among Indigenous Groups in the Philippines Manobo Yumo (1988) observes that vengeance is a common way among the Manobo for settling conflicts. In fact, it is the custom of the Manobo to plant a tree or bamboo as a symbol of their hatred for their enemies that will remain as long as the plant lives. However, the kind of resolution provided by vendetta is only temporary. Arbitration and compensation are also practiced for disputes involving blood debt and deceit. Sometimes, conflicting parties agree to diminish or end their feud. Another way of resolving serious conflict is exile or flight. However, peacemaking is often the more permanent solution to feud since it seals all grievances unless renewed with the commission of a new crime by the other party. In most cases, it is the datu who mediates. A party may send a bolo to his enemy as a token of peace. If the bolo is accepted, peace talks can begin; if returned, there is a need for further arbitration usually by a neutral party. The most common rite of peacemaking is called tampoda sa balagon (vine cutting). After both sides have agreed on the terms of peace, they come together to each cut off the opposite ends of a vine to symbolize the end of their dispute. Higaunon According to an undergraduate study conducted by Ambos and Chavez (1999) among the Higaunon in Rogongon, Iligan City, an individual act of murder can ascend into rido or family feud. Researchers have identified rituals related to how the murderer pays the family of the aggrieved party to end the feud. These are giving lugbak or pangiloban, bakos ho balokan, agaw ho balaw, padumol, bangon, pangangawid, and tampuda ho balagon. Giving of lugbak or pangiloban is performed by the datu or by any family member of the offender who brings coins and pieces of cut clothes (henibilis) to the aggrieved party. This indicates offender’s acceptance of his crime. In the bukos ho balokan, the offender is obliged to pay P500 for his crime. The money ties the hands of the aggrieved party who can no longer make revenge. Agaw ho balaw also requires P500 as reparation. Payment implies recognition of the aggrieved party’s strength, and peace is bought. Padumol obliges the offender to pay P500. Once payment is received, the offended party bows upon seeing the murderer. Bangon can range from P12,000 to P20,000 depending on what the murderer can afford to pay in exchange for the life he has taken. The life

RIDO V2.indd 202

10/4/2007 8:24:05 AM

Management and Resolution of Rido Among Meranao in Baloi, Lanao del Norte || 203

of an ordinary victim has a lower price than that of a person of high social standing. In pangangawid, aside from cash, a cow and four sacks of rice are given to the aggrieved party. The victim’s family vents its anger on the cow by lashing and slaying it. After the ritual, the cow and the rice are cooked and shared by those present. After the above rituals, both parties perform a peace ceremony called tampuda ho balagon to restore good relations. A rattan vine is cut, a coin is dropped in the center of the cut vine, and a dance ensues. The case is considered closed after this performance. Another undergraduate study by Crispo and Daayata (2004) among the Higaunon in Hagpa, Bukidnon, lists the conflicts usually submitted to the tribal council for resolution as theft, land dispute, marriage conflict, and murder. The tribal council resolves these cases using traditional laws and procedures. Theft is resolved through mediation, arbitration, and conciliation. Land conflicts are solved through negotiation and mediation. Marriage conflicts are resolved through mediation and arbitration. Murder is resolved though bangon, wherein the culprit gives a carabao to the victim’s family. It is believed that the spirit of the victim enters the animal. The carabao is also useful for the victim family’s livelihood. The culprit also gives a certain amount of money to the family of the victim. After the bangon, the victim’s family no longer insists on imprisonment for the killer. The penalty is enough for the Higaunon who believe that humans are good by nature and, if given the chance, can mend their ways. The Higaunon in barangay Hagpa impose penalties or sala on those proven guilty of wrongdoing. The fine varies according to the gravity of the offense based on customary laws and traditions. In case of grave offenses, the tribal leaders consider the matter and decide on the type of sala . In the past, murder was punishable by death, depending on the circumstances and the motive. Now, the datus have abolished the death penalty. The resolution of conflicts by the Higaunon tribal council is free from intervention by the local government. In conflicts involving a Higaunon and an outsider who does not recognize the tribal council, the barangay justice system applies. T’boli Among the T’boli, the datu is empowered to intercede in disputes and adjudicate justice based on customs and tradition. The datu may help a defendant pay a fine that he cannot afford. Generally, most of the cases are settled by asking the offending party to pay a fine (Kadil, 1988).

RIDO V2.indd 203

10/4/2007 8:24:05 AM

204 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Iraya Among the Iraya, any criminal act or offense is corrected with the use of either the pangaw (Iraya’s version of a detention cell) or the tige, a punishment wherein the suspects are ordered to immerse their right hands in a pot of boiling water to pick up the white stone at the bottom of it. The one whose hand gets burned is considered the guilty party (Katutubo Directory, 1996). Yakan Among the Filipino Muslim such as Yakan, their astana (palace) serves as a judicial court where family conflicts involving land and theft are deliberated upon. Both the Islamic and Yakan native laws are applied in the amicable resolution of feuds and community problems (Jundam, 1978). Sama The Sama also use both the adat (customary) and legal code to adjudicate family conflicts and cases involving immorality. At present, the traditional leaders remain influential. Most of the elected barangay captains are either the village heads or candidates backed by them. The datu, who has higher maratabat (prestige), usually acts as an arbiter of conflicts and counselor on marital problems. His duties include settling conflicts ( Jundam, 1983). Tausug Among the Tausug, leadership resides in the tau-maas (headman). Under a royal decree, he is called a panglima and is vested with political, judicial and, at times, religious powers. He also fulfills the duties of a sara (lawman) in resolving conflicts. He imposes fines, penalties, and other legal prescriptions in accordance with community interests. In spite of the decline of the Sulu sultanate, adat laws are still widely used in settling local disputes and still prevail on cases brought to judicial attention even in the urbanized areas of Sulu ( Jundam, 1978). Maguindanaon The Maguindanaon sultanate discharges its function in accordance with the adat or customary laws as embodied in the oral traditions and in line with the Luwaran Code. This code contains extensive provisions on marriage, slavery, divorce, murder, sale, and family relations. These are all based on the Qur’an and the customs, traditions, and practices known as sunna (sacred tradition) and the ijma. A council elder gives advice on important matters. The kali (law consultant) serves as arbitrator. He is also the chief pandita of the district and is supposed to be the most knowledgeable man

RIDO V2.indd 204

10/4/2007 8:24:05 AM

Management and Resolution of Rido Among Meranao in Baloi, Lanao del Norte || 205

in the community. He is regarded as the best person in the community to act as judge. The wazir is also the pandita who is a well-informed and wise man (Buat, Saleeby and Sinsuat,1977; Glang and Condovar, 1978). Meranao Among the Meranao, there are three methods of settling cases in accordance with the adat: the kambatabhata’a, or invoking kinship; the idma, or settlement in accordance with the customary practice; and the kambalay, or the settling of disputes through intermarriage (Buat, 1977). Dispute processing in traditional Meranao society was generally characterized by mediation. Meranao usually call this process “amicable settlement,” and it is still the most common means of settling Meranao disputes (Bentley, 1982; Abdullah, 1996). Mediators who control information flows between disputants can subtly define issues, shape argument, emphasize points of agreement, disguise points of difference, and otherwise influence both the probability of resolving a dispute and shape any resolution it may take. Once a dispute arises, both parties begin quietly to assess possibilities for amicable settlement. However, they maintain a belligerent pose until settlement terms are agreed upon. One or more mediators, possibly at the instigation of one of the parties, begin to explore possibilities of arranging a settlement. If there is agreement on terms, the mediator arranges a celebration at which the actual settlement takes place. In this ceremony, compensation for injury, if any, is publicly handed over as all parties to the dispute, and the community as a whole, bear witness to the settlement and lend their weight to the peace it produces (Dumarpa, 1983). Unresolved disputes pose dangers for everyone in the community. Because bangsa affiliations, friendship, and links of obligation are dispersed widely, all disputes carry a risk of involving other community members. Hence, datus who are responsible for maintaining the peace often initiate mediation. If datus can agree among themselves about proper settlement terms, they can collectively exert pressure on the disputants to settle. Settlement may or may not include compensation or fine. When a dispute erupts among affinal or consanguinal kinsmen, datus will push for a settlement according to kokoman a kambhatabata’a (law of kinsmen). Such settlement emphasizes the reciprocity and solidarity that ought to exist among kinsmen and requires no fines. This mode of settlement assumes that because kinsmen share social rank, offenses against each other cannot alter the disputants’ rank in the society (Abdullah, 1997). Intuas M. Abdullah (1982) notes that cases involving miakamaolika (grave offense) necessitate the use of taritib-igma, regardless of the kinship relation between the disputants and that of a go-between and/or members

RIDO V2.indd 205

10/4/2007 8:24:06 AM

206 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

of the kokoman (Meranao traditional court) who can neutralize the tendency of the offended party to retaliate. On the other hand, conflicts involving slight offenses or da makamaolika may be settled according to the taritib-igma even in the absence of the offended party. The go-between resolves the conflict based on the kokoman a kambhatabata’a. It should be noted that rido is not present in all Meranao areas. In fact, the people of Maladeg, Lanao del Sur, have declared it a zone of peace under the leadership of Bob Anton who is part Meranao and a Catholic Christian. Maladeg residents swear by the Qur’an that they will not harm or drive away their enemies or the relatives of their enemies from Maladeg. All their relatives within the zone of peace are prevented from participating in any warfare. If they choose to fight, they have to leave the zone of peace and stay away as long as they cannot accept the idea of peace. The committee responsible for establishing a culture of peace in this area is the peace and order committee or council of leaders. The committee has settled long standing feuds in the municipalities of Nunungan, Malabang, Calanugas, and Karomatan. Committee members use persuasion and understanding rather than coercion. Asking people to swear by the Holy Qur’an is very effective. Strong faith and religious belief contributes to the cessation of conflict (Anton, 1998). Women and Conflict Resolution Literature on the participation of women in resolving conflicts is limited. However, the Darangen, a Meranao epic, describes women as conflict mediators. Mangorsi (2004), in her study of Meranao proverbs, shows the involvement of women in peacemaking. A proverb says: Aya rumba o bae na mosawira o datu ka apiya so korang a tig na inamber o ongangen, di mangondas sa seleg ka magontawar sa rinao. (“ A woman is a man’s sage; his poor statement is toned down by her understanding; she changes grim words into words of stillness.”) As Meranao women are highly regarded in the community, they can serve as peace advisers. Mangorsi observes that “the Meranao is opinionated and what the bae says is very much respected and obeyed. Oftentimes, the woman gives advice and the man executes the orders.” The men make brief statements that the women elaborate on because “the Meranao women are more eloquent…”

RIDO V2.indd 206

10/4/2007 8:24:06 AM

Management and Resolution of Rido Among Meranao in Baloi, Lanao del Norte || 207

Mangorsi also points out that Meranao women are title-conscious. The customary law gives Meranao women the right to be equal to men in some cases, for they can be installed with gerar (titles or positions) equivalent to that of their male counterparts. Some of the bae’s titles are bae a labi, bae a dalomangcob, bae a cabugatan, and potre maamor. Bae a labi is the most powerful among these titles. This titleholder takes part in policy and decision-making, settling disputes, enforcing Muslim laws, promoting the rights of women, and many others functions. In a study of conflict resolution in selected barangays of Misamis Oriental, Escalante (SY 2002-2003) observes that cases typically handled by women leaders are those which may not otherwise be assigned to male conflict managers, such as rape, battering of women, child abuse, and marital problems. However, women leaders also handled cases of attempted murder/homicide, land disputes, physical injuries, and theft. The cause of conflict in these cases include lack of concern for others, misunderstanding, miscommunication, pride, jealousy, envy, instability of income, addiction to vices, and gossip. The study notes, however, that none of the women leaders mentioned anything related to structural violence as a cause of conflict. Women have a role to play in conflict management. Women leaders serve as facilitators, counselors, and advisers. There are some women leaders, however, who still consider themselves as mainly pacifiers and secretaries with only minor roles in conflict resolution (Escalante, 2002). The women consider patience as well as consultative, collaborative and participatory approaches useful in conflict management. Some of the women leaders from low-income municipalities, however, tend to voice out personal opinions regarding cases, and give outright advise to the parties whose problems were referred to them (Escalante, 2002). The Setting This study was conducted in the municipality of Baloi, Lanao del Norte, where there are informants known to have been involved in or observed the resolution of rido. Baloi (formerly Momungan) is located in the eastern part of the province of Lanao del Norte. It is bounded by Iligan City on the north, the municipality of Pantar on the south, the municipality of Tagoloan on the east, and the municipality of Pantaoragat on the west, and on the southwest by the municipality of Munai. (Municipal Profile, 2002). Baloi, traversed by Agus River, is located approximately 1,000 feet above sea level. It has an aggregate area of about 13, 975 ha. At present, Baloi is politically divided into 21 barangays.

RIDO V2.indd 207

10/4/2007 8:24:07 AM

208 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

The total population of Baloi as of May 1, 2000 was 38,534. Among the 22 municipalities of Lanao del Norte, Baloi contributed 8.15% of the total provincial population. Of the 472,646 household population in Lanao del Norte, 35.80% classified themselves as Meranao. Majority of the population in Baloi are Meranao (83.4%) while Cebuano constitute 8.9% of the total population. Islam is the most dominant religion in Baloi. Baloi is strategically located in terms of trade development and agricultural growth. It is a crossroad of Iligan City and Marawi City and is surrounded by five interior municipalities. Because of this, Baloi serves as commercial center for these municipalities. Commercial activity is dominant in the West and East Poblacion and in barangay Maria Cristina. Usually Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays are market days wherein traders and vendors come all the way from Iligan City and Marawi City. Retailing is the prevailing undertaking of small business. Crop, livestock and poultry, and fishery production are the agricultural undertakings of the populace. Farming, however, is the major activity with rice, corn, and coconuts as the main products of Baloi. Communal irrigation system is implemented in barangays Dariat, Adapun Ali, and Mamaanun-Lumbac as alternative method of rice cultivation especially during the dry season. Chicken and ducks are among the poultry production in the town. Production of horses, carabaos, cows, goats, and swine is another source of income. Fishery is also one of the means of income in Baloi. There are private wharves which contribute to the total fishery production of the municipality. The man-made lake in barangay Nangka also serves as fishing ground aside from those found in some barangays. These fishing grounds and wharves are suitable for the production of dalag, tilapia, carp, and shrimp (Municipal Agriculture Office, 2002). Traditional Socio-Political Structure of Baloi Social Organization Family. The Meranao family is closely-knit and collective responsibility is stressed to prevent members from committing acts that tarnish their kinship group (Disoma, 2000). The homeless are accommodated by their relatives as extended family and married children may stay with their parents. At the first stage of rido, it is the family of the disputants that initiates the search for a peaceful resolution Kinship System. Kinship is quite important in Meranao society. “Kindred relationships are traced bilaterally and descents are traced according to generation. To the Meranao, even fourth cousins are considered as first

RIDO V2.indd 208

10/4/2007 8:24:07 AM

Management and Resolution of Rido Among Meranao in Baloi, Lanao del Norte || 209

cousins or as close as first cousins and are entitled to similar treatment and support, whether they be from the agnatic line or from the uterine line. This support for any cousin, distant or close, is always expected to pay off in times of crisis” (Briones, 1985). Katatabanga or the reciprocity of aid and services is manifested in diverse occasions, such as death, marriage, investiture, and resolution of conflicts (Briones, 1985). The family and kinship network is the primary source of personal security. An individual expects to be aided, abetted, and protected by every one of his/her kin. The kinship group is also responsible for the illegal acts committed by its members against members of other groups. Therefore, if a man commits murder, vengeance may commonly be exacted on any male member of his kinship group (Briones, 1985). Marriage. Marriage among the Meranao, according to Warriner (1985), “is primarily an affiliation between lineages, rather than between persons. Marriages are contracted in the interest of lineage groups and agamas to facilitate political power, to ensure a body of supporters, and to resolve feuds”. Marriage among the Meranao is usually endogamous—one is married preferably within his/her clan to a social and economic equal—and arranged by parents or close relatives (Disoma, 2000). Exogamous marriage, or marriage outside one’s clan or tribe, is frequently frowned upon by the Meranao. Endogamous marriages are preferred in order to maintain the closeness of the clan. For example, second cousin or fourth cousin marriages are arranged so as not to lose the kinship ties. Intra-clan marriages further ensure that family wealth remains within the clan structure. Endogamy is also preferred because there is a high chance that the suit will be accepted. The Meranao emphasize kinship from which they derive aid and security. Socialization and Personality Formation. The family is the first environment of socialization and the mother, the first agent. She determines the child’s personality (Hunt, et al., 1987). In Meranao traditional society, women and mothers are the early educators and most men prefer that their wives stay as full time homemakers. In Baloi, there are many madaris (Arabic schools) where children begin learning Arabic and read from the Qur’an by the age of five. Some ustadz or Arabic teachers are hired to teach the children at home before they are enrolled at the madrasah. In some cases, children aged 6-12 years are sent to a hadana or toril, an Arabic boarding school where they learn to read and write Arabic and recite the Qur’an. Aside from these religious schools, women’s organizations also conduct seminars on Islam

RIDO V2.indd 209

10/4/2007 8:24:07 AM

210 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

among women. Through their mothers, the youngest children of Baloi learn about the teachings of Islam on peace. Political Organization The Pat a Pangampong ko Ranao or the Four Federations of Lanao In his Pangampong: An Ancient Confederation (1975), Saber observes that the Meranao is under the sway of both the modern Philippine state and the indigenous socio-political system or pangampong. Pangampong is derived from the word kampong (settlement) and may refer to both small and large communities. In terms of the indigenous political system, pangampong refers singly or collectively to four principalities (or states) into which the Meranao divide themselves, politically and territorially, within the Lanao region—aside from the modern provinces of Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte (Saber, 1975). The “Principalities of Lanao” (pat a pangampong ko ranao) are Bayabao, Masiu, Unayan, and Baloi. Their boundaries can be traced along the modern map where the two Lanao provinces and a part of Misamis Oriental have been superimposed over the traditional pangampong . A single pangampong is divided into smaller units and sub-units called soko (section, district, or region), inged (township or town settlement), and agama (village community). Baloi is not divided into soko (a group of ingeds), but its old territorial claim starts from the border of Mala a Bayabao and stretches north to Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental, where Sharif Alawi, a Muslim missionary, is said to have introduced Islam to northern and central Mindanao, particularly around the Lake Lanao region. The four principalities are co-equal in power and prestige. They are bound together in a sort of confederation or alliance governed by an ancient order or law called taritib that defines the relationships among the communities and their members. The four principalities are not bound by a central government, but each principality and its sub-units of soko, inged, and agama respect the seemingly “sacred” traditional alliance (made by founding ancestors) which the Meranao term as kanggiginawai (Saber, 1975). The Sultanate System in Baloi Baloi has two sultanates: the sultanate of Baloi and the sultanate of Pangampong sa Baloi. The former is ruled by the pito a maruhom while the latter is under the sapolo ago dowa dyonan datu sa momungan. The sapolo ago dowa a ayonan datu sa momungan is independent from the sultanate of Baloi and from the sultanate of phangampong a baloi. It is called the sultanate of Momungan which is one of the two superordinate

RIDO V2.indd 210

10/4/2007 8:24:08 AM

Management and Resolution of Rido Among Meranao in Baloi, Lanao del Norte || 211

sultanates in Baloi known as the panoroganan sa baloi. The other superordinate sultanate is the sultanate of Balut. These two superordinate sultanates in Baloi are traditionally called the dowa a alongan sa baloi meaning “the two suns of Baloi.” The sultanate of Momungan is also one of the 15 superordinates in Ranao known as the sapolo ago lima a pagawidan sa ranao (Doro, 1993). The traditional structure of the sapolo ago dowa a ayononan datu sa momungan is patterned after that of the pat a phangampong sa ranao. The sultanate of Momungan is different from the new, multiple sultanates in Lanao which have many “non-functional” titles. New grars were created in some new sultanates in order to win the support of individuals for the sultan’s programs. Titles have even been given to government and military officials. Branches of Government of the Sultanate of Momungan The Executive. The sultanate is headed by a sulutan. He is the chief executive whose task is to implement traditional and certain Islamic laws, agreements, policies, and to represent the sultanate in the meetings of the sultans and leaders whether initiated by traditional or legal institutions. The Legislative. The sapolo ago dowa a ayonan datu sa momungan has a legislative body composed of the datus, baes and other untitled persons in the sultanate headed by the sulutan. Sometimes the sulutan alone performs legislative functions. The cali advises the sulutan on Islamic and customary laws. The body has three sources of laws: taritib, igma, and kitab. The taritib is the customary law while the igma refers to those laws promulgated by the datus that became traditional. Kitab refers to the Islamic laws based on the Qur’anic verses and the Hadith, the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam). Another set of laws operating in the sultanate is called tardas. Some datus call it kapasadan or agreement. The taritib, according to some, is called atoran in Maranao. The igma has a counterpart called adat that includes laws pertaining to individual behavior. Sometimes adat is referred to as the proper conduct and formal behavior of the people while taritib is the code or pattern for organization of the sultanate. According to Sheik Abdullah C. Magayoong, the most widely used codes of law in the sultanate are the taritib and the igma. The kitab is used only for minor cases due to its harshness. Although the people in the sultanate are all Muslims, the kitab is not used as much as the taritib and igma. This implies that most people are inclined towards Meranao tradition.

RIDO V2.indd 211

10/4/2007 8:24:08 AM

212 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

The Judiciary. The sultanate has a traditional court called phangokuman. The sulutan heads the court and is referred to as the pangongokum or chief justice. Sometimes, the sulutan acts as pamimitiyara (mediator). He is assisted by the cali, datus, and some learned men particularly the ulama. The venue of the phangokuman is usually the house of the sulutan and sometimes the mosque. The court settles disputes or crimes committed within its jurisdiction. The court proceedings are based on the taritib and igma. Trial by jury is practiced with the jury composed of the sulutan, the cali and other titleholders in the sultanate. The contesting parties are represented by their wakil whose role is similar to that of the modern lawyer. Some disputes are settled by the sulutan and other datus, and sometimes through the cooperation of public officials. Kapamitiyara or mediation is the main mode of settling disputes and frequently results in intermarriages. The traditional forms of punishment are enslavement (kapamimisayaan), retribution, compensation, and fine. Retribution and enslavement were applied to high crimes of murder, adultery, and rape, while fines and compensation were rendered under the terms of the kapangangawidan, sometimes called kapanginsalaan. The punishment of death penalty does not exist under the laws of the sultanate or in the igma. Case Studies These cases are considered typical of the various cases of rido in the locale of the research. The informants from the conflicting parties and some of the mediators narrated these facts. To protect the identity of the respondents, pseudonyms of persons and places are used in all the cases. Case Study 1: Cattle Rustling This case illustrates a kind of rido that emanated from sale of stolen cattle complexed with disrespect for the family lineage of one of the parties as well as conflict over ancestral domain. The relatives of the conflicting parties were interviewed. One morning of 1985, Jamal, a farmer, found a cow roaming his corn farm. The cow had damaged Jamal’s crop. After several days of waiting in vain for the animal’s owner—whom he intended to charge for the crop damage—Jamal sold the cow to his cousin Bato. They agreed on a pukasowa, that is, no liability would arise from the sale and no warranty was attached to it. They agreed further that as long as no other Meranao claimed the cow, the puka-sowa was binding, otherwise the seller must reimburse the agreed amount to the buyer. This is a kind of oral contract among Meranao

RIDO V2.indd 212

10/4/2007 8:24:08 AM

Management and Resolution of Rido Among Meranao in Baloi, Lanao del Norte || 213

that often involves the sale of commodities or properties of which the real owner is unknown. Later, it was learned that a Christian resident from a distant barangay, within the same municipality, owned the cow which was stolen by a group of cattle rustlers. The Christian owner of the cow approached Hadja Samera, the wife of the sultan of Lumabao and an influential officer in the municipal government, to recover the lost animal. Consequently, Hadja Samera sought the help of Rumampad, the cousin of her husband and the barangay captain of Lumabao. Rumampad spoke to Bato about the matter. Rumampad, Bato, and the sultan of Lumabao are second cousins or relatives by consanguinity within sixth civil degree of Jamal. However, Bato had already sold the cow to a comprador who in turn sold it to a matansero (butcher) in Iligan City. Since then, Rumampad suspected Jamal as one of the cattle rustlers. Jamal resented this. The two men were known to have axes to grind against each other as Jamal’s family was not given the parcel of land in barangay Lumabao that was left to them by their great grandparents. Some weeks later, Rumampad declared that he would purge his barangay of cattle rustlers. He even sent word to Jamal to stay away from barangay Lumabao unless he was willing to recompense the owner of the cow. Jamal reportedly replied: Kapitan does not own the place. He should not prohibit any native from entering the barangay. Surely, he is falsely accusing me for the loss of that cow. I was constrained to sell the cow since it damaged my crop and its owner never showed up. Who should I charge? Jamal’s response implied that Rumampad was not a native of the place. This response soon reached Rumampad. Upon leaving the mosque after the Friday congregational prayer, he asked his cousin: “Can anyone prevent me from killing him?” Jamal was then in Lumabao. While Rumampad was still at the yard of the mosque, he was told that Jamal was in the house of a relative living near the ricefield. Immediately, Rumampad went home for his Garand rifle and .38-cal. revolver and sought out Jamal. Relatives were able to warn Jamal but Rumampad arrived before Jamal could flee. Rumampad fired eight rounds at Jamal but the latter hid in the canals and escaped injury. Thinking that he hit Jamal, Rumampad went to a waiting shed near the mosque about 400 meters away to the north. He was with Kamar, Akob, and Amanodin, the eldest among the children of Bato. Rumampad said he had shot Jamal but was not certain if the latter was killed. The waiting shed

RIDO V2.indd 213

10/4/2007 8:24:09 AM

214 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

was overlooking the houses near the ricefield and was visible from there. Minutes later, Mingka, a 12-year-old boy tending the family carabao, ran to Rumanpad’s group to report seeing someone in soiled clothes fleeing across the ricefield toward the western part of Lumabao. Amanodin said he would verify the report, but Rumampad gave Amanodin the pistol and ordered him to kill Jamal on sight. Amanodin went to the eastern part of Lumabao and pretended that he was there to fetch Jamal and accompany him to Arasi. Since he was the son of Bato, the cousin of Jamal, people believed Amanodin and pointed him to the nipa hut where Jamal was hiding. Amanodin found Jamal and told the latter: Let us go home. If they catch you here they will finish you off. Do not be afraid, I am with you. Jamal was relieved to see Amanodin but then Amanodin shot Jamal six times. Some of their common relatives, who were neutral, arrived at the scene and brought Jamal to a hospital in Iligan City where he was operated on successfully. It was later confirmed that Rumampad did not hit Jamal since no bullet from a Garand rifle was removed from the latter’s body. Jamal only dislocated his left leg when he dove into the irrigation ditch. He jested that Rumampad was a bad shot. Almost all their common relatives visited Jamal at the hospital except Bato and his children who feared retaliation. Bato scolded Amanodin and banished him from home because he’d brought a curse on their family for trying to kill a relative. Amanodin was said to be the most silent and headstrong among the sons of Bato. He apparently tried to help Rumampad kill Jamal because he wanted to impress Rumampad whose daughter Amanodin was in love with. Months after the incident, Amanodin in fact married a daughter of Rumampad. After 14 days in the hospital, Jamal was transferred to his home in Arasi where his medical treatment was continued. The zukudan (neutral common relatives) shouldered Jamal’s medical bills and household expenses while he recuperated, and also provided security. When Jamal had fully recovered, most of their common relatives negotiated for the settlement of the rido between Jamal and Rumampad to prevent its escalation. At first, it was their bashier, a regional director of a government agency and a relative by affinity to both Jamal and Rumampad, who led the talks. However, Rumampad did not heed him and kept resetting the date for settlement. The last group who approached Rumampad was a delegation of woman relatives headed by Hadja Samera. She was designated by the sultan of Lumabao to negotiate on his behalf as the sultan did not

RIDO V2.indd 214

10/4/2007 8:24:09 AM

Management and Resolution of Rido Among Meranao in Baloi, Lanao del Norte || 215

want to meet with Rumampad and likely scold him for what he did to their cousin Jamal. Hadja Samera was also chosen because of her previous successes in settling disputes. Some say she could say the strongest words to the disputants because she was both brave and wise. They approached Rumampad and appealed to him: So long as you declare willingness to settle your rido, we will work for it, and shoulder the expenses, because it is not good for us who belong to one mother to be exterminating one another. In the talks, Rumampad appeared harder to convince, while Jamal, the victim of aggression, showed less hostility. Jamal’s brothers and cousins did not show hostility because they had received a patoray (order) from the sultan of Lumabao that while he was negotiating to settle the rido, no retaliation should take place. The sultan asked for a three month truce. The sultan convened the zuku-zukudan and they appealed once more to Rumampad to declare willingness to settle his rido with Jamal. Instead of acceding, however, Rumampad tried to provoke Jamal’s relatives by saying: “As long as you do not intervene, who are these relatives of Jamal?” Disparaging one’s lineage, known as di-i paka-aatawon or di pakarurupungen, is a taboo among the Meranao. To belittle a Meranao’s ancestry/clan is tantamount to saying that he is a slave with no standing in the community, less than a dog, and can therefore be exterminated (along with his clan) anytime. Such insult can trigger the maratabat of a Meranao. Some say that this is a ta-azir (grave offense) and whosoever insults another in this manner must compensate the offended party. Otherwise, offended party may inflict physical injuries on the offender. Some Meranao even consider the killing of the offender as proper satisfaction for the maratabat of the offended. After three months, with Rumampad still showing unwillingness to settle, some would-be mediators felt insulted by his attitude and gave up. Despite the rising tension in Lumabao, Rumampad felt safe because an Army platoon was deployed in the neighboring barangay. No armed Merano would roam the barangay due to the Army patrols. Unknown to all, Karis, the younger brother of Jamal, had planned to kill Rumampad. He was known as a religious person, a community youth leader, and a good farmer. Karis resented the statement of Rumampad about their line of descent. Some noted that Karis’ religiosity was overshadowed by his self-esteem and anger. Karis found an ally in Beruar, a known mercenary from the neighboring municipality. A few weeks after Ramadhan (the Muslim month of fasting), Karis and Beruar shot dead Rumampad with M16 rifles near an

RIDO V2.indd 215

10/4/2007 8:24:09 AM

216 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

abandoned Army outpost in the adjacent barangay of Inusar. (The Army troops in the area had earlier withdrawn following the downfall of former President Ferdinand Marcos). Rumampad, who was armed with a Garand rifle and a .38-cal. pistol, was on his way to a meeting at the municipal hall with his 11-year-old son Mohandis when he was waylaid. His two older sons, who usually escorted him and carried firearms, were harvesting corn in their farm at Lumabao. The assailants fled. Mohandis, unarmed, was unable to retaliate. Subaida, the wife of the cousin of Rumampad whose house was just 100 meters from the ambush site, witnessed the incident. Upon hearing the gunfire, she looked out the window and saw Rumampad lying in the canal while two armed men fled toward the coconut grove in the eastern part of Lumabao. She shouted: “What happened to Rumampad, why is he on the ground? There are armed men fleeing!” Mohandis was spared because of his tender age and because he was unarmed. In the past, it was taboo to kill women and children for revenge. Any family who did so was looked down upon by the community. Even old people, who were not the perpetrators of rido, may not be targetted. However, these unwritten laws are no longer observed by all Meranao. The deaths of women, children, and old folk in vendetta are simply dismissed as accidental nowadays. Upon hearing the gunfire, Rumampad’s cousins rushed to Insuar with their firearms. Before they could reach the coconut grove, however, the cousins met high-powered gunfire from the blocking force of the ambushers who as soon withdrew safely. While the ambushers were retreating to the hills, some of them passed the cornfield where one of Rumanpad’s sons was harvesting with friends. The young man was still unaware of his father’s murder but already had a bad feeling upon hearing the gunfire. Still the son’s group was unable to retaliate as they were outnumbered and had less firepower than Karis’ side. Rumampad’s son was not able to identify any of the armed men who were all wearing bonnets. Relatives unaware of Karis’ plan remained in Insuar while Rumampad was killed. However, after learning of the incident, the male cousins and uncles of Karis immediately sought refuge in the homes of their relatives who were zukudan. Subsequently, the cousins and sons of Rumampad searched the houses of Jamal’s relatives in Lumabao and Inusar to avenge Rumampad but only female relatives of Karis and Jamal stayed home. After Rumampad’s burial that same day, Jamal’s close relatives fled the area. They were not able to bring with them any cattle. Some of the relatives

RIDO V2.indd 216

10/4/2007 8:24:10 AM

Management and Resolution of Rido Among Meranao in Baloi, Lanao del Norte || 217

sought asylum in Cotabato and Davao provinces while others who were well armed moved to nearby barangays like Arasi and other municipalities. Those cousins of Jamal and Karis who stayed in Arasi lived miserably. Aside from raids on their enclave, farming was difficult. Males feared snipers from Rumampad’s side, so women and children had to farm. Children had to quit school. Fighting occurred even on Muslim holidays, e.g. Eid El Fitr (Day of Festivity), Eid El Adha (Day of Sacrifice), Ashura (Thanksgiving Day). For some years, the situation in Inusar, Lumabao, and Arasi was volatile but no one was murdered because the zukudan were quick to intervene. In order to win the sympathy of those relatives who sided with the sons of Rumampad, the zukudan agreed to attack those who helped Karis kill Rumampad, like Beruar and his companions. They believed that without these people, Karis could not have executed his plan. Later, the zukudan together with the sons of Rumampad raided the place of Beruar in nearby municipality of Mainot. It was early morning when Beruar’s neighbourhood was showered with bullets. A woman was killed and Beruar’s relatives were wounded. Beruar’s and his relatives’ cattle were destroyed. Attacking mercenaries, like Beruar, instead of Jamal’s kin eased the tension in Inusar, Lumabao and Arasi. The tactic united the common relatives of Jamal and Rumampad. One day, a feeler reached the sultan of Lumabao, through Rocaya, asking for the negotiation on the return of Jamal’s neutral relatives to Lumabao and Inusar: Your brothers send a message requesting you to negotiate for their return to Lumabao and Inusar as soon as possible as our women and children live miserably. Pity your sisters. Your brothers promise that upon return, they will not help Jamal and Karis and will not harm the family of Rumampad. You know that your brothers had never participated in action or thought in the killing of Rumampad. The sultan promised prompt action. Rocaya, cousin to both Rumampad and the sultan and mother-in-law to Jamal’s sister, served as go between to the Sultan and the cousins of Jamal. A male person was not employed as middleperson for fear that he might be suspected and killed by Rumampad’s sons. Among the Meranao, the chance of a female kin being harmed in a dispute is remote. Therefore, women often make good negotiators. After sending feelers, the sultan finally sent his wife, Hadja Samera, to Lumabao to convince Rumampad’s family to allow the return of the neutral relatives of Jamal and Karis to Lumabao and Inusar. She told them:

RIDO V2.indd 217

10/4/2007 8:24:10 AM

218 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

I am here before you because your uncle, the sultan, is sending a message. Our relatives who were displaced ask that they be allowed to return safely to their respective homes. They have been living in misery since fleeing our area. You know for a fact that Karis alone planned the killing of your father. Even Jamal, the first victim, did not know of it. Beloved children, please heed the sultan because we are hacking our own body. Now we know the real assailants. Do not hesitate, please. Let us leave this matter to your uncle, the sultan; he has been sick since the death of your father. Do we want to lose another leader? Let us be patient, as we will surely see the day when Allah asks for retribution from the assailants for what they did. I am not feeling well but seeing how your uncle was so bothered, I did not hesitate to come. You know very well that the sultan will not leave in oblivion the killing of your father. The sons of Rumampad concurred out of respect and love for the sultan and Hadja Samera. Among the Meranao, it is always a good strategy to send the wife to convey a proposal to her husband’s family. Relatives who reject the proposal may still count on the assistance of their male kin (the husband) despite his displeasure. However, these relatives may be less keen to displease the wife who holds the family’s purse strings. Among the first to return to Lumabao and Inusar were women and children. They arrived on the first day of Ramadhan. Days later, males returned in batches. However, instead of going straight to their barangays, the men stayed first in the poblacion of the municipality. When the sultan learned of this, he announced at the mosque in Lumabao after the Friday congregational prayer that those who wish to must come home. At last, the barangays returned to life. Children played in the streets and in irrigation canals. Farmers sprouted like mushrooms across the fields. The first congregational prayer participated in by the returned relatives of Jamal and Karis was on Eid El Fitr because the sultan and his brother who won in the mayoralty election also prayed at the mosque. After some months of peaceful co-existence between the two sides, tension erupted anew when Samad, a son of Rumampad’s cousin, shot dead a returnee named Monib. Monib was not related to Jamal but his family was among those who evacuated to Davao a day after the death of Rumampad. Monib had reportedly agreed to inform Samad of the whereabouts of Jamal and Karis in Davao. However, after months of shuttling between Davao and Lumabao, Monib had given no information. Samad was irked and suspected collusion between Monib and Jamal/Karis.

RIDO V2.indd 218

10/4/2007 8:24:10 AM

Management and Resolution of Rido Among Meranao in Baloi, Lanao del Norte || 219

In 1993, due to the escalation of the rido to the other clan, the sultan called to meeting all who held grar in his sultanate. In the meeting held in his residence at the poblacion, the sultan called for an end to the rido between Jamal’s family and the children of Rumampad. He talked of the importance of peace and development for the survival of the sultanate. The sultan urged the clan leaders to help insulate their respective kin from further destruction. The sultan’s brother, the municipal mayor, promised to send feelers to the family of Jamal. The family was elated by the news. They missed their home village. However, Ramal, the eldest son of Rumampad reacted differently. He brought out his M14 rifle and fired 20 rounds into the air. His aunts immediately pacified him. The relatives of Jamal were disturbed by the gunfire and left the ricefields in fear of attack. The following evening, many male relatives of Jamal were seen in the poblacion (town center). They were advised to temporarily evacuate their homes as it was rumored that Ramal and his brothers were out to kill Karis or Jamal or any of their male kin before their rido is finally settled. The cousins of Jamal and Karis avoided even the mosque. The sultan summoned Ramal and his brothers to the house of the municipal mayor but the brothers refused to go. The mayor ordered police into Lumabao and Inusar but the officers said they did not want to be embroiled in the rido. Often, among the Meranao, when a rido may be approaching settlement, the aggrieved family tries to inflict some more casualties before formal talks begin. Sensing trouble, the sultan sent his wife to Lumabao to fetch Ramal and his brothers. The brothers tried to avoid Hadja Samera but she caught up with them and said: Children, believe the sultan and me as we have never done anything to harm you. Come with me because I was sent by the sultan and the mayor who give you much importance. I will not leave until you come with me. At his home, the mayor spoke to the assembled kin thus: You are all sons and brothers to me. If your father is precious to you, then you are more precious to me than him. You are pillars of our clan. This rido has blemished my reputation as I cannot even settle it. I am your leader next to the sultan. We are the ones in trouble. Let us settle this among ourselves. So let me handle this case.

RIDO V2.indd 219

10/4/2007 8:24:11 AM

220 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

The sultan then said: I am old. Your father has gone ahead of us. Certainly, all of us will follow him. Those who live peacefully on this earth are worthy of Paradise in the Hereafter. What is harmful to you is also harmful to my children, and what is harmful to my children is harmful to you. I do not want to see on my last day on this earth that you are killing one another. That is not the tradition that was left to us by our ancestors. So let me choose what is best for you because I was born ahead of you. I beg you, in the name of our ancestors, to follow me. We lost your father and I cannot afford to lose you as well. Ramal and his brothers tearfully embraced their uncles. Ramal declared to them: You are father to us as well as brother. We leave this to you. Our only request is not to see Karis in town. When Jamal and Karis heard what happened, they sent their sister in Davao to the sultan to inform him that they were willing to give any amount as pangensalaan (an object or money to compensate the offended party). They offered to surrender an M16 rifle to the family of Rumampad in lieu of that used by Karis to kill Rumampad which had been sold. The sultan again sent his wife to the children of Rumampad to ask if they were amenable to the inclusion of Karis in the settlement, and a pangangawedan in the amount of P100,000. The children of Rumampad appealed to Hadja Samera that Karis should not be allowed to go home. They also asked that compensation be increased to P300,000, since both Jamal and Karis were paying for it and that the two men waive their claim over a portion of the land in Lumabao that Rumampad had titled under his name. The sultan conveyed the counter terms through Rocaya. Five days later, Rocaya returned to the Sultan and requested that the compensation demanded be reduced because Karis was robbed while was on his way to Davao City from General Santos City to buy a 6-wheeler truck hauler and his youngest son was killed. When they heard of the death of Karis’ son, Rumampad’s family felt vindicated. They considered this as the workings of karma. After appeals from Hadja Samera, Rumampad’s heirs settled for P100,000. A month later, the families and kin of Jamal, Karis, and Rumampad were gathered at the municipal hall of the town by the mayor and the sultan for final settlement of the rido. It became a sort of clan reunion. First came

RIDO V2.indd 220

10/4/2007 8:24:11 AM

Management and Resolution of Rido Among Meranao in Baloi, Lanao del Norte || 221

the women and children followed by the mayor and the sultan, then the male kin of each family. The sultan presided over the settlment in accordance with the kokoman a kambatabataa (law on kinship) which involves no retribution, compensation or any form of damages as no party is declared aggrieved. However, the sultan imposed the surrender of an M16 rifle and the turn over of P100,000 by the family of Karis to Rumampad’s family. The mayor, reportedly, gave another P50,000 to the family of Rumampad in secret. After reading the Qur’anic injunction regarding kinship and the salsila (genealogy of clans) to those present, the families of Rumampad and of Jamal (except Karis and his family) swore before the Qur’an that they were brothers and would remain as such, and would not harm one another. They declared that the rido is tiyotupan sa wator, that is, “sealed with a hard stone.” This meant as well that the decision of the mediators and other datus was final and executory. A kanduri (thanksgiving) followed with food, e.g. rice, carabao meat, and Meranao pastries served. The settlement ended with the words from the sultan, followed by a du’a (a short prayer or supplication). He said: Verily, the Lord said: the believers are the true brothers. We belong to different wombs but he made us brothers. And if we really believe Him, let us love our brothers as we love ourselves. What happened serves as a lesson for us and the next generation. This rido is now settled and will never be resurrected. We understand that the penalty for Karis is that he is prohibited from living in this place for life. He can visit but cannot stay long; he must be escorted by relatives. The family of Rumampad shall not harm him, and he should not harm them also. Subsequently, the families of Jamal and Rumampad embraced one another and shared tears of peace and joy. Case Study 2: Unfavored Love Affair This case shows a kind of rido that emanated from an intense affair between two lovers that was opposed by the family of the woman and later caused the killing of the father of the man by the brothers of the woman. The informants from the disputants and some of the mediators narrated these facts. Pseudonyms are used to protect identifies of those involved. Khalil was a popular Meranao singer often invited to sing in wakes, weddings, post harvest festivities, and even on two-way radios or the socalled “icom.”

RIDO V2.indd 221

10/4/2007 8:24:11 AM

222 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

He was the youngest among the eight children of a poor old widower farmer and attained only a secondary school education. Khalil hated farming and fishing and often stayed away from their home in barangay Ranon, municipality of Barasi, to avoid his elder siblings who always scolded him. He was the favourite of his paternal aunt not only because he resembled his paternal grandfather but also because he was a loving nephew. Khalil helped his aunt do the house chores and seemed to see in her the mother he had lost as a baby. Khalil spent most of his time in his aunt’s rice farm in Kamala, a barangay about five kilometres away from Khalil’s home village. The neighbours used to request Khalil to sing for them.They claimed that his voice could “quench the thirst of the farmers.” Through the operators of two-way radios, Khalil befriended Jalila, also a high school graduate from a well-to-do Meranao family. Jalila’s family was also into politics—her paternal uncle, Abdu Rashid, was an elected municipal official. One of her uncles was a known warlord in barangay Ulowan in the municipality of Barasi. Their kinsfolk called him Datu (leader). The family supposedly possessed the so-called “3-G’s” (gold, goons, and guns). Jalila’s family vehemently opposed her relationship with Khalil. Khalil was unconsolable upon learning of Jalila’s bethrotal to another until he heard that the marriage was unconsummated as Jalila refused to live and sleep with her husband. This refusal of Jalila, called di tahnor in Meranao, annoyed her male relatives. Meranao women used to resort to this practice whenever their dowry was incomplete or if they disliked their marriage partners. When confronted by the women folk, Jalila admitted that she preferred Khalil and refused to change her mind. Some of her male kin suspected that Jalila had already become intimate with Khalil. This suspicion was deepened by the discovery of the cellular phone of Jalila in the possession of Khalil. They demanded that Khalil return this to Jalila but Khalil claimed to have sold it. Jalila’s folk sent word to Khalil to stop communicating with Jalila but the two continued to send letters and sms messages to each other. Angered, Jalila’s husband left the house of Jalila’s parents without permission. Some close relatives of Jalila secretly informed the family of Khalil that in the event that her husband formally divorced Jalila, the relatives would work for marriage between Jalila and Khalil. Khalil’s family said in advance that they could not afford a dowry since they did not own any real estate but were tenants on the land they tilled. They had reportedly sold their property to pay the medical bills of Khalil’s late mother.

RIDO V2.indd 222

10/4/2007 8:24:12 AM

Management and Resolution of Rido Among Meranao in Baloi, Lanao del Norte || 223

Since then, Khalil stopped frequenting his aunt’s place in Kamala for fear of reprisal from Jalila’s kin. However, rumor, likely instigated by provocateurs, began spreading that Khalil’s side was mocking Jalila’s kin thus: Where is their datu? Perhaps he is distancing himself from the problem. On the late full moon night of January 8, 2004, sixteen armed men, including two brothers and a paternal uncle of Jalila, on board a van from Ulowan arrived in Badar, adjacent to Ranon. At dawn of the following day, right after the people had performed their fajr (Muslim early morning prayers), four armed men entered Ranon in search of Khalil. When they entered the house of Khalil’s family, they found only his father as Khalil had hid under the btal (thick bed mat made of kapok) and pillows while the other family members bathed in the river. Khalil leaped out the window and fled. He had on his briefs and malong (tubelike silk or cotton body wrap). As Khalil moved towards the river, he was sighted by some armed men who chased and shot at him. Allegedly, they had not planned to kill but only disable Khalil. However, a nine year-old girl was hit by stray bullets while Khalil crossed the river to safety. The armed men heard a woman cry out: You hit my child! Why did you shoot us? May you all be murdered! The girl was slightly wounded. However, thinking that there was now “collateral damage,” the armed men decided it was better for them to kill a kin of Khalil as well. They returned to Khalil’s home, killed his father, and escaped to Ulowan. Khalil’s father was reportedly shot eight times. On the same day, the old man was buried at the nearby Muslim cemetery but Khalil could not be present. The Christian members of the cafgu and Army men who used to secure the electric transmission towers of the National Transmission Corporation in the area advised Khalil’s folk to report the incident to the police. The police, however, said they could not run after the culprits since it was a case of rido. There were only five police officers left in the municipality; the rest had transferred elsewhere to avoid involvement in clan feuds. After the burial of the old man, Rocaya, the female barangay captain and putri maamor (crown princess) of Ranon, appealed for calm among the family of Khalil who had arrived for the wake, supposedly, carrying high-powered firearms. A cousin of Rocaya was married to one of the

RIDO V2.indd 223

10/4/2007 8:24:12 AM

224 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

cousins of Jalila while her brother was married to one of the cousins of Khalil. Some cousins of Khalil who were local members of the milf expressed their support for the plan of Khalil’s brothers, who were unarmed, to avenge their father. Two weeks later, Rocaya brought a paloklokesan (community elder) to Khalil’s family in order to dissuade them from taking rash action. Other datus thought it would be futile to try to talk the victim’s family out of avenging their father. This paloklokesan told Khalil’s kin about how their father came to Ranon, and called for peaceful resolution to the conflict in the following manner: Please be reminded my beloved sons that your father chose to live in this place because he avoided the rido that his cousins brought to their clan in Sabarang. Your father hates conflict. We, your elders, would like you to live peacefully. If you have plans to go on with this conflict confronting you, then I appeal to you not to proceed. The family told the paloklokesan that they were uncertain what to do next. They said they were waiting for their elder brother from Sabarang and that their father was not an animal who could be so brazenly killed. Next day, Rocaya met Abdu Rashid at the municipal hall. Rashid said that the killing was accidental and asked Rocaya to mediate. She agreed. Upon her return home, Rocaya told her brother about her plan to settle the rido of Khalil’s family. She sent an sms message to her cousin who was married to Jalila’s cousin and asked for help in settling the dispute. The cousin replied that Jalila’s family was willing to make peace and did not wish to have a rido. Upon learning that some of Khalil’s cousins were local milf members, Rocaya went to Commander Post, the battalion commander of the milf in the municipality. She persuaded him to neutralize Khalil’s cousins and invited him to be one of her partners in settling the rido. The commander assured Rocaya of his support but declined to be among the mediators due to his position. He recommended instead Abdu Samad, the barangay captain of Aluyudan, the neighbouring village to Ranon, as mediator. Abdu Samad has a grar and used to be a warlord. Commander Post wired all his men in Ranon, including the cousins of Khalil, to keep the peace in their communities. He told them not to involve the milf in the clan feud.

RIDO V2.indd 224

10/4/2007 8:24:12 AM

Management and Resolution of Rido Among Meranao in Baloi, Lanao del Norte || 225

On the other hand, Datu, the warlord uncle of Jalila, who apparently disagreed with the conciliatory stance of his brother, Rashid, reportedly said: Why are you in favor of settlement? What happened to them is not enough punishment. Ever since birth, I have not allowed settlement of any rido which involved me. What has happened to him (Abdu Rashid)? Is he turning into a woman? They started this conflict! For mocking me I shall send four Datus (four of myself) as angels of death against them. Rocaya approached as well the uncle of her son-in-law, the Radia Muda of Sarta, a sultanate in the neighbouring municipality. This Radia Muda initially talked with the sultan of Ulowan but was discouraged by the sultan because of Datu’s stance. The Radia Muda tried in vain to see Datu. Finally, Rocaya met Abdu Samad in Aluyudan to discuss this problem in their tiny sultanate and barangay. Abdu Samad said that in return for the help that Rocaya’s kin gave him during the last barangay elections, he would try to convince Datu to talk peace. Samad went to the sultan of Samanaya, a warlord and staunch supporter of Datu, who reportedly supplied Datu with weapons and men. It is said that one warlord cannot refuse a request from another. The sultan of Samanaya delegated his nephew, Mikael, a barangay captain in the neighbouring barangays of Aluyudan, to help Abdu Samad get in touch with Datu. Among the Meranao, it is more acceptable to turn down a request directly made rather than one made through a third party since denial of the request will be known to the third party and will be more humiliating to the one making the request. By sending his nephew, the sultan of Samanaya made sure Datu could not refuse the sultan’s request. The sultan knew that accepting the request to talk peace could be insulting to Datu’s maratabat as people will later know that Datu agreed to settle a rido his side initiated by killing another Meranao. During the settlement process, the party who committed the murder will have to do the kapangangawid (act of begging for pardon); the family of the killer/killers concedes that they violated the honor of the other party and accepts the consequences of such violation. The family doing the kapangangawid does not actually approach the aggrieved family. It is the mediator/mediators who propose the amount of blood money to the aggrieved party. The success of the talks depends on the skill of the mediator. Mikael approached Datu and conveyed to him the request of the sultan of Samanaya for peace talks. Datu agreed at once to the request like “boiling water that suddenly cooled.”

RIDO V2.indd 225

10/4/2007 8:24:12 AM

226 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Later, Abdu Samad met Abdu Rashid who eagerly put up the amount of P100,000 as blood money. Rashid proposed to the family of Khalil that the M16 rifle used to kill their father would be turned over to them along with the blood money. At first, Khalil’s brothers were hesitant, but agreed after Abdu Samad approached each of them personally. It is said that once Abdu Samad acts as mediator, the parties involved do not turn him down for fear of earning his ire. Some say that Jalila’s relatives did not agree at first to the amount for blood money, but it was Abdu Samad who imposed it on them thru Abdu Rashid. Abdu Samad mediated for one month. On April 3, 2004, a month before the national and local elections, the rido was finally settled inside the mosque in Mangawan. The ceremony was presided over by the sultan of Mangawan. The site was chosen by Abdu Samad as it was neutral ground. The ceremony started with a recitation from the verses of the Holy Qur’an about forbearance and the brotherhood of all Muslims. This was followed by a recitation from the salsila where an elder mentioned past links between the two families. Then the sultan of Aluyudan spoke briefly on the virtues of patience and acceptance of one’s mistakes. The mediation initially ended with the reading and signing of the agreement between and among the conflicting families based on the taritib ago igma that required the family of Jalila to give blood money in the amount of P100,000 to the family of Khalil and to surrender to the same family the rifle used to kill their father. Jalila’s kin reiterated that the killing was accidental as the armed men were novices with firearms. The elder brother of Khalil in Sabarang did not show up at the settlement but sent word that he left the matter to Abdu Samad, Rocaya and Commander Post. Finally, the parties swore upon the Holy Qur’an that they forgave one another; that from now on, they were brothers; and no rido shall happen between their families out of the rido that was settled. They pledged obedience to Allah. Those present shared a kanduri as a sign of the acceptance of the pact. Case 3: Blood for Spit This case happened in 2002 during the Ramadhan in October. The relatives of the conflicting parties narrated the events. Datum, a businessman and the grandfather of Mangoda, who witnessed the beginnings of the rido and Bae, a high school teacher and the grandmother of Bagoa Mama, were interviewed. The mediator of this case was also interviewed. The rido started when the spit of Binaning, grandson of Datum, accidentally hit Ali and resulted in a fistfight. This was followed by another

RIDO V2.indd 226

10/4/2007 8:24:13 AM

Management and Resolution of Rido Among Meranao in Baloi, Lanao del Norte || 227

incident when Bagoa Mama, brother-in-law of Ali insulted Mangoda, a first cousin of Binaning that resulted in a heated argument. This led Bagoa Mama to assault Mangoda with an iron bar. The relatives of Bagoa Mama retaliated that same day and killed two young men who were standing outside Mangoda’s house. One afternoon, while shopping for fruits at the market, Datum’s grandson, Binaning spat. Unfortunately, his spit went toward Ali, the son of the “feared person,” Marangit, in barangay Mawaraw. Ali did not accept any apology but instead, along with his friends, beat up Binaning who did not defend himself even though he suffered injury. Immediately after the incident, Binaning and his cousins went home and kept out of sight for a week in fear of further attacks. Two weeks after this incident, Datum and his other grandson, Mangoda, were loading sacks of corn onto their vehicle in front of the bakery owned by Bae. Bagoa Mama, grandson of Bae told Datum to move their vehicle. Mangoda replied, “Enari ka di bo kami sii matiy. Malugar aya a karsada ini.” (We will not stay long. The road is wide enough.) Bagoa Mama insisted and said: “Mangararata kano i adat. Di kano bo magato.” (You have a bad attitude. You’re a coward.) Datum and others present tried to pacify the two young men who had fisticuffs. According to Datum, the two bore each other grudges. Bagoa Mama was also present during the fistfight between his brother-in-law, Ali and Binaning, Mangoda’s first cousin. Bae, who just arrived, tried to break up the scuffle and told Mangoda, “Look Mangoda, Bagoa Mama is your brother. Your grandmother is my sister in Islam. Hadja Amina who is my first cousin is your mother’s sisterin-law. That means you have to be friends with Bagoa Mama and should help each other for good.” Bae also advised Bagoa Mama, “My child, today is Ramadhan, do not let your fasting go to waste by quarrelling.” According to Bae, she also approached Datum to discuss how to settle the enmity between their grandsons but Datum ignored her. When Datum and Mangoda arrived home, Datum advised Mangoda not to get involved in any more fights. The older man said: “My children, especially you Mangoda, what happened to you is enough. Just be calm and patient. We don’t like trouble. Rido is sweet at first but later on turns bitter until someone is killed.” At 5:45 in the afternoon, unknown to Datum, Mangoda went back to the pharmacy where Bagoa Mama was working and assaulted him with an iron bar. Bagoa Mama’s words—“You are a coward”— echoed in Mangoda’s mind as he beat up Bagoa Mama. “You really have a loose lip,” Mangoda shouted. Bagoa Mama had no chance to retaliate and collapsed. At that time, Bae was home and heard a child shouting, “Oh Mother, Bagoa Mama

RIDO V2.indd 227

10/4/2007 8:24:13 AM

228 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

is dead! He was beaten with an iron bar.” When Bae saw his grandson unconscious, she asked the people to carry Bagoa Mama to her house where she applied first aid. After Marangit received an sms message saying that Bagoa Mama had died, he hurried home angry and shouted, “Bagoa Mama almost died. He has not offended anyone yet someone came to kill him.” Marangit wanted to avenge Bagoa Mama but Bae calmed him down saying it was just a tiff between young people. Bae said the text message to Marangit aggravated the situation. Meanwhile, the armed men of Marangit had gone to Datum and Mangoda’s home. They believed the text message that Bagoa was dead. At around 7:00 in the evening, they proceeded to Poblacion, 10 km away from barangay Mawarao. On that same evening, Datum and approximately 40 men who came from the mosque after the tarawi (a sunnah or non-obligatory prayer during the Ramadhan after the last or fifth obligatory prayer) were discussing outside the house of Datum about what had happened between Mangoda and Bagoa Mama. Unfortunately, the gate was open when the armed men arrived. The people did not expect that Bagoa Mama’s side would retaliate. While still inside the vehicle, two armed men fired at the crowd. The barangay captain was then on his way to Datum’s house to negotiate the rido when he heard the shots. Marangit’s men killed two young men who also came from the tarawi prayer. The two died on the spot. Datum’s family was not harmed. The next day, Bagoa Mama’s kin researched their family lineage to find out who they might approach to help settle the matter. They learned that the two dead men’s families hailed from the municipalities of Pagapon and Bato. Their kin wanted to retaliate but the datus and the mayor intervened for a negotiation. The mayor was a second cousin of Marangit and also related to Datum by affinity because his nephew was married to Datum’s daughter. The mayor’s ties to both sides allowed him to negotiate the case. This case became quite complicated because the conflict between Mangoda and Bagoa Mama had to be settled first then the one between Bagoa Mama’s side and the kin of the two slain men from Pagapon. To settle the case between Mangoda and Bagoa Mama, a former municipal councilor and a sultan of barangay Alongan, Sultan Dima mediated. Diat or blood money was offered to Bagoa Mama’s clan but it took them a year to agree to a settlement. Because of the negative effects of rido on their clan, Bae and other relatives decided to accept the diat but Marangit at first refused so the money was returned to Datum. After more negotiations, Datum’s kapangangawidan or act of seeking forgiveness from Bagoa Mama and his relatives was accepted. Datum’s side

RIDO V2.indd 228

10/4/2007 8:24:13 AM

Management and Resolution of Rido Among Meranao in Baloi, Lanao del Norte || 229

gave P150,000 as blood money, P50,000 of which was paid for by the municipal government. The settlement rites held at the municipal hall was witnessed by the conflicting parties and their relatives, the mediators (the sultan and other municipal councilors), and the mayor. There was no written agreement. This was followed by a kanduri wherein those in attendance were given an amount of money in lieu of food. Though Datum perceived the settlement as unfair, he concurred with it for security reasons. He said, “The judgment is unfair. Ali beat up a member of my family but they did not retaliate. They just ignored the offense because of their forbearance. But the other side mocked us for being cowards. Perhaps Bagoa Mama paid for his offense in insulting us. But why was my grandson beaten up for his spit unintentionally hitting someone? And how can it be that a non-fatal blow against a person is avenged by massacre? We are the offended yet we must pay. The judgment is contrary to the facts. But we must forbear. Even though the settlement is unfair, I concur with it because I don’t like rido. Anyway, Allah knows who transgresses. We accept the settlement even if it means selling our land and our corn shellers, just so my family is safe.” After settlement of the feud, Bae turned her attention to helping solve the case between Bagoa Mama’s kin and those of the two slain men from Pagapon and Bato. The case had caused her much worry. She said, “Not even medicine from America can make me feel at ease while this feud remains.” She approached Sultan Hadji Aminollah, the sultan of Bandar a Inged, Lanao del Sur to handle the case. He was known in Baloi as a very good mediator because of his sincerity in settling rido. As a sultan’s son, he was experienced in resolving feuds and he was also a zukudan. The sultan was a relative by affinity of the two slain men who were the nephews of his brother-in-law. On the other hand, Marangit was a second-degree uncle of the sultan who was married to an influential family to which Datum’s daughter was also married. Sultan Hadji Aminollah went to Pagapon to appease the maratabat of the victims’ kin by proposing the payment of diat and to explain how the bullets that killed the two men were really meant for the family of Datum. The Pagapon people said that they would agree to settle if those in Bato did so as well. The relatives in Bato wanted “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” They even filed a case in the milf court but Sultan Hadji Aminollah convinced the relatives to withdraw the suit in lieu of settlement according to taritib ago igma. The sultan urged the judges of the milf court not to pursue the case filed against Bagoa Mama. During the negotiation, Sultan Hadji Aminollah approached the grandfather of one of the two slain, who was a respected person in their community, to convince his relatives to settle. During the

RIDO V2.indd 229

10/4/2007 8:24:14 AM

230 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

meeting, some of the relatives in Bato did not want blood money but kitas (execution of the killer). Others, however, spoke of forgiveness. After a month of talks, the offended party of Bato opted for diat and an end to hostilities. Bae’s clan agreed to pay P300,000 and an Armalite or P150,000 for each of the bereaved families. Since the offending party could give only one Armalite, Sultan Hadji Aminollah volunteered another. He said, “For us Meranao, it is our obligation as leader of the community or sultan or datu to settle conflicts within our territory. If you hear of trouble in the community do not wait to be approached but look into it. If the conflict is over money, then you must contribute if you can.” After eight months of talks and fund raising, the case was finally settled at the municipal hall witnessed by the relatives of the conflicting parties, the local datus, and local politicians. The conflicting parties swore that the rido was over. On the day of the settlement, the vice mayor welcomed the conflicting parties. Sultan Hadji Aminollah explained that nobody from the conflicting parties would be allowed to talk to avoid further arguments. The mayor gave his speech and the parties swore upon the Holy Qur’an to abide by the settlement. Any side that violates the agreement becomes an enemy of the local datus and politicians. A written agreement was then signed by the conflicting parties which read in part: Praise be to Allah. The best can never be achieved without His mercy and guidance. We pray that peace be with Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) and his followers until the end of the world. Allah (S.W.T.) says in the Holy Qur’an: “O ye who believe! Retaliation is prescribed for you in the matter of the murdered; the freeman for the freeman, and the slave for the slave, and the female for the female. And for him who is forgiven somewhat by his (injured) brother, prosecution according to usage and payment unto him in kindness. This is an alleviation and a mercy from your Lord. He who transgresseth after this will have a painful doom.” (2.178) Abu Sorayh Al-Kazaie narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Anyone who is killed or injured may choose one of the three (1) qisas (killer/injurer be killed/punished), (2) pardon the killer/injurer, or (3) accept blood money. But if he chooses the fourth option, then hold his hand to stop him from doing so. (Narrated by Ahmad). We, who are accused of shooting (killing) firmly believe that what happened was a mistake or an accident. Therefore, we expect the datus and ulamah concerned to do their best in reaching a just and appropriate settlement of the case which satisfies both parties most especially our brothers, elders, and relatives from

RIDO V2.indd 230

10/4/2007 8:24:14 AM

Management and Resolution of Rido Among Meranao in Baloi, Lanao del Norte || 231

Sogod-a-Bato. Pursuant to the custom of the people of Lanao and in accordance with the Law of Allah as mentioned in the Holy Qur’an, all of us agree and abide by whatever decision reached by all concerned parties including these datus present and most especially the ulamas of the Shari’ah Court. With our belief in Allah, following the teachings of Prophet Muhammad and endeavor to implement what has been agreed upon by both parties of representatives, recognize and support for the sacrifices and sincerity of ______________and ____________ for having accidentally injured/killed _____________ at the place of ______________ at _____________who have paid the agreed blood money in accordance with the Holy Qur’an and hadith. This amicable settlement has been met and agreed by all parties concerned due to the unselfish efforts rendered by those involved datus, baes, and ulamas. In witness thereof, representatives of all concerned parties, datus, baes, and ulamas, who have witnessed these proceedings, have affixed their respective signatures hereunder. As of now, the conflicting parties are at peace with each other. All of them are free to conduct their business but caution is still observed to avoid another incidence of rido. Case Study 4: Suspicious Villagemate This case happened in 1994 in barangay Malintad between Puro, a thief, and Cadar, a businessman whose parents are well-known school administrators. Both relatives of the conflicting parties were interviewed. The rido started when Puro who suspected that Cadar reported him for theft, shot dead Cadar. This led to retaliation from Cadar’s kin. Puro was known to steal not only cattle but horses, ducks, and other domesticated animals. He became a resident of Malintad when he married his second wife. They had five children. Cadar, like Puro, also married into the village. Cadar was killed one afternoon outside a sari-sari (retail) store some 50 meters from the mosque where people often lingered after prayers. After shooting Cadar with an Armalite, Puro was heard saying, “Better for you to die and stop talking.” The bullet that hit his heart killed Cadar on the spot. Puro went away nonchalantly. Cadar’s death was conveyed to his parents and relatives who lived in the next municipality. His cadaver was brought to his parent’s house and buried in the family cemetery that evening. According to a resident of Malintad, Puro suspected that it was Cadar who reported Puro’s theft of a cow from another barangay to the cattle owner.

RIDO V2.indd 231

10/4/2007 8:24:14 AM

232 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Puro believed that only Cadar, who had recently moved into the community, would dare do such a thing as the others were too afraid of Puro. On the following day, Cadar’s kin met to plot their revenge. It was decided that the paternal relatives would attack Puro while the maternal relatives would give financial support. A policeman relative also lent his Armalite to Cadar’s family. Three days later, Cadar’s side attacked and wounded a first cousin of Puro. However, the relatives of Cadar were not satisfied. They wanted Puro to surrender to them. Twenty days later, a second assault killed a second-degree cousin of Puro. The following day, Puro’s kin retaliated, wounding two relatives of Cadar. A month after the death of Cadar, the relatives of Puro who were married to the relatives of Cadar initiated talks to end the violence. Cadar’s kin demanded justice. Puro’s relatives offered blood money of P100,000, Armalites, and carabaos, but Cadar’s people wanted Puro. Three years into the murder of Cadar, Puro’s relatives sought the mayor’s help in settling the feud. The mayor who was also victim of Puro’s theft and in conflict with him, sent Bailabi, an educated female first cousin of Puro and whose husband was first cousin of Cadar, to negotiate. Bailabi was experienced in settling rido and was a zukudan .The negotiation was done at the house of Cadar’s cousin who was also related to Puro by affinity. However, talks broke down as Cadar’s side insisted on the surrender of Puro. In 1998, after four years of conflict, relatives on both sides arranged for another meeting. This time, Cadar’s kin concurred with the settlement to end the killing. Cadar’s side accepted the peace offering of Puro’s relatives of P100,000 and five M16 Armalites but maintained their prerogative to hunt down Puro. Cadar’s kin insisted that the only way to appease their injured maratabat was through kitas or execution of Puro. Eventually, Puro’s kin agreed to this condition so as to end the feud that had disrupted so much of their lives. For the next five years, there was no more violence between the two camps. Ten years after the death of Cadar, Puro was killed near his house by a group hired by Cadar’s kin. The relatives of Cadar made it known to the whole community that they had avenged his death. Many of Puro’s relatives were saddened but accepted that it was time for Puro to pay for his misdeeds. Some of his relatives believed that it was Puro’s own kin, rather than Cadar, who had reported Puro’s theft as they were disgusted with him. During the first month after the death of Puro, Cadar’s clan was worried and kept an eye on Puro’s people. The common relatives and elders, however, helped keep the peace.

RIDO V2.indd 232

10/4/2007 8:24:15 AM

Management and Resolution of Rido Among Meranao in Baloi, Lanao del Norte || 233

Puro has been dead for ten years now, and his relatives have made no attempt to retaliate. Still, Cadar’s family and kin are wary that Puro’s children may eventually try to avenge their father. Case Study 5: Brothers at odds This case happened in 1989. The mediator and the relatives of the conflicting parties of this case were interviewed. The conflict started between Ombra and Zacaria who were half-brothers on the father side and residing in barangay Malibuteng. Ombra was a businessman with two wives, while Zacaria, also married, was a farmer. Through Ombra’s hardwork, his family’s standard of living improved. They were able to buy furniture, appliances, and ten hectares of land. Five hectares of their property were planted to coconuts. On the other hand, Zacaria did not work as hard as Ombra. His family was not as well off as Ombra’s. Because of this, Zacaria’s wife was always complaining and this irritated the husband. The informants say that, out of envy, Zacaria laid claim to a piece of land that Ombra inherited from his own mother. Ombra argued against the claim since the land was not from their father, but Zacaria insisted and the two were at odds. To avoid trouble between his sons, their father sold his own inherited land to Hadji Usman who in turn sold it to the late governor of Lanao del Norte, Ali Maporo. Neither of the brothers dared question the claim of strongman Maporo who held the land title. The conflict of the brothers over property was exacerbated by the ill will between their wives. Once, some coconuts fell on the boundary between the brothers’ respective properties. Zacaria’s wife insisted that the fruits belonged to them and this triggered a fight between the siblings that caused injuries. From then on, enmity between the brothers deepened and came to a head because of politics. At some point, Ombra’s house was burned down, Zacaria was shot, and Ombra’s son, Isay, kidnapped. The sequence of events that led to these occurrences is as follows: The mayor, their first cousin, wanted to appoint Kadim, the elder brother of Ombra and Zacaria as barangay captain. Kadim said he would accept the position only upon concurrence of the people of Malibuteng. Kadim consulted with his brothers who protested saying they too were filing their candidacies for the post. Kadim declined the mayor’s offer and Ombra won the elections. Just as he was declared winner, Ombra heard that his two carabaos had been stolen. Usually, in cases of cattle rustling, the community helps to find the lost animals but since people knew of the ill will between the brothers, they kept away from the matter. Only Kadim, who hoped to resolve the conflict between his brothers, went looking for the carabaos.

RIDO V2.indd 233

10/4/2007 8:24:15 AM

234 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Kadim believed that his younger brothers would not dare kill him. He found the carabaos around Apo Hill, three km from his house. From then on, stealing of chicken and even steel pipes (for a water system project of the provincial government) became rampant in barangay Malibuteng as some on Zacaria’s side refused to recognize Ombra’s victory. Things began to spin out of control. Two weeks after the elections, on a Saturday morning at 9:00, Ombra’s home was razed while Ombra was at the market selling his carabaos. Without a fire station in the area, little could be saved. Ombra suspected Zacaria, but according to an informant it was their younger brother, Samid, who was guilty. After two days, Ombra burned Zacaria’s ricefield which was ready for harvest in a week’s time. Zacaria filed a case at the fiscal’s office against Ombra. However, the sultan of barangay Malibuteng convinced the brothers to settle their conflict according to the kokoman a kambhatabataa. The case was withdrawn but no settlement came about. When Kadim and his wife Raya saw what happened to Ombra’s house, they immediately hired a jeepney and transferred to Raya’s home municipality, Malaa Inged where she owned land. Still, the family had to start anew. Two days later, Kadim returned to Malibuteng to convince Ombra to join him in Malaa Inged. At that time, some of Ombra’s younger brothers came looking to kill him but seeing other people around, the would-be killers backed off for fear of igniting a rido. When Ombra went to Baloi on a market day, Zacaria found out and tried to assault his brother. Relatives sheltered Ombra who went home at around 5:30 p.m. and told his family what happened. Unknown to Ombra, his son Biladen was planning a vendetta against his uncle, Zacaria. Early next morning, Biladen went to Baloi and hid near the bridge to wait for his uncle whom he later stabbed and shot in the chest. Fortunately, Zacaria was not killed but only hospitalized. The sultan of Malibuteng paid the medical bills as Zacaria was broke. Though Kadim was disappointed with his brothers, he still requested his wife Raya to visit Zacaria at the Mindanao Sanitarium Hospital and help foot the bills. A group of armed men from Zacaria’s family went to Malaa Inged the next day to ask Kadim if he and Ombra conspired with Biladen. Kadim said Biladen acted on his own. Still, the men refused to leave until the mayor of Malaa Inged intervened. After his release from the hospital, Zacaria stayed with the sultan of Malibuteng in Iligan. One month later, Zacaria kidnapped his nephew Isay, a 17-year-old son of Ombra, and held him captive for one month. Isay was tied to a guava tree in Malibuteng for eight consecutive market days—Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Nevertheless, he was given the

RIDO V2.indd 234

10/4/2007 8:24:15 AM

Management and Resolution of Rido Among Meranao in Baloi, Lanao del Norte || 235

same food to eat as Zacaria’s children and was brought to the river by his uncle every morning to bathe. Informants say Zacaria just wanted to force Ombra to ransom Isay. The brothers communicated through two-way radio. Zacaria would urge Isay to cry and beg his father to pay ransom: “Father, release me from Zacaria. Give him an Armalite or he will shoot me.” But Ombra called Zacaria’s bluff. Isay’s mother-in-law Mataid urged Ombra to ransom Isay but Ombra told her instead to sell her cow and pay Zacaria if she pitied Isay that much. Mataid sold her two cows for P20,000. She did not want any rido for her children. To help settle the feud, relatives summoned home Ombra’s son, Alim, who was employed in Saudi Arabia. Being well off, Alim was a target so instead of staying in his family’s home, he moved among his relatives. As his kin refused to intervene, Alim sought the help of the milf which arranged a meeting between Alim and his uncle. During their meeting, Alim saw his other uncle, Abu who hugged Alim and said, “Zacaria is there. Go to him as he is looking for you. Just be careful because he might kick you.” Alim approached Zacaria, hugged his uncle and cried: “Uncle, I was not here when Biladen shot you. You can shoot me where Biladen shot you.” Alim took off his shirt for his uncle to stab or shoot him but instead his uncle cried, “It is true that I was looking for you but I will not kill you.” Alim then replied, “I searched in vain for someone to join me in meeting with you so I approached the milf. Since you refuse to kill me as I am your nephew, then neither will I kill you because I do not want rido. Please consider the amount that I must give you.” Zacaria demanded the gun Biladen used on him but Alim said that it was a pawned weapon and the owner had redeemed it. Zacaria also demanded to be reimbursed the expenses he incurred during hospitalization which he said amounted to P100,000. However, Alim had only P50,000 to offer. Alim apprised his father, Ombra, of the agreement but Ombra would not agree to pay Zacaria. Ombra said, “Not even the toughest guy in town can appease me, they have been provoking me.” Alim insisted, “The truth is that they are provoking you because we have achieved our purpose. We have drawn the blood of Uncle so we have to pay him blood money. Can you dare sip your brother’s blood?” Ombra still refused so Alim sought help from Matara and Maporo, a board member and the governor of Lanao del Norte, respectively, both relatives of Ombra. When Ombra realized that so much effort was exerted by his son to initiate the settlement, Ombra offered his two-hectare lot worth P60, 000.

RIDO V2.indd 235

10/4/2007 8:24:16 AM

236 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Finally, after one year of hostility, Ombra and his relatives agreed on the kandiyat of P100,000 which was given to Zacaria aside from the two-hectare land. Only Biladen was not allowed to attend the final settlement rites at the municipal hall. “Don’t let Biladen come because I am angry with him.” said Zacaria. The whole of barangay Malibuteng and relatives of the conflicting brothers witnessed the settlement. The mayor, a first cousin of Ombra and Zacaria, was also present. Alim requested that Ombra and Zacaria no longer be made to swear an oath to brotherhood before the Holy Qur’an—as is often the case in such settlements—since the two were in fact blood brothers. Instead, the datus swore before the Holy Qur’an that the brothers would not betray each other and would not create another rido. After the settlement, a kanduri was prepared as a sign of thanksgiving. Some of those displaced by the feud returned to barangay Malibuteng. Ombra’s family remained in Malaa Inged to avoid rekindling the tiff with Zacaria who still held a grudge against Biladen. Kadim decided to finish building his house in Malaa Inged before returning home to Baloi. But after Ramadhan in March 1990, while on their way to attend the graduation of their sons, Usman and Kota, Raya and Kadim along with their children and a brother of Kadim were ambushed by four masked men from the municipality of Ladian. Kadim and his brother were killed. The killers would have cut off Kadim’s head but for Raya’s plea. It was said that Kadim had killed many and his enemies had hunted him for ten years. This murder turned into another rido between Kadim’s sons and kin and their enemies in Ladian. Kadim’s sons are grown up now and capable of avenging their father. An informant said that Kadim’s younger brothers who are wary of further retaliation have reconciled to form a united front. As of now, there has been no further violence but relatives in Iligan have been forced to stop schooling to avoid the enemy. A 15-year-old high school student said he stopped schooling in Baloi because his mother feared that the enemies in Ladian might discover her son’s blood relation to the family of Kadim. As long as no formal settlement is made between the conflicting parties, relatives of Kadim keep ready for retaliation. Due to the endless rounds of violence, barangay Malibuteng, says its sultan, is now a “no man’s land.” Case Study 6: Election Fraud This conflict started during the barangay elections of May 9, 1994. The relatives of the conflicting parties were interviewed. At around 10:30 in the morning, election day, Ansary and eight companions arrived at the precinct

RIDO V2.indd 236

10/4/2007 8:24:16 AM

Management and Resolution of Rido Among Meranao in Baloi, Lanao del Norte || 237

to vote. However, Galo, whose cousin was a candidate for barangay captain, protested that Ansary and company were not valid voters of the precinct but “flying voters.” Ansary denied the charge and said that Galo was not a resident of the barangay. The two nearly came to blows but for cooler heads. The following day, while the votes were being canvassed, Ansary, bearing his M16, along with his cousins, planned to waylay Galo in a waiting shed. Ansary entered a nearby building where his second cousin, Mapasang, was staying to confer with the latter. Galo, also armed, spotted his enemies and fired first. In the melee that ensued, Galo escaped. Ansary was unharmed but Mapasang was shot dead. The elder relatives of Ansary kept him safe as they awaited the reaction of Mapasang’s paternal relatives. Mapasang was a maternal relative of Ansary. Junaid, a paternal cousin of Mapasang, wanted to take revenge on Ansary whom he found responsible for the death of Mapasang. Junaid was restrained by his family who advised him to await the decision of the paternal relatives. They reminded Junaid that his wife was a second cousin of Ansary. Ansary’s relatives exerted every effort to settle the matter between Ansary and Junaid’s side (the paternal relatives of Mapasang) who wanted to kill Ansary. After six months of talks between the two sides, Mapasang’s people killed a brother of Galo, instead. The mayor, a close relative of Ansary, helped in the talks. Mapasang’s family was initially reluctant to release Ansary from responsibility in the death of Mapasang but Kadi, an uncle of Ansary, and a close relative of Mapasang’s paternal relatives convinced Mapasang’s kin to forgive Ansary. The uncle said they had killed Galo’s brother in order to release Ansary from responsibility in the death of Mapasang. Some of Mapasang’s kin had insisted on Galo’s death as a prerequisite for settlement with Ansary. Ten months after the death of Mapasang, the settlement between Ansary and Mapasang’s kin was again delayed by the killing of another Mapasang cousin in another rido. During the negotiation, some paternal relatives of Mapasang came to the barangay disguised as peddlers on board an old van. When the “peddlers” went to pray at the mosque during noontime, leaving behind the driver who fell asleep, a suspicious resident inspected the vehicle and found four Armalites. He alerted Ansary’s relatives. The mayor quickly ordered the armed men to leave the village and prevented bloodshed. While talks were ongoing, Ansary’s movements were restricted. He could move freely only in his home village. Mapasang’s relatives said they

RIDO V2.indd 237

10/4/2007 8:24:16 AM

238 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

could not vouch for the actions of their kin. They demanded P300,000 from Ansary as blood money. The negotiations took a year and a half. Finally, in 1995 the paternal relatives of Mapasang accepted the surrender of the Armalite carried by Ansary on the day of the incident, P150,000, and a kanduri (exclusive of the blood money). The settlement took place at the house of the zukudan and witnessed by the political leaders, traditional leaders, and all relatives. The women, Ansary’s maternal and paternal aunts, played a key role in the talks. Most of the menfolk limited their movements in fear of retaliation. Even after killing Galo’s brother, Mapasang’s kin continued to hunt for Galo. He was slain in another province, four years later. Galo’s relatives also hunted for Ansary. They said that Mapasang’s death was accidental. During the negotiation between Ansary and Mapasang’s paternal relatives, Ansary’s safety was secured from both the relatives of Mapasang and of Galo. Galo’s relatives blamed Ansary for the death of their kin and wanted him dead. Again, through the mayor’s intercession, Ansary’s side offered five Armalites, P100,000, two carabaos and two sacks of rice for the kanduri. These were accepted by Galo’s relatives and the case was finally settled in 1998. To prevent further retaliation, Galo’s younger sister was married to the first cousin of Ansary. Despite the settlement between the clans of Ansary and Galo, Ansary’s family remains cautious. Ansary is always armed and travels with armed companions when he travels far. Common Causes of Rido and the Nature of Offenses that Result in Rido Case Study 1 is complex since the rido did not stem from a single cause. It started with a sale of stolen cattle by Jamal that barangay captain Rumampad deemed illegal and which he criticized. Jamal’s retort that Rumampad was not a native of Baloi so offended Rumampad’s maratabat that he thought it justified to kill Jamal. Rumampad’s failed attempt to kill Jamal started the cycle of violence. In Meranao culture, it is taboo to bring up genealogy as this may reveal the fact that a family descended from slaves. This could severely affect the family’s standing in the community. Any investigation into family lineage is considered a serious offense and an affront to the family’s maratabat. This may invite retaliation. A Meranao always claims royal descent no matter how poor he is at present. This is one way of uplifting one’s maratabat. On the other hand, no Meranao would admit descent from slaves and such matters are never

RIDO V2.indd 238

10/4/2007 8:24:17 AM

Management and Resolution of Rido Among Meranao in Baloi, Lanao del Norte || 239

openly discussed. However, if anyone, in a fit of anger, should call someone else a descendant of slaves, the consequences could be fatal. The cattle rustling issue aggravated the tension between the two men that had stemmed from previous dispute over land. Case 5 also started from a land dispute between half-brothers. In Case 2, the maratabat of Jalila’s husband was hurt when he realized that his wife was still in love with her former suitor, Khalil. The husband’s act of leaving Jalila illegally was humiliating to the maratabat of Jalila’s family who went after Khalil. The rido escalated when Khalil’s father was killed in his stead and an innocent child was killed as well. In Case 3, the accidental dropping of Binaning’s spit on Ali was deemed intentional and led to serious feud between the two. This feud was further aggravated by the fighting between their respective kinsmen, Mangoda and Bagoa Mama. Bagoa Mama’s actions caused the deaths of strangers and triggered a separate rido. The intervention of the datus prevented further bloodshed. The rido in Case 4 was caused by mere suspicion. Puro killed Cadar whom Puro believed had informed on him for stealing. Cadar’s kin retaliated by killing one of Puro’s relatives. In Case 5, the rido was caused by Zacaria’s envy of his half brother Ombra that was aggravated by tension between their wives. The conflict was intensified by dispute over land and political rivalry that resulted in cattle rustling, arson, stabbing and shooting of Zacaria by Talib, and kidnapping of Isa by Zacaria. Case 6 depicts a rido that stemmed from election fraud. Land conflict is the most common cause of rido among the Meranao. Such conflict could arise from conflicting claims and titles, double sale, or disputed boundaries according to Amer Hassan E. Doro, a legal researcher. To Moner (1987), “the most common legal cases among Muslims are those that relate to land sale and land ownership. Considering the trust (amanah) nature of transactions in Islam, reinforced by the rural and personalized relations of Moros, most of their transactions are not reduced to writing. The Muslim have up to now relied on their traditional and Islamic concepts of land ownership. To them, as it is in Islam, no better proof of ownership should challenge their continuous, adverse, open, notorious and exclusive possession, occupation, and cultivation of the land which they had for so long a time, in fact beyond reach of memory and before their predecessors-in-interest.” According to the kali of Baloi, Hadji Abdullah “Mamaodang” Magayoong, conflict over a land could fall under the following categories: miyagagaw sa gapa or conflict over a small piece of land, miyagagaw sa kawali

RIDO V2.indd 239

10/4/2007 8:24:17 AM

240 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

or conflict over large landholdings, and miyagagaw sa tamanaan or conflict over boundary. Focus-group discussion (fgd) participants ranked land conflict as the most common cause of rido. These conflicts could involve heirs who dispute the property left behind by deceased parents, land grabbing by people holding fake titles, or people who refuse to give up their mortgaged property after the loan repayment period has lapsed. Election-related conflict was ranked as the second most common cause of rido. According to an fgd participant, “Today, big rido is caused by election fraud. Kin are killing one another over dirty politics. Fifty percent of rido is caused by this.” Another cause of rido, according to an informant, is the fraudulent sale of personal property or real estate. The aggrieved buyer or his relatives will usually go after the vendor. If no one intervenes and if the family of the vendor refuses to return the purchase price, the arresting family could execute the vendor. This kind of action does not depend on the amount of money involved. A fraudulent sale is considered an insult against the defrauded family who must uphold its honor by executing the cheater unless a settlement is reached. Fraud is a very sensitive cause of rido among Meranao and those who have been involved in such conflicts often refuse to talk about it. Meranao consider it shameful to earn a living through deceit although deceit shrouds every election for office among the Meranao. The fgd came up with the following causes of rido : land conflict; election-related problem, i.e., political rivalry, election fraud; arrogance of those in power; drug addiction; carjacking, kidnapping, armed robbery; theft (of domesticated animals and household property); fraudulent sale of personal property or real estate; murder; heated argument; rumbles/fistfights among male youths; gambling; rumor-mongering attributed to women; enthronement of traditional leaders; elopement; rape; envy; and suspicion. The respondents stressed that in real life situations, maratabat should not be viewed as separate from the causes mentioned above. In every situation the individual Meranao defends his maratabat by retaliating to the perceived “prejudice, aggression, insult, insinuation, provocation, and defamation” (Bula, 2000) behind or highlighted by the causes mentioned above. Consequences of Rido for the Disputants and the Community In all the cases studied, disputants typically experienced financial burdens, property loss, transfer of residency, non-performance of religious obligations due to constant hiding, disruption of children’s academic life, and

RIDO V2.indd 240

10/4/2007 8:24:17 AM

Management and Resolution of Rido Among Meranao in Baloi, Lanao del Norte || 241

emotional instability resulting from constant fear and tension. These factors are strong incentives to resolve the dispute and return to a normal existence. In Cases 1 and 5, disputants had to stay away for many years before they were allowed to return to their homes. In case 1, displaced residents migrated to as far as Manila. Many displaced farmers had to sell their land to wealthy residents of other municipalities. In Case 5, burning of the homes and fields of the brothers, Zacaria and Ombra affected them financially. Amer Hassan E. Doro explains: Having a rido is good only for a few months as the family involved, specially those who resort to killing, feel that they have vindicated their family or clan honor. Support in the form of money, weapons, personnel, as well as moral support is abundant early on when the rido is still fresh. The unity of the family/clan is manifest. However, as time passes and it is never certain when and how the enemy will retaliate, the resources of the family or clan will gradually diminish. This happens as family members who are government employees are forced to go on leave or resign, farmers and traders have to limit their area of activity and male students must stop schooling. A participant to the fgd involving disputants pointed out that: Religious activities are also affected as male clan members can only attend a secured neighborhood mosque. They perform only daytime prayers and avoid the mosque at dawn or in the evening. Those who wish to preach (tabligh) can not do so in places accessible to their clan enemies. Another participant observed that: Males are discouraged to visit sick relatives in other localities to avoid being waylaid by clan enemies. Usually, in wedding ceremonies held far from home only female relatives are allowed to attend since clan enemies may also be present at the event. Another confided: It’s very difficult when we have a rido because we are always tense and nervous. What’s worst is we do not sleep well for fear of

RIDO V2.indd 241

10/4/2007 8:24:17 AM

242 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

attack. We also worry about our children who go to school. We are never at peace. A 17-year-old student revealed: I was escorted to school by an armed relative. I avoided public places for fear of being seen by my cousin’s enemies. I went home immediately after class. Later, I stopped schooling since I couldn’t concentrate and may fail. Rido also destroys social and kinship ties. Participants to the fgd explained that relatives who do not support their kin involved in rido are often disowned by the latter. While it is true that collective responsibility is observed among Meranao kin, there are cases where kanggiginawai (friendship), katatabangai (cooperation), and kapririspitoa (respect) cease to be observed among the kin. It seems that maratabat takes precedence over blood ties and as shown in Case 5, rido can occur even among siblings. Cases 1 and 6 involved cousins. Rido also damages clan honor and can affect marriage prospects of clan members. According to an fgd participant from the religious sector, families who dislike rido do not want their children to marry into families that are known to be conflict prone. Marriage proposals can be turned down for this reason. Women may be disallowed from marrying their fiancés who belong to families involved in rido. In general, rido retards development in the communities. In Case 5, failure to build a water system in barangay Malibuteng was attributed to the rido and perceived hostility of residents as the builders and the provincial government withdrew the project. Because of this the whole municipality of Baloi still has no water system. Considering that Iligan City gets it water supply from Abaga spring in Baloi, this lack of water service is quite unfortunate for the local people. Rido also drives away traders and entrepreneurs from the community. The study of Garingo (1999) shows that rido is one of the main reasons why Meranaos migrate to Christian areas to do business. Finally, communities where rido is prevalent do not provide healthy environments for raising children. Fgd participants said many families leave rido-ridden areas so that their children do not grow up to be violent and impulsive.

RIDO V2.indd 242

10/4/2007 8:24:18 AM

Management and Resolution of Rido Among Meranao in Baloi, Lanao del Norte || 243

Characteristics of Persons Involved in Resolving Rido In the cases studied, those involved in the settlement of rido were the heads of the families or clans, the zukudan, the local datus, the religious group as in the case of the milf, the traditional title holders (such as the sultan, kali, baelabi), barangay captains, municipal councilors, mayor and other lgu officials. According to fgd participants, the following are the characteristics of one entrusted to resolve a rido: a respected head of the family/clan or the community, aden a gees iyan (must possess power); has influence and considerable following in the community, tatamoken (moneyed), maongangen (wise), montol (honest), masabar (patient), kasarigan (trustworthy), mawarao (brave), malai paratiya ko Allah (religious/faithful), and da a pagampilan iyan (neutral) The mediator, according to a sultan, should be committed to his work. He must endure all the difficulties of shuttling between the conflicting parties and must not give up until a settlement is reached. He must also be willing to contribute in raising the blood money. This requires that a mediator be wealthy or have access to funds. Another fgd participant noted that the mediator should have good communication skills. He should choose his words carefully and should not relay inflammatory words from one side to the other. Bula (2000) describes three types of mediators. The first is sincere, committed, and responsible. The second is one who is hired to mediate because of his wisdom and prowess in speech and persuasion. And the third is one who mediates out of personal interest. In Case 3, although the terms of settlement between Mangoda and Bagoa Mama were perceived by Datu as unfair, he acceded for security reasons. This says something about the quality of the mediator. Another mediator claims that the blood money paid by Mangoda through Datu was too high. The case mediator reportedly received a commission from the blood money since the amount that Bagoa Mama’s family actually received was less than P100,000. The mediator in this case seems to fit the third type described by Bula. In contrast, Sultan Hadji Aminollah who settled the case between Bagoa Mama and two men killed in the crossfire, gave his own Armalite as part of the settlement. His efforts led to peace. In Case 5, the mediator who was the sultan of Malibuteng withdrew from the case upon learning that the disputants who were his relatives did not want to end their enmity. The sultan’s impatience led to the escalation of the rido as the parties started retaliating against each other after the sultan’s withdrawal.

RIDO V2.indd 243

10/4/2007 8:24:18 AM

244 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

As for gender, the case studies show that women make effective mediators. In Case 1, aside from her kinship ties with the conflicting parties, the fact that she was a woman allowed Rocaya to mediate the settlement. Rocaya served as go between to the Sultan and the cousins of Jamal since Rumampad and the Sultan are her cousins while Jamal’s sister is her daughter-inlaw. A male person, on the other hand, could not have done this for fear of being killed by the sons of Rumampad who might suspect him of feeding information to Jamal’s relatives. Among the Meranaos, the risk of female mediators being harmed is low since it is taboo to harm female disputants. Another woman mediator in Case 1 was the wife of the sultan. She is known for her poise under pressure and her ability to transform harsh words into conciliatory statements so that even angry datus listen to her. In an interview, she said that a woman must be brave enough to endure the difficulties in settling a rido. Though it is risky to interfere in rido, a woman, said the sultan’s wife, must show that she fears no one. No wonder that she has even handled cases outside Baloi, Lanao del Norte which involved kidnapping, carnapping, and robbery. In Case 2, the settlement was mediated by Rocaya, the female barangay captain and potri maamor (crown princess). But aside from her positions, Rocaya is also related to the conflicting parties by affinity. Her cousin was married to one of the cousins of Jalila while her brother is also married to one of the cousins of Khalil. Rocaya appealed for calm from Khalil’s family and brought the elders to Khalil’s home to convince them to settle. In Case 3, Bae tried to talk to Datum to resolve the tiff between their respective grandsons but Datum ignored her. This led to escalation of the conflict. In an interview, Bae said that she approached all the traditional leaders to help settle the feud. She also represented Bagoa Mama’s kin in talks with the family of Datu. Through her conciliatory ways, she gained the sympathy of the datus especially Sultan Hadji Aminollah. Bae told the sultan how the conflict was affecting her health. This is one of the ways by which a woman can make male leaders act on her requests. A woman’s power to interfere in rido is reflected in the following response of a councilor during the fgd: “Women are pacifiers of conflict. When women pacify, the disputants should not oppose or else the woman’s relatives could also interfere in the rido and cause escalation. Meranao women are highly regarded. Any woman who tries to pacify a rido should be respected. But sometimes women are also initiators of conflict.”

RIDO V2.indd 244

10/4/2007 8:24:18 AM

Management and Resolution of Rido Among Meranao in Baloi, Lanao del Norte || 245

Methods and Strategies Employed in Resolving Rido The method employed in settling rido in all the cases studied was payment of kandiat as stipulated in the taritib ago igma. By tradition, when blood is spilled as a result of violence or murder, it must be paid for. Since five out of six cases studied resulted in deaths, taritib ago igma was resorted to as a mode of settlement. Intermarriage was also used to end the enmity between the conflicting parties. Usually, kokoman a kambhatabataa is used in cases of conflict between kin but it could also be used where the parties are not related. Cases 5 and 6 show, however, that even in conflicts between brothers and cousins, kokoman a kambhatabataa may no longer be applied when blood has been shed. Since injury was not equally inflicted on both sides, payment of fines could not be dispensed with. An informant narrates the settlement process thus: a) Conflicting parties are asked if they want their rido to be settled by the leaders, b) Disinterested parties are interviewed regarding the cause of the dispute, c) The leader analyzes the information, d) People respected and feared by the conflicting parties are approached to facilitate the resolution of the conflict.

Factors that Facilitate the Settlement of Rido In all the six cases studied, the important factor in resolving the rido is the commitment of the mediator and his/her influence over the conflicting parties. It is important that the mediator be related to the conflicting parties. For their part, conflicting parties must sincerely want peace. Regardless of kinship ties, blood money is very important in settling conflict. An informant notes that “money can suppress maratabat, kinship, and everything else except fate.” Unlike in the past, observes the informant, the many Meranao today have become materialistic and no longer value kinship as much. The burden of rido on the conflicting parties is the main reason why they choose to settle. Conclusions and Recommendations Conclusions and Implications This study found out that in Meranao society, maratabat is a contributory factor to the occurrence of rido. The connection between these two social phenomena is one of quality rather than quantity, maratabat being

RIDO V2.indd 245

10/4/2007 8:24:19 AM

246 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

a trait that resides in the value system, and rido, being expressed in the behavioral. In Meranao society, disrespect of the individual’s maratabat, or that of his kin, is a very serious offense. Therefore, even the slightest insult (intentional or perceived) is provocative. Once someone gets hurt or killed, severe injury is inflicted on one’s maratabat, which escalates to killing if not resolved immediately. A version of the cultural theory (Magdalena, 1990), which states that “conflict behaviors are imposed on the individuals by the strength of cultural factors, norms, values and traditions,” gives essence to the findings that maratabat is a cultural recipe of conflict and revenge among the Meranao. The practice of kasaop (retaliation) is justified within the Meranao tradition and customary law in defense of one’s injured maratabat. Since it is sustained by social coercion and not by individual’s choice (Saber and Warriner, 1960), rido functions positively in the promotion of cohesion within the members of the kin group. Rido fosters group kinship unity as its members are exposed to attacks during conflict. Hence, they have little or no recourse but to band together and support the kin group in conflict, right or wrong. The proliferation of loose firearms in the Meranao society can be attributed to the rampant rido in every Meranao locality. However, rido in affected Meranao localities cannot be attributed alone to the proliferation of loose firearms, because rido is an ancient practice that antedates the introduction of firearms. Rather, it is the wrong belief in, or application of, maratabat that may be causing rido. On the one hand, the influx of loose firearms into the Meranao society is an apparent manifestation of the unstable peace and order, and the inefficient administration of justice. Possession of such firearms emboldens many who, in turn, violate the law with impunity. As if touting the authorities, they freely roam around the village without anyone apprehending them or tipping them off to the police. Law enforcers, such as the Philippine National Police, are hesitant to arrest the violators of law, especially so if these uniformed men are Meranao themselves. Like the murderers and other law breakers, the police also fear that their family might be involved in the rido by the simple act of catching one. On the other hand, illegal possession of firearms within the Meranao society also appears to function as a form of deterrent itself. Meranaos who own guns use them for defense against their enemies, but more so deter a rival family or clan from retaliating during the course of a rido. They say they cannot rely on the authorities for protection, hence must do it themselves. Kinship is also what involves mayors, and even governors and congressmen (representatives), directly or indirectly, in a rido situation. While they

RIDO V2.indd 246

10/4/2007 8:24:19 AM

Management and Resolution of Rido Among Meranao in Baloi, Lanao del Norte || 247

cannot escape it, they usually have the upperhand because of their large following and access to government resources. Once they are directly involved in rido, their family or close relatives have more reasons to protect the family honor or maratabat simply because of the high position of someone who needs protection. If they are indirectly involved in rido, they may provide firearms or logistics to one of the feuding for reason of political affiliation or debt of gratitude as a result of past favors given in times of elections. Thus, the other party in conflict loses confidence with the police authorities, because the government officials involved in the rido exercise control and supervision over them. Further, the undeniable presence of gun smugglers from within the ranks of the afp and the Philippine National Police (pnp) as well as their civilian counterparts who may be Meranao and non-Meranao is another factor that contributed to the proliferation of loose firearms. They said that gun smuggling is one of the profitable businesses next to illegal drugs in the underground market. Furthermore, Meranao civilians have easy access to firearms owned by members of the milf. These milf members who consented to the use of their firearms in rido may also be the relatives of the parties in rido; they may even be the aggrieved party or the aggressors, in some remote instances. Accordingly, the proliferation of firearms in Meranao society has contributed to the balance of power. On the micro level, the Meranao elite or tribal leaders capitalize on their close family ties and possession of firearms to perpetuate their prestige, and influence others to keep them in their coveted position. To them, firearms symbolize power or might. Five out of six case studies show that the aggrieved party demands the confiscation of the weapon (usually an Armalite) used in the killing. Thus, the problem on the proliferation of firearms in the Meranao society is still not solved, prompting anybody from the clan to continue the rido. Since a weapon is a sign of power among the Meranao, anybody whose maratabat is trampled upon can use it to avenge himself and his kin. Moreover, there appears to be a “saturation point” (when many lives are lost and the families experienced financial setbacks) during the rido process. Leaders then make a crucial decision to end further violence. Among the disputants themselves, this saturation point is also critical in their decision to seek a mediator to end the conflict. It seems also clear that unless this saturation is reached, both leaders and disputants do not want to end the rido. Once the saturation point, however, comes around, all the parties to the conflict and the community leaders decide to put an end to the rido or hostility.

RIDO V2.indd 247

10/4/2007 8:24:19 AM

248 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

The desire to live in peace is a very important factor in the settlement of the rido. If both parties to the conflict feel the need for it, rido consequently stops. Rido can be settled when both parties decide that they must put an end to it. Financial burdens and losses in the community and among the disputants in a rido is also a critical factor that turns the situation around to a search for peace and resolution of the conflict. In all settled cases, a considerable amount of money, or its equivalent amount in the form of goods, passes hands among the disputants. As to who receives or gives an amount is not always predictable; it depends largely on who is defined as “aggrieved” party. That is, one who can present the most convincing argument of having incurred material losses during the conflict and has suffered the greatest insult to their maratabat. The party who succeeds in presenting itself as having suffered and lost more, financially or maratabat-wise, therefore, gets the money as “punishment” to the offender. Adjudicating a conflict among the Meranao always calls for a mediator. Here, the role of influential leaders in putting an end to the rido is quite critical as this study has pointed out. Without these leaders, rido could not be resolved. To be effective, such mediators must possess an arsenal of power and influence in the community in terms of material resources and following. In addition, all disputing parties are bound to respect them and their decision that results from the mediation process. Aside from influential leaders, Meranao women also take on the role as mediators. At the first occurrence of rido, they serve as shields, because they are spared from retaliatory attacks. Women in this society are respected and not to be hurt, according to custom. At the end of the day, people find them serving as pacifiers because of the unique role they play in the sobering disputes. They are the first ones to initiate the settlement of conflict since they are among the most affected whenever rido breaks out. Men would usually hide when there is rido, and so women are forced to take over the roles of men as negotiators and financial providers of the family. Relationship to the disputants either by ritual kinship or blood kinship is another plus factor in the leader’s ability to resolve conflict. Such tends to promote confidence in the leader, who is not afraid to be accused of bias or favoritism, and may be excluded from any retaliatory attack when things get out of hand. Swearing before the Qur’an by the feuding families is given particular emphasis in the rituals of conflict resolution. It makes them aware of the sanctity of the process, that Islam enjoins its followers to show understanding, patience, and tolerance. The appeal to religion is itself a powerful

RIDO V2.indd 248

10/4/2007 8:24:20 AM

Management and Resolution of Rido Among Meranao in Baloi, Lanao del Norte || 249

mechanism that renders this indigenous process of conflict regulation effective, at least on the village level. Recommendations The following recommendations are advanced: • An in-depth study must be done to understand why community leaders do not immediately intervene to resolve conflicts at their outset. Among the questions that need to be answered are: (a) Why do leaders wait for the rido to take its toll before they work to end it? (b) How much of this delayed reaction can be explained by the cultural norm which allows an injured maratabat much leeway before being reined in? (c) What childrearing practices make the Meranao so sensitive to the slightest provocation and so violent in reacting to such provocation? (d) Can education help the Meranao abandon the violent culture of rido? • Community leaders should be trained, through seminars, on peaceful ways of conflict resolution. • Peaceful means of resolving conflict in the context of Islam should be taught to Meranao children as early as in kindergarten. Should this not prove feasible, peace education should be conducted among families. An educational program stressing non-violent ways of resolving conflict should be pushed in Meranao areas where rido is prevalent. • A study on women as both pacifiers and initiators of conflict should be undertaken. • Include both peer mediation and conflict management curriculum as part of the plan to equip students with better or more effective conflictresolution skills geared towards peaceful means. • Educational institutions should develop partnerships with parents and leaders of organizations to explore ways in which conflict-management concepts and skill can be infused into the youth and adults alike. • Since most of the Meranao do not submit their rido cases to the Philippine court, it is encouraged that local government units must organize and empower the council of elders and other respected and credible community leaders to settle the rido in accordance with the taritib ago igma. • Study ways of utilizing or empowering the shari’ah to participate more widely in conflict regulation rather than be confined to domestic problems (divorce, inheritance). It is believed that formalizing this system will introduce new concepts of Islamic justice not previously done in Moro societies in Mindanao.

RIDO V2.indd 249

10/4/2007 8:24:20 AM

250 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Bibliography Books
Coser, Lewis. The Functions of Social Conflict. New York: The Free Press, 1956. Disoma, Esmail R. The Role of Violence in Social Organization: The Case of the Meranao and Their Maratabat. Iligan City: Ivory Printing and Publishing House, 2000. Farley, John E. Sociology. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1990. Hunt, Chester L., et al. Sociology in the Philippine Setting, A Modular Approach. Quezon City: Phoenix Publishing House, Inc., 1987. Orendain, Antonio. The Amicable Settlement of Disputes. Metro Manila: Alpha Omega Publication, 1978. Pe, Cecilio and Alfredo Tadiar. International Survey of Conciliation. Manila: UST Press Inc, 1982. Saber, Mamitua, Mauyag Tamano and Charles Warriner. “The Maratabat of the Maranaos.” The Maranao. Eds. Mamitua Saber and Abdullah Madale. Manila: Solidaridad Publishing House, 1960. Wallensteen, Peter. Understanding Conflict Resolution. London: SAGE Publications, Ltd., 2002.

Abdullah, Intuas M. “Conceptual Model of Dispute Settlement Among Maranao. An Alternative Approach in the Study of Conflict Resolution.” Arts and Science Journal, January 1982. ____________________. “Dispute Settlement Among Maranao: Studies of Conflict Resolution in Marawi City.” M.A. Thesis, Dept. of Anthropology. Univ. of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City. ___________________. “Indigenous Methodology of Conflict Resolution Among Maranao: A Theoretical Consideration.” Proceedings Symposium on Peace and Development in Mindanao. Eds. Dr. Luis Q. Lacar and Dr. Jaime An Lim, (1997). Alvarez, Myriam Lisseth, et al. “Comparing Third Parties in Peace Processes: Afghanistan, Guatemala and Sri Lanka.” Experiences from Conflict Resolution in the Third World. Dept. of Peace and Conflict Resolution, (1989). Buat, Musib M. “Survey of the Filipino Adat (Customary) Law and the Role of the Agama Court.” Mindanao Journal, (1985). Briones, Samuel M. “Maranao Kinship System.” Mindanao Journal. XI, 1-4 (July 1984-July 1985). University Research Center, Mindanao State University, Marawi City. Doucet, Ian. “Capacity Building Workshop.” Resource Pack for Conflict Transformation International Alert, (1996). __________. “Thinking About Conflict.” Resource Pack for Conflict Transformation International Alert, (1996). Escalante, Numer G Jr. “Involvement of Misamis Oriental Women Leaders in Conflict Management. Special Issue on Peace and Conflict Resolution in the Context of the Current Situation.” Capitol Journal on Culture and Society. XIV, 1 (SY 2002-2003).

RIDO V2.indd 250

10/4/2007 8:24:20 AM

Management and Resolution of Rido Among Meranao in Baloi, Lanao del Norte || 251

Glang, Sahid and Manuel M. Condovar. “Maguindanao.” Field Report Series No. 6, (1978). Philippine Center for Advanced Studies, Univ. of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City. Fisher, Ronald. “Generic Principles for Resolving Intergroup Conflict Constructive Conflict Management: An Answer to Critical Social Problems?” Journal of Social Issues. Eds. Susan K. Boardman and Sandra V. Horowitz (1994). Jundam, Mashur Bin-Ghalib. “Sama.” Asian Center Ethnic Research Field Report, II), 2 (1983). Asian Center, Univ. of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City _________________________. “Yakan.” Asian Center Ethnic Research Field Report, II, 2 (1978). Asian Center, Univ. of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City. ________________________. “Tausug.” Asian Center Ethnic Research Field Report, II, 2 (1978). Asian Center, Univ. of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City. Kadil, Ben J. “Some Notes on the T’boli History and Politics.” Mindanao Journal. XV, 1-4, (July 1988-June 1989). University Research Center, Mindanao State University, Marawi City. Magdalena, Federico V. “Theories of Social Conflict: A Bibliographic View.” Mindanao Journal. XVII, 1-2, (July 1990-December 1990). University Research Center, Mindanao State University, Marawi City. Moner, Nagamura T. “The Sharia’ah Law and Mindanao Autonomy: A Background Paper” The Technician. 6, 1, (December 1987). “Municipal Profile.” Comprehensive Land Use Plan. Baloi, Lanao del Norte, (2002). Reimer, Carlton. “Maranao Maratabat and the Concept of Pride, Honor and Selfesteem.” Dansalan Quarterly. IX, 4, (1976). Rubin, Jefferey Z. “Models of Conflict Management, Constructive Conflict Management: An Answer to Critical Social Problems?” Journal of Social Issues. Eds. Susan K. Boardman and Sandra V. Horowitz. New York: Plenum Publishing Corporation. Rubin, Jeffrey, Dean Pruitt, and Sung Hee Kim (eds). Social Conflict, Escalation, Stalemate, and Settlement. 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc.: 1994. Saber, Mamitua. “The Maratabat of the Maranaos.” Philippine Sociological Review. 3, 1-2, (January-April 1960). Saleeby, Najeeb. “Laws of the Moros.” Mindanao Journal. III, 3-4, (1977). University Research Center, Mindanao State Univ., Marawi City. Sinsuat, Mama S. “Filipino Muslim Society’s Administration of Justice.” Mindanao Journal. III, 3-4, (1977). University Research Center, Mindanao State Univ., Marawi City. Tawagon, Manuel. “The Evolution of Lanao Sultanates: A Theoretical Study on the Multi-centric Power System.” Mindanao Journal. XV, 1-4, (1990). University Research Center, Mindanao State Univ., Marawi City. Sumaguina, Ismael B. “Autonomous Authority of Maranao Indigenous Institutions on Conflict Resolution. “CSSH Graduate Research Journal. 2, 3-4 (July-Dec. 2000). Warriner, Charles K. “Notes on the Meranao.” Mindanao Journal. XI, 1-4, (July 1984July 1985). University Research Center, Mindanao State Univ., Marawi City.

RIDO V2.indd 251

10/4/2007 8:24:21 AM

252 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao Yumo, Dionisio. “Power Politics of the Southern Agusan Manobo.” Mindanao Journal. XV (July 1988-June 1989). University Research Center, Mindanao State Univ., Marawi City.

Ambos, Catherine L. and Nialyn Chrysa T. Chavez. “Methods of Conflict Resolution Among Higaunons in Barangay Rogongon, Iligan City.” Undergraduate Thesis. Sociology Dept., Mindanao State Univ.-Iligan Institute of Technology., 1999. Bently, George C. “Disputing and Ethnicity in Lanao, Philippines.” Ph. D. dissertation. Univ. of Washington, 1982. Bula, Dalomabi L. “The Role of Communication in Meranao Conflict Resolution.” PhD. dissertation. Language Studies, Xavier University, Cagayan de Oro City, 2000. Caris, Amroussy. “The Maranao Kinship Group and Maranao Revenge or Saop.” Undergraduate Thesis. Dept. of Political Science, Mindanao State Univ., Marawi City, 1991. Crispo, Christine and Jessamine Daayata. “Conflict Resolution of the Higaunon in Barangay Hagpa, Impasugong, Bukidnon.” Undergraduate Thesis. Political Science Dept. Mindanao State Univ.-Iligan Institute of Technology, 2004. De los Santos, Rufino. “A Program to Bring the Maranaos Within the Body Politic of the Republic of the Philippines.” M. A. Thesis. Dept. of Sociology, Univ. of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, 1950. Disoma, Esmail R. “The Concept of Maratabat in Maranao Society: A Sociological Reinterpetation.” M. A. Thesis. Dept. of Sociology, Univ. of the Philippines, 1982. Doro, Amer Hassan E. “So Sapolo ago Dowa a Ayonan Datu sa Momungan: A Study of a Political Institution.” Undergraduate Thesis. Political Science Dept., Mindanao State Univ.-Iligan Institute of Technology, 1993. Doro, Monalinda E. “Rido: A Case Study of An Indigenous Form of Conflict Resolution Among the Maranao in Pantaoragat, Lanao del Norte.” Undergraduate Thesis. Sociology Dept., Mindanao State Univ.-Iligan Institute of Technology, 1999. Dumarpa, Jaime Jr. T. “An Exploratory Study of Maranao Muslim Concepts of Land Ownership: Its Implications for the Maranao Conflict.” M. A. Thesis. Univ. of San Carlos, Cebu City, 1983. Garingo, Ma. Theresa. “Rido As A Factor in Meranao Migration.” M. A. Thesis. Xavier Univ., 1999. Mangorsi, Asnia B. “The Roles of Maranao Women As Reflected in Selected Maranao Proverbs.” Undergraduate Thesis. English Dept., Mindanao State Univ.Iligan Institute of Technology.

Unpublished Article
Anton, Bob. “Maladeg.” Unpublished article.

Conflict Management. www: http://www.doctorholmes.net/conflictmanagement. html. Retrieved March 1, 2006.

RIDO V2.indd 252

10/4/2007 8:24:21 AM

Management and Resolution of Rido Among Meranao in Baloi, Lanao del Norte || 253

Municipal Agriculture Office. “List of Crop Production, Livestock and Poultry Production,” 2002. Municipal Profile. “Comprehensive Land Use Plan.” Baloi, Lanao del Norte, 2002. National Statistics Office. “2000 Census of Population and Housing.” Report No. 2-52 L (Lanao del Norte), Volume 1, Demographic and Housing Characteristics, 2000.

RIDO V2.indd 253

10/4/2007 8:24:21 AM


ch a p ter e i g h t

Big War, Small Wars: The Interplay of Large-scale and Community Armed Conflicts in Five Central Mindanao Communities
Jose Jowel Canuday


ARGE-SCALE WAR has its effects on persistent and pre-existing local conflicts,” observes a World Bank social assessment on conflictaffected areas in Mindanao (The World Bank 2003:21). “One consequence of this is that parties to localized conflict often had occasion to bring military resources of secessionist movements and of the government to descend upon their enemies,” concludes the World Bank report. This study, on the other hand, shows that the reverse of the World Bank observation also manifests in certain situations in Central Mindanao. At times, local conflicts trigger large-scale armed confrontations between government and rebel forces. In these events, parties to localized conflicts are able to exploit, deliberately or not, the military resources of both forces. In certain cases, however, parties to localized armed conflicts are themselves part of the military resources of both government and rebel forces. Localized armed conflicts impact large-scale armed conflicts because of the ability of parties in local conflicts to employ the military resources of both state and rebels against perceived enemies. On other occasions, local armed groups are employed by government and rebel forces in large-scale armed engagements. Broadly, the major protagonists of the armed conflicts in Central Mindanao are the forces of the state composed of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (afp) and the Philippine National Police (pnp); and the forces
|| 254 ||

RIDO V2.indd 254

10/4/2007 8:24:22 AM

Big War, Small Wars || 255

of resistance/rebellion represented by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (milf) and the Moro National Liberation Front (mnlf). On the ground, these forces are augmented by an array of community-based armed groups who effectively represent the forces of the state and of rebellion and who provide a community character to the large-scale armed conflict. Paramilitary formations like the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (cafgu), Special cafgu Active Auxiliary (scaa) and the Civilian Volunteers Organization (cvo) back the state’s armed forces. On the other hand, the milf maintains area base commands that include armed local militias. By 2001, the government’s armed forces had a combined active-duty strength of 106,500 personnel. The Philippine Army boasted 68,000 personnel, followed by the Navy, the Marines and the Coast Guard with 23,000 personnel and the Philippine Air Force (Quitoriano and Libre 2001:26). At least five Army battalions were deployed in North Cotabato in 2001 (Quitoriano and Libre 2001:26). As of 2002, the strength of the Philippine National Police stood at 118,326 personnel (http://www.pnp.gov.ph/about/organization.html). The pnp organizational structure is composed of the central office or the national headquarters and 17 police regional offices (pros) nationwide corresponding to the regional subdivisions of the country. Six of these regional offices are in Mindanao. On the other hand, the strength of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (biaf), the armed wing of the milf, stands at 15,000 fighters (Philippine Star, January 17, 2000). The cafgu, the paramilitary forces organized through Executive Order 264 signed in 1987 by then President Corazon Aquino was estimated at around 75,000 persons in 1992 (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 14 March 2000). During the war in March 2000, an additional 35,000 cafgu members were mobilized by then President Joseph Estrada (Philippine Star, March 3, 2000) and around 10,000 were deployed in Mindanao (cf. Quitoriano and Libre 2001:28). Quitoriano and Libre refer to the cafgu, the scaa and cvo forces as “secondary actors” while the milf and the afp are the “warring parties” in the armed conflicts in Central Mindanao. The study notes that paramilitary forces, in particular the cafgu, are perceived as “adjunct” to government forces. The interplay of all these armed groups, however, brings forth an explosive situation that blurs the line between “secondary actors” and “warring parties;” and is significant in understanding the recurring character of violence in the conflict-prone areas of Central Mindanao. Against this backdrop, the interplay between pre-existing community conflicts and large-scale armed confrontations is apparent especially in the case of five

RIDO V2.indd 255

10/4/2007 8:24:22 AM

256 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

conflict-prone multi-cultural communities in Maguindanao and North Cotabato covered by this study. Framework In exploring the tension between state and rebellion as well as among community-based armed groups, this study follows political theorist Hannah Arendt’s suggestion of raising the question of violence in the political realm and dealing with the issue of violence as a “phenomenon in its own right (Arendt, 1969/2004: 236).” Arendt’s position appears to be echoed by other analytical works on the meaning of violence which take into account the vital role of “socially rooted and historically formed relations of power, force and dominance in defining social relations, effected through violent action (Abbink, 2000:xi).” Locating Culture and Violence Abbink’s emphasis on relations of power in explaining violence is a reaction against viewing culture—however defined—as in any way explanatory of violence. In a collection of essays by historians, sociologists and anthropologists which he co-edited in 2000, Abbink notes that “violent actions are much more meaningful and rule bound than reports about them lead us to believe” (cf. Abbink 2000: xii). The essays’ critique of a reductive view of culture as the root cause of violence is highly crucial at this time when much of the violence in contemporary society from conflict in Sulu and Lanao del Sur to the murder of journalists nationwide is being attributed to the supposed “culture of violence” or “gun culture” of certain ethnic groups. 1 (Mindanao Peaceweavers, Disoma 2000:60, 2005:6, nujp: 30 January 2005). Given the state of the nation as well as current world affairs, it is simplistic to regard the higher incidence of armed conflict in certain areas as well as the propensity of some groups to stockpile weapons as a matter of “culture.” Does the fact the wars have featured significantly in European history or that national liberation movements continue to thrive across parts of Asia and Africa mean that residents of these areas are “culturally violent”? Were the anti-colonial heroes of the Philippine Revolution “prone to violence”? In 1992-1998, most of the firearms—M16s, M14s, M1911 or 115 A-1 automatic

1 The Sulu Solidarity Mission noted in their March 28-30, 2005 fact-finding report that Col. Nehemias Pajarito, commander of the Army’s 104th Brigade based in Sulu, sees the problem in Sulu as one of asserting the law. In Pajarito’s view, the people there “respect the law only when force is behind it.” He points to what he calls the Moro or particularly Tausug “culture of violence” or “culture of the gun” (Sulu Peace and Solidarity Mission and the Mindanao Peace Weavers 2005).

RIDO V2.indd 256

10/4/2007 8:24:22 AM

Big War, Small Wars || 257

rifles—that entered the country came from the United States (Libre and Quitoriano cf. 2001:31) Can we then conclude that Americans are a “culturally violent” lot? Rather than label any particular culture as violent, it is more constructive for us to examine violence as a “phenomenon in its own right,” as well as power and social relations “effected through violent action.” Arendt and Abbink’s positions are, to some extent, reflected in Thomas McKenna’s ethnographic observation on the paradoxical nature of the Moro nationalist-oriented resistance against Philippine government rule over the province of Cotabato in the 1970s. McKenna notes that the notion of a Bangsamoro nation, supposedly the central symbol of Mindanao’s “Muslim separatist movement,” had little or no resonance among the movement’s rank-and-file adherents (Mckenna, 1998:2).” His findings counter assumptions that adherence to nationalist movements is “motivated by the resonant force of elite-generated nationalist ideas.” In the context of the Central Mindanao experience, McKenna’s observation highlights the problematic nature of assessments that tend to assume that persons or groups affiliated with the so-called “Muslim separatist movement,” a term he as well as other scholars and the media often use in reference to Moro resistance groups like the mnlf and the milf, are a homogenous lot who share similar objectives that define their actions. Similarly, one would be naïve to assume that all members of paramilitary forces like the cvo and cafgu affiliated with the afp support the national government. What role does nationalist ideology play in these alignments? McKenna suggests that the armed conflict may only be adequately understood “by means of wide-ranging and multilayered analysis of domination, accommodation and resistance.” He adds that explaining these paradoxes, “demands the analysis of power relations operating in two political arenas—the external and local domain” where the configurations of culture can be situated. These suggestions, to a large extent, echo Arendt’s position that the question of violence be raised to a political realm as well as Abbink’s position that relations of power, force and dominance be considered in examining social relations punctuated by violence. This study keeps track of the “complex conjuncture” (cf. McKenna 2000:5) of political forces and power relations at play in the areas covered by the study and locate the configurations of culture in these relations. In terms of alignment of forces; government soldiers, the police, local chief executives, and paramilitary forces like the cafgu, cvos and scaas tend to gravitate to one side of the political divide while the milf and their armed militias occupy the other. There are many approaches to understanding violence in a multi-cultural environment complicated by armed engagements between the forces of the state and of resistance. This study factored in the dynamics of competing

RIDO V2.indd 257

10/4/2007 8:24:23 AM

258 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

political formations—with all their trappings of power, strength, force and authority—in creating tension and escalating violence within and among communities. Conceptualizing Power, Strength, Force, and Authority In the context of state building and resistance, Arendt posits a model for understanding violence vis-à-vis the concepts of power, strength, force, and authority. Although these key words are often held to be synonyms, Arendt draws paradoxical meanings from their usage. She suggests that if one ceases to “reduce public affairs to the business of dominion,” the “original data in the realm of human affairs will appear, or rather, reappear in their authentic diversity (Arendt 2004:239)” For Arendt, “power corresponds to the human ability not just to act but to act in concert.” She explains that power is “never a property of an individual” but belongs to a “group and remains in existence only so long as the group keeps together.” “When we say of somebody in “power’ we actually refer to his being empowered by a certain number of people to act in their name (p. 239).” Strength, according to Arendt, is “the property inherent in an object or person and belongs to its character, which may prove itself in relation to other things or persons, but is essentially dependent of them.” “The strength of even the strongest individual can always be overpowered by the many, who often will combine for no other purpose than to ruin strength precisely because of its peculiar independence,” Arendt notes (p. 239). Force is often associated in daily speech as a synonym for violence especially if violence serves as a means of coercion, observes Arendt. She suggests, however, that in terminological language, force should be reserved to indicate the energy released by physical or social movements. Authority, for Arendt, can be vested in persons or in offices and its hallmark is unquestioning recognition by those who are asked to obey—“neither coercion nor persuasion is needed.” Authority requires respect for the person of the office. Its “greatest enemy,” however, is “contempt, and the surest way to undermine it is laughter.” Finally, Arendt distinguishes violence by its “instrumental character.” She notes that phenomenologically, violence is “close to strength, since the implements of violence, like all other tools, are designed and used for the purpose of multiplying natural strength until, in the last stage of their development, they can substitute for it (Arendt 2004:239).” This study locates the relations and distinctions of power, strength, force, authority, and violence in several Central Mindanao communities in

RIDO V2.indd 258

10/4/2007 8:24:23 AM

Big War, Small Wars || 259

order to understand the interplay between community-based conflicts and large-scale armed conflict involving state and rebellion—the small wars and big wars. In locating the relations and distinctions of power, strength, force, authority, and violence, this research takes note of the alignment of major political and armed forces in Central Mindanao. These forces include the afp, the pnp, the paramilitary scaa, cafgu and cvos, local government executives who influence the maintenance, deployment and mobilization of paramilitary forces; the milf, the mnlf and their militias. Conceptualizing “War” A notion left unsettled in this framework, however, is this work’s use of the term “war” in describing the interplay of large and community armed conflicts. Is the term justifiable or a mere attempt at sensationalizing the armed tensions examined by this study? Mary Kaldor, in a groundbreaking comparative study of wars from the birth of nations to the era of globalization, describes war as an armed conflict “intimately bound up with the evolution of modern state” based on the discourse of Karl von Clausewitz (Kaldor 2001:13, 15, 17-25). Kaldor notes Clausewitz’s definition of war as an “act of violence intended to compel our opponent to fulfill our will” (cf. Kaldor p.15). Clausewitz sees war as a social activity between states characterized by the mobilization and organization of individual men, “almost never women,” for the purpose of inflicting violence. For Kaldor, Clausewitz’s argument implies that war has a definable end that could be in accordance with state interests. Kaldor refers to Clausewtiz’s (“On War,” Clausewitz 1892/1968:1-202), argument that war involves three actors—the state, or political leaders; the army, or the generals; and the people—who are all linked through “reciprocal actions.” (cf. Kaldor 21). Kaldor outlines the logic of these reciprocal actions: at a political level, the state always meets resistance in achieving its objectives and therefore has to press harder; the military must aim to disarm its opponent to achieve its political objective and avoid counterattacks, while the strength of will to wage war depends on popular sentiment as war unleashes passions and hostility that may be uncontrollable. Kaldor claims that the problem with this notion of a war is that it is no longer in consonance with present reality. Clauzewitz, notes Kaldor, is describing the “total wars” of the first half of the twentieth century that require “vast mobilization of national energies both to fight and to support the fighting (cf. Kaldor 25).” In a “total war,” the public sphere tries to draw the whole society into the act of war, and in the process eliminates the distinction between the private and public domains. Yet, as war

RIDO V2.indd 259

10/4/2007 8:24:23 AM

260 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

involves more and more people and breaks down the distinction between the military and the civilian, the justification of war in terms of state interest becomes suspect. People go to war for different reasons—ranging from adventure to patriotism—that are not necessarily in consonance with the aim of the state. By the World War II, other forms of modern warfare such as resistance and guerrilla movements as that led by Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong had broken out. It was the Cold War, Kaldor points out, which kept alive the idea of “total war” as the two competing superpowers continued to mobilize vast armies and upgrade war technologies even while they tried to avoid a shooting war. Kaldor argues that more lives have been lost in the wars following WWII “but because these wars did not fit our conception of war, they were discounted (p.29). Other forms of wars apart from those involving states have emerged out of the cracks of modern warfare and provide “new ways of socializing violence” (Kaldor, p. 30). The term civil war describes these other forms of war. European war historians Thaithe and Thornton observe that the difference between war and civil war is “somewhat spurious, for even if a civil war does not directly address the pre-eminence of a state, it deals with the structure of society within itself ” (Thaite and Thornton 1998:4). The duo adds that historians obsessed in factoring in the state in describing wars “have only recently broadened their horizons to include the diversity of society constructs” (cf. Thaite and Thornton). Thornton argues that “even small-scale communities can be shaped or even made through the organized and purposeful violence we call war” (cf. Thaite and Thornton). Communities torn by armed confrontation in Central Mindanao are not isolated, independent or inaccessible. Some villagers in Pikit, North Cotabato and in the towns of Mamasapano and Dapiawan in Maguindanao have been armed since their cafgu and cvo units were brought under afp command with support of local government units. Under such a relationship, armed villagers became inextricably linked with the forces of the state. In the same vein, villagers contesting state forces have also joined non-state armed groups in an effort to arm and organize military structures capable of countering the afp. The structures and resources for warfare are effectively established at the level of the communities building the condition for the interplay of community and large-scale armed conflicts, the small and the big wars. Research Questions The question that this research strives to investigate is how exactly the state and rebel forces are drawn into community conflicts and how community

RIDO V2.indd 260

10/4/2007 8:24:24 AM

Big War, Small Wars || 261

conflicts draw state and rebel forces into armed confrontations. Corollary to the main question, this research post the following queries: • How do we distinguish the various shades and layers of local-level conflicts in a social milieu where clans, state, and rebellion interplay in communities repeatedly affected by armed conflicts? How do clan, inter and intra community conflicts complicate the positions, movement, and actions of the state and rebel forces in conflict affected area? How does the more expansive state and rebel conflict complicate clan, inter- and intra-community conflicts? • How do conflicts start and escalate? How are these conflicts addressed, averted and resolved? Who are involved in conflict-resolution efforts? What are the factors that contribute to the success or failure in averting the escalation of conflicts? What are the roles of the clans, community and religious leaders, local government units, the military, rebel forces, and civil society groups in conflict-resolution process? • Do local-level conflicts deter persons displaced by major armed conflicts between state and rebellion from returning home to rehabilitate their strife-torn communities? What, if any, efforts were initiated by displaced communities to deal with local-level conflicts and facilitate the return of people to their communities? What spelled the success or failure of these efforts? • Do traditional social organizations of displaced communities continue to function or is there a general breakdown of that organization in the course of large-scale armed conflict and the subsequent magnification of pre-existing local conflicts? Were they able to recreate, refine or reinstitute the community-based social organizations in the course of repeated armed conflicts and displacements? • How do the state and other groups aiding the evacuees view security? How does the evacuees’ view of security conform to or differ from the state’s definition of national security and the notion of human security of civil society groups?

RIDO V2.indd 261

10/4/2007 8:24:24 AM

262 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Methodology Case Study In observing the interplay of small and big wars, this work looks into five communities repeatedly affected both by large-scale and community armed conflicts to build on a case study. These communities cover the following areas: Linantangan in Mamasapano, Maguindanao; Dapiawan in Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao; Buliok in Pagalungan, Maguindanao; Nalapaan and Gli-gli Pikit in North Cotabato; and Lebpas in President Roxas, North Cotabato. Locations of the case studies reflect the ethnic, religious, and political affiliations of villages repeatedly affected by armed conflict. Linantangan, Dapiawan and Buliok are villages dominated by Maguindanaoan Moro. Ilonggo, Ilocano and Bisaya Christians, and the Maguindanaoan share the villages of Gli-gli and Nalapaan in Pikit, North Cotabato. Erumanen ne Menuvu Lumad and the Maguindanaoans occupy the village of Lebpas and its neighboring areas along the Pulangi River in President Roxas and Carmen town, North Cotabato. These areas, viewed as a whole and examined based on their particularities, provide for an illuminating contrast of the interplay of small and big wars. Probing Interconnected Conflicts: Case Studies Case Study 1: A Runaway Family Feud in Linantangan Shortly before daybreak on January 9, 2005, a band of milf guerrillas assaulted the patrol base of the Alpha Company of the Army’s 37th Infantry Battalion at a two-hectare coconut grove along the main road of barangay Linantangan in Mamasapano town, Maguindanao. The attackers, led by Abdul Rahman Binago, a field guerrilla leader of the milf’s 109th base command, killed seven of the soldiers and overran the base. Immediately, government forces responded with sustained massive ground and air attack that preceded troop deployment. The assault and the corresponding government response displaced an estimated 3,500 civilians in Linantangan and surrounding villages. As the skies thundered and the ground shook with artillery and aircraft bombing, the government stepped up its media offensive against the milf by charging that the attacking rebels executed government soldiers captured alive. (Philippine Star, January 12, 2005). Benjie Midtimbang, then chair of the milf side of the Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (ccch), denied the news report. He said the false account was meant to portray the milf as not respectful

RIDO V2.indd 262

10/4/2007 8:24:24 AM

Big War, Small Wars || 263

of human rights. The government side of the ccch did not openly raise the issue of the reported summary executions. Instead, they took to task their milf counterparts for the breach of the ceasefire agreed upon during the joint ccch meeting at the Marco Polo Hotel in Davao City on February 2004. The meeting, however, ended on a positive note with mutual assurance of cooperation and a shared view that the incident would not undermine the 1997 ceasefire. In the meeting, milf ccch, in turn, released a Central Committee statement that “openly disowns any responsibility in the flare up of fighting” in Mamasapano (milf Central Committee, 2005). Gadzali Jaafar, milf vice chair for political affairs (Jaafar, 2005) claimed that the assault was never sanctioned by the milf Central Committee and was an “independent decision of few that is totally outside the realm of the milf(cf. Jaafar).” The January 9 incident, however, underscored the tension among feuding members of the family owning the land where the Army set up a patrol base. This tension was complicated by the social and political alignments that divided the family members. Before the January 9 assault, the civil society-led Bantay Ceasefire reported the following violent incidents: August 27, 2004. A milf member was shot dead by a cvo member while patrolling the highway from Libutan to Linantangan and Tuka na Lipao Mamasapano (Bantay Ceasefire, August 2004). August 28-29, 2004. Armed clashes between milf and scaa/37TH ib –paafp at Brgy. Linantangan and Tuka na Lipao, Mamasapano, Maguindanao (Bantay Ceasefire, August 2004). October 04, 2004. A certain Sgt. Molita of the 37th IB Intelligence Unit was shot dead at Linantangan (Bantay Ceasefire, November 2004). October 15, 2004. Two corpses, later identified as those of milf members, were seen floating at the Kabulnan River at Brgy. Old Maganoy, Mamasapano. (Bantay Ceasefire, November 2004 report)2. Linantangan, an area thriving with copra, rice, corn, and fresh water fishing production, is an economically vibrant Maguindanaon village.

2 Maj. Dickson Hermoso, head of the government CCCH secretariat, says in an interview at Cotabato City in October 2004, for this study that based on their investigation the two MILF members were cousins and slain by members of a rival family. The slaying prompted a large gathering of the victims’ relatives, a number of them also members of the MILF, to plot their moves in relation to the attack. Retaliation have been debated on but the elder members of the family prevailed in opposing a violent response and in recommending to end the conflict through a peace negotiations with their rival family. Hermoso says the gathering, however, alerted government soldiers who initially thought the mass up was a provocative act by the MILF. A joint CCCH investigation, however, clarified the context of the gathering avoiding military deployment in the area.

RIDO V2.indd 263

10/4/2007 8:24:25 AM

264 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Stores, cellphone account reloading shops, coconut and corn crop warehouses, concrete and wooden single and two-storey houses line the village’s main road. The village is only about 20 km from Shariff Aguak town, currently the seat of the provincial government of Maguindanao.3 Several young women in the community have gone to work abroad, particularly in the Middle East. The revenues they send home are invested in businesses and farms. Though far from opulent, Linantangan thrives with farming and trading. Educational institutions, in particular a mahad or a high-level Arabic school and a public elementary school are present in the village that is typical of a vibrant, well-populated though less developed rural community in Mindanao. Power Relations, Strength, Alignment Linantangan’s prospects, however, have been dimned by political conflict. Linantangan has been without an official leader and a functioning barangay government due to frequent feuds among village leaders. In 2004, Linantangan barangay chair Kempen Bangadan stayed away from the village as tension between him and his nephews, Daotin Gandang Palaguyan and Kagi Faizal Gandang Palaguyan, turned bloody. While the barangay government remained weak, the Army deployed two companies from the 37th infantry battalion in the village and neighboring areas since mid-2004. Meanwhile, on the fringes of Linantangan, a myriad of armed groups are positioned to challenge government forces. The milf and the mnlf have maintained separate base commands in the area effectively dispersing the centers of power and authority in that small village. Aside from deploying their regular forces, the armed groups also distribute firearms and ammunitions to members of the community aligned with them. The Army employs the cafgu, scaa and cvo to assist in controlling the area. These paramilitary forces are supported by town and provincial government executives. The milf and the mnlf, on the other hand, have established armed militias to strengthen their position in the area. Ahmad Ampatuan, a son of Maguindanao Governor Andal Ampatuan, is town mayor. Mayor Ampatuan’s authority is strengthened by the local police and by the scaa and cvo contingent supported by the Maguindanao provincial government.

3 Remarkably, the location of the seat of the provincial government of Maguindanao has been shifting depending on who becomes governor of the province. The provincial capitol used to be located in Cotabato City but during the governorship of Zacaria Candao, it was transferred to Crossing Simuay in Sultan Kudarat town. When Governor Andal Ampatuan wrestled control over the province, he transferred the provincial capitol in his hometown in Shariff Aguak.

RIDO V2.indd 264

10/4/2007 8:24:25 AM

Big War, Small Wars || 265

Against the backdrop of competing armed strengths and complex alignment of forces emerged a highly emotional land-related dispute between Bangadan and his nephews. As disagreements persisted, the opposing sides took more aggressive stances that later became alarmingly violent. Clashes The following account is based on a series of interviews from residents and community leaders in Mamasapano as well as documents. On June 14, 2004, Daotin Gandang Palaguyan, along with a retinue of armed supporters, stormed the house of his uncle, barangay chair Kempen Bagandan, to confront him about the charges that Bangadan allegedly made against Gandang and his brother Paisal Palaguyan, also known as Faisal Sumakwel. Gandang did not meet Bangadan who was away at that time. Instead, Gandang confronted Bangadan’s supporters and took with him three rifles—two M1 Garand and an M1 Carbine—held by the barangay official’s men. It turned out, however, that the firearms were “owned” by Mamasapano Mayor Ahmad Ampatuan who had issued them temporarily to Bangadan. Immediately after the incident, Mayor Ampatuan wrote and informed then milf ccch chair Benjie Midtimbang of the situation and warned of possible violence if nothing is done to address the situation. His letter was diplomatically crafted as he sought for the committee’s intervention. Part of the letter reads: I respectfully bring to your attention for immediate intervention an incident that had happened a couple of days ago, which we believe an absolute demerit to our exerted effort in obtaining the success of our noble objective. We further believed that this incident will even turn into a brewing issue or scenario that endangers life and property among our civilians populace… Finally, being responsible partners and instrument in succeeding our objectives for long lasting peace and order in pursuit of public interest, I may again reiterate to ask and request your immediate intervention for an acceptable mitigating solution and likewise I take part to do all my best in expense of my capability to do same. The letter, dated June 16, 2004, attached two separate spot reports sent by the Delta company of the Army’s 37th IB to their commanding officer at 8:35 a.m. and 4:35 p.m.. The first report partly reads:

RIDO V2.indd 265

10/4/2007 8:24:25 AM

266 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Certain Rotin4 Gandang ransacked the residence of Kempen Bangadan, Barangay chairman of Barangay Linantangan, Mamasapano, Maguindanao. After which carted away with him one carbine and one cal. 30-M1 Garand rifle. Action taken 0635 Hours same day. One platoon from Delta company Led by Lt. Beharin take pursuit operation tracking down the route of withdrawal of the suspect. The second report linked the attack to the heightening feud between the uncle and his nephews, as it partly reads: Initial investigation made by this unit revealed that Rotin Gandang who carted away one carbine and two cal. 30-M1 Garand rifle was identified by Tuks Kempen, son of Kempen Bangadan, Barangay chair of Linantangan Mamasapano, who was actually present during the incident. Motive of his action is that Rotin Gandang is hiding an old grudge and to make even with barangay chairman Bangadan and to his family who gave consent in installing company CP (command post) of delta company, 37th IB, 6th ID, PA (Philippine Army) on the lot owned by the former. The perpetrator took refuge to milf rebels at sitio Tatapan, barangay Kitango, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao. One platoon from the company led by 2nd Lt Bejarin jumped off from company CP to Southwest direction at 15305 June 04 ( 3:05 a.m. of June 15, 2004) to conduct search and rescue operation to recover firearms which was carted away by the perpetrator… result of operation – negative and no enemy contact.” On June 17, the Mamasapano police station drafted its own report on the incident that revealed similar findings. Both reports illustrate how family and community-level conflicts complicate the positions of government and milf rebels. From an intra-family conflict involving an uncle and a nephew, the armed tension drew the milf into the fray as the nephews sought refuge in the rebels’ lair. In reaction, the Army also geared up in search for Palaguyan, Gandang and their followers who hid behind milf lines. At that point, the milf did not engage the Army’s search team. About two months later, however, the situation was complicated by the Army’s establishment of a patrol base right at the disputed property of the warring family members.

4 Rotin Gandang is identified as Dautin by Linantangan folk and as documented by the Bantay Ceasefire team. Army and police reports available at the Mamasapano town hall, however, variably spelled Gandang’s name as Rotin, Dotin and Dontin.

RIDO V2.indd 266

10/4/2007 8:24:26 AM

Big War, Small Wars || 267

The situation worsened when tension between the uncle and his nephews intensified following Palaguyan’s issuance of a two-page letter to a group of farmers working on Bangadan’s coconut farm. Palaguyan’s letter, dated June 22, 2004, warn the workers of dire consequences if they continue their work.5 Paluguyan signed the letter, Paisal Sumakwel. The letter, written in Maguindanaoan, prohibits the farmers from working on the farm for Bangadan. Paisal claims that his uncle owed him, Paisal, damages worth P1.7 million. He based his damage claims on the following incidents: • The destruction of their house by Bangadan’s forces. • The cutting of trees and coconut on their farm on Bangadan’s behest. • The destruction to their livelihood caused by Bangadan and the losses that he, Paisal, incurred in terms of time. • An incident wherein he, Paisal, was fired upon by Bangadan’s men following Bangadan’s orders. • The shooting of his brother, Dontin, by government soldiers on Bangadan’s orders. • An incident where Bangadan forces chased him, Paisal, and his forces out of Linantangan. Palaguyan emphasizes in the letter that he wants these issues tackled by a Shari’ah court, a judicial body whose members are associated with the milf local command in Mamasapano. The letter reveals the deep disagreement between the uncle and his nephews over the utilization of a familyowned coconut grove along the Linantangan highway. The same property was used as the patrol base of Delta and later on the Alpha Company of the Army’s 37th IB, an arrangement resented by brothers Dotin and Paizal. The brothers blamed Kempen of maneuvering to have the Army base on the family property. The reported raid at Bangadan’s house and Palaguyan’s letter alarmed elders in Linantangan and in neighboring communities. Barangay officials, the elders, ulama, and other traditional leaders in the village and neighboring areas convened in adjacent barangay Libutan. In the gathering, officials from neighboring barangays were concerned that Gandang’s carting away

5 The letter was turned over to the Mamasapano police staff and then to Mayor Ahmad. He had the letter photocopied and personally handed Midtimbang a copy when he and government CCCH secretariat chair Maj. Dickson Hermoso met the chief executive at the Mamasapano town hall to investigate the circumstances behind the August 28, 2005 dawn attack and the subsequent governmentMILF firefight.

RIDO V2.indd 267

10/4/2007 8:24:26 AM

268 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

of Ampatuan’s issued firearms inadvertently dragged the mayor and his family into the conflict. The milf reportedly failed to act on Ampatuan’s June 16 letter to Midtimbang. The village elders and leaders feared that if the firearms were not returned, the Ampatuans would likely mobilize the cvo against Gandang Palaguyan and expand the conflict. Some barangay leaders proposed that Linantangan folk and neighboring communities take responsibility for Gandang’s action and pledge before Mayor Ampatuan that they would raise the money for firearms to replace those taken away by Gandang. One of the barangay officials suggested that they “buy” the peace from Mayor Ahmad by paying for the three rifles. The barangay official offered P15,000 and challenged other community leaders to contribute. Majority of the Linantangan elders, however, were not willing to shell out money. The gathering adjourned without agreement. At that time, the conflict between Bangadan and his nephews had already drawn the attention of milf local base command, the paramilitary forces controlled by the Ampatuans, and the Army. On August 28, 2004, Kempen Bangadan, supported by about a hundred scaa and cvo members under the provincial government’s command, moved to Linantangan. Witnesses to the scaa and cvo troop movement noted that the group assembled and jumped off from Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao’s capital town and passed through the road connecting barangays Libutan and Linantangan. On the road, however, a cvo member recognized a road hiker as a member of the family with whom the militia member’s family had been at odds with due to years of retaliatory killings. The cvo took his weapon and shot the man who turned out to be an milf member. The incident exacerbated tensions in the area as the family of the slain man wanted vengeance. A barangay official, involved in conflict-resolution efforts in the town, noted that the tiff between Bangadan and his nephews sparked other complicated armed tension in their area. The official claimed that a cousin of the slain milf man was the one responsible for the October 4, 2004 killing of Sgt. Of Molita of the 37th IB Intelligence Unit. He observed that the motive for the killing was more personal than political because the killer viewed the soldiers who are allies of the cafgu and the cvos as fair target. An Army officer at the Linantangan patrol base, however, rejected the barangay official’s view. The officer maintained that the killing was perpetrated by an milf member. The two milf members and Army Sgt. Molina are among the casualties of the many-sided conflicts in Linantangan and environs. At dawn on August 27, 2005, Bangadan forces assaulted a group of armed men in the forested part of the village where they thought Palaguyan and Gandang’s forces had encamped. The armed men turned out

RIDO V2.indd 268

10/4/2007 8:24:26 AM

Big War, Small Wars || 269

to be members of the milf’s 108 base command whose forces repulsed Bangadan’s assault. As the firefight escalated, Bangadan’s forces withdrew and sought refuge at the patrol base of the Army’s 37th IB, the military facility established at the property disputed by Bangadan and his nephews6. Milf forces pursued the scaa forces but Army troopers at the patrol base were alerted early on and took defensive position to repulse the attacking milf forces. As the fighting raged, government soldiers called for reinforcement. This prompted aerial and artillery bombardment and ground assault on suspected milf positions. At about 3 a.m. of August 28, the feud had turned into a battle between the Army and milf forces. The afp employed heavy artillery and at around 1:30 p.m., OV10 aircraft bombed milf positions. Sporadic shelling continued to about 8 in the evening—the small war involving an uncle and his nephews had turned into a big war between the afp and milf guerrillas. As the battle raged, the scaa, the cvos and other armed groups occupied strategic positions in the community. Bantay Ceasefire monitors, including this researcher, caught up with the scaa and cvo members, fully equipped with high-powered firearms like M16 and M14 rifles, occupying a public elementary school in Linantangan. In front of the school was an armored vehicle mounted with two machine guns controlled by the scaa and cvo. As observed in a Bantay Ceasefire report, the armed men “covered their faces, some were in civilian clothes and some of those in uniform have no nameplates or insignia to identify their units (cf. Bantay Ceasefire: August 2004).” At the sight of Bangadan’s heavily armed forces and Army reinforcement, residents in central Linantangan immediately evacuated, grabbing and loading as many possessions as they could on their carabao-drawn carts or tricycles. I took photographs of a fleeing family who tied up their six-cubic feet refrigerator to a small rickety tricycle fully loaded with kitchen utensils and other household belongings. Others loaded their belongings onto carabao-pulled carts. The more affluent families used six wheeler trucks. Evacuees told the Bantay Ceasefire monitors that families bring along everything they can because looting follows armed conflicts. Families without transport means, however, were forced to leave most of their possessions behind. An August 30, 2005 Bantay Ceasefire report also recorded “looting of various home appliances (TV sets, CD players, radio cassette recorders, karaoke sets), stocks in stores (softdrinks, copra), and fowls (ducks and chickens) as complained by civilian residents of Linantangan (cf. Bantay Ceasefire: August 2005).”
6 The patrol base was the same facility attacked by MILF Commander Binago on January 9, 2005, killing seven soldiers.


RIDO V2.indd 269

10/4/2007 8:24:27 AM

270 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Eventually, the armed confrontations displaced thousands of families across 11 barangays, namely Linantangan, Daladap, Pimbalakan, Bagumbong, Tuka na Lipao, Duguengen, Liab, Dabenayon, Dasikil, Pagatin, and Pusao. When the Bantay Ceasefire team reached central Linantangan on August 28, the village was abandoned. Villagers fled and sought refuge at schools, mosques or the homes of their relatives in the neighboring communities of Manungkaling, Mamasapano poblacion, Libutan and Tuka na Lipao. The firefight ended after the joint ccch intervened. Consequently, cvo members withdraw at around 2 p.m. on August 28 after the Army and the local milf commands agreed to a ceasefire called by the ccch. I and other members of the Bantay Ceasefire team saw the men board a 10-wheeler truck for Shariff Aguak. Case Study 2: War and Peace in Dapiawan About a hundred milf guerrilla forces swooped down the busy market place of barangay Dapiawan in Datu Saudi Ampatuan town, Maguindanao province at mid-morning of August 17, 2004. The Army’s 601st Brigade immediately responded to contest the milf presence in the area by deploying more than a hundred men armed with high-powered weapons and machine gun-equipped armored personnel carrier. The standoff triggered street gun battles which spilled over to the surrounding coconut grove. The military called in two assault aircraft that gave cover to government ground troops. The fierce firefight left three persons including an Army sergeant dead, blasted a food stall, and forced the evacuation of thousands of civilians from the market place, the main commercial and residential area of barangay Dapiawan. Barangay Dapiawan is a rural but vibrant trading village along the highway connecting the Maguindanao provincial capitol in Shariff Aguak and a string of towns and villages upstream of the Maguindanao section of Pulangi River and the westerly portions of the sprawling Liguasan Marsh. Based on a 2000 government census, only about 349 families or a total of 1,633 persons populated the area (Medco 2004). On the ground, however, the scene at Dapiawan’s market place showcases a commercially active area where eateries, food and dry goods stalls, farm products purchasing centers, and general merchandise shops abound. Residents interviewed for this study shared that the village’s marketplace was teeming with farmers and traders when gunfire ripped the air. The fighting stemmed from the fatal shooting of two middle-aged men, Mohammad Ali Kahal and Ibrahim Udtog, at the market around 7 that morning by members of the paramilitary cvo. A Dapiawan cvo leader, who

RIDO V2.indd 270

10/4/2007 8:24:27 AM

Big War, Small Wars || 271

agreed to be interviewed for this study, admitted responsibility to the killing, but said the slaying of Udtog was “accidental” as he was hit by a stray bullet. The cvo leader said their real target was the 60-year old Kahal who was a relative of a group of armed men who killed their cousin, Barodi Zacaria, five days earlier. He admitted that they have no firm information linking Kahal directly to Zacaria’s killing but considered Kahal a legitimate target because he is an milf commander based in Sarangani. The cvo leader noted that Zacaria himself was never involved in the family feuds. It turned out that Kahal’s son and other relatives were ranking leaders of a local milf command. Market vendors claimed that Kahal’s sons asked some relatives residing near the Dapiawan market to retrieve his body. The cvos, however, refused to give up the body on the grounds that a police team was coming to investigate and that Kahal was an milf commander from another place. Udtog’s relatives, on the other hand, were allowed to pick up his remains. Kahal’s kin were humiliated by the cvos’ move and by the fact that Kahal was left sprawled on the pavement for hours. The situation prompted the milf’s local commanders to mount an operation to retrieve Kahal’s body. The cvos detected the milf’s movement and immediately withdrew from the area, leaving Kahal’s body behind. As milf forces moved in at around 9:30 a.m., three policemen escorted by three soldiers also arrived at the scene of the killing. The presence of milf and government forces in the village immediately triggered an armed confrontation, prompting the soldiers to call for reinforcement. The Army immediately deployed troops and military hardware. Soon the Army and the milf guerrillas in Dapiawan were exchanging gunfire, transforming the family vendetta into a confrontation between government and milf rebel forces. As the fighting raged, milf forces were able to snatch the body of Kahal. They carried the corpse through the labyrinth of narrow passageways and houses at the market. The guerrillas left a trail of blood at the scene as they withdrew towards a coconut grove. As the milf retreated, the Army sent for reinforcement and called in fighter jets broadening the arena of confrontation. Reports of the escalating clashes quickly reached the members of the joint government-milf ccch, and civil society-led ceasefire monitoring groups who, at the time of the clashes, had rendezvoused in Tacurong City en route to S.K. Pendatun town in Sultan Kudarat to investigate an Air Force bombing operation some days earlier. Members of the joint ccch decided to postpone the investigation in S.K. Pendatun and proceed instead to Dapiawan in an effort to pacify the warring forces. Then Sec. Teresita Deles, presidential adviser on the peace process, also advised the government ccch team led by Maj. Dickson Hermoso to immediately intervene

RIDO V2.indd 271

10/4/2007 8:24:27 AM

272 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

in the Dapiawan incident. The Bantay Ceasefire team decided to join the joint ccch in its Dapiawan mission. The ceasefire-monitoring teams reached Dapiawan by noon. Sporadic exchange of gunfires could still be heard from where the teams were positioned. Immediately, Hermoso and Midtimbang approached government field commanders led by Col. Romulo Ocfemia, commander of the Army’s 37th infantry battallion, and discussed the situation. After a brief talk, Hermoso and Midtimbang agreed that they would communicate to the chain of commands of their respective organizations and push for a ceasefire. Amid the sound of gunfire, Hermoso took his satellite phone, dialed and briefed his superior, then government ccch chair Brig. Gen. Alexander Yano, of the situation and informed him of the agreement with Midtimbang. Gen. Yano quickly worked his way up the chain of command of the afp in an effort to clinch a ceasefire. Within arms length of Hermoso, Midtimbang spoke to local milf commanders via two-way radio and advised them to hold their fire. After a few minutes of exchanging radio messages, Midtimbang approached Hermoso telling him that the milf commanders on the field were reluctant to cease fire because of the presence of two OV-10 assault aircraft in the sky. “Di aalis ang mga pwersa hangga’t nandyan iyong mga eroplano. (The milf forces on field will not leave until the planes leave),” Midtimbang told Hermoso. Hermoso communicated with his superiors and in about 15 minutes the planes were gone. The guerrillas stop firing and moved out. As the guns fell silent, Hermoso suggested to Midtimbang that they check out the Dapiawan market. As the two men arrived, an elderly woman approached them and embraced the milf ceasefire committee chief. In tears, the woman profusely gave her thanks to both men and their team for stopping the conflict. About two months after the incident, however, tension started rising again following reports reaching the cvos that the relatives of Udtog, the man they “accidentally killed,” had joined forces with Kahal’s family to avenge his death. In late June 2005, a member of the Dapiawan cvo was shot dead—another victim in the unending tale of armed conflict in the area. Case Study 3: From Shooting Hoops to Shooting War: The Pikit experience At the entrance of sitio San Roque, a farming community in barangay Nalapaan of Pikit, North Cotabato, is located the patrol base of a cafgu unit. The scene is nothing unusual in Pikit, the site of frequent gunbattles between warring government and Moro armed groups except for the

RIDO V2.indd 272

10/4/2007 8:24:28 AM

Big War, Small Wars || 273

interesting composition of the cafgu’s membership. Almost all of the cafgu members as well as the residents of the area are related by blood or through affinity. Some 10 km away from the cafgu-fortified sitio San Roque, uncultivated farm lands and decaying remains of burnt houses dominate the sprawling landscape of barangay Gli-gli, also in Pikit. The contrasting scenes of might and destruction, however, link the fate of the villagers of San Roque and Gli-gli. In 1989, the San Roque cafgus were among the hundreds of soldiers and paramilitary men who trooped to Gli-gli and fought an milf contingent which occupied the area. A threeday gunbattle ensued that displaced thousands of farmers in Gli-gli and its neighboring barangays. A cafgu member who joined the 1989 encounter claimed that they fought fiercely to repel the milf and prevent them from using the area as a springboard to occupy more villages including San Roque. In a focus group discussion, the cafgu member confessed how he later learned that the milf had not planned to occupy Gli-gli. The incident actually stemmed from a rumble between teams of teen-age Ilonggo and Maguindanaon youths who played each other in a basketball game. After the fight, the teen-agers complained to their relatives who were either members of the cafgu or the milf. Local members of the milf intervened immediately while the cafgu called in military reinforcement. When the milf moved in, both the Maguindanaoan and Ilonggo villagers moved out fearing for their security. A research informant said that as the villagers left, they noticed that the occupying milf forces were actually relatives of their Maguindanaoan neighbors. Many Christians felt betrayed by their Moro neighbors who failed to stop the entry of the armed group. When military reinforcement came, the milf were forced to take defensive positions as tanks rolled in and artillery and aerial bombs rained down. After the bombings, the Army moved in and clashed with milf forces. The fighting, however, spread far beyond the boundaries of Gli-gli, forcing thousands of residents from surrounding areas to flee. As more military reinforcement came, the milf gradually withdrew. The soldiers and paramilitary forces took control. When the fighting subsided, some residents returned to check the area. They found their village in shambles as houses, particularly those owned by the Maguindanaoans, were either burned or looted. Displaced Maguindanaoans blamed their Christian neighbors for failure to stop the looting and destruction of property following the military attack. “Nawad-an na og pagsalig ang mga magsilingin. Ang uban nagdinumutay na ug di na gusto magkita-ay pa (The neighbors lost each other’s trust.

RIDO V2.indd 273

10/4/2007 8:24:28 AM

274 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Others were consumed by enmity and did not want to see their neighbors anymore),” said an informant. The fighting, which lasted less than a week, destroyed several generations of peaceful relations between the Maguindanaoan and settler families. Sixteen years after the incident, much of Gli-gli is still abandoned. The few families who opted to return to Gli-gli following the 1989 conflict had to shuttle between the evacuation centers and their village during the wars of 1997, 2000 and 2003. The three wars deterred many from returning home to restore their farms and friendships. Bebot says his ties with former Maguindanaoan neighbors who he sometimes bump into in Pikit are no longer as warm. “Almost two decades after that basketball game-generated war, we still feel awkward seeing each other,” Bebot says. Bebot, who now works for intercommunity dialogue and rehabilitation program of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Pikit, has related the story of his community to other villages and paramilitary personnel. During the cafgu focus group session Bebot helped organize, the paramilitary men in Nalapaan said they realized the long-lasting damage caused by the 1989 incident. Paradoxically, however, the Nalapaan cafgu claimed that the principal reason they joined the cafgu was to protect their families and community. A senior member of the cafgu, in his fifties, said the community organized an armed group in the 1970s as communal violence between Moro and Christian armed bands spread across several towns of Cotabato. Ilonggo armed men held village meetings to warn of marauding Moros. Bands of Ilonggo Christians, numbering about a hundred men, known as the ilaga, launched pre-emptive strikes against Moro groups whom they believe were planning to raid Christian villages. To acquire arms and ammunition, several of the men of sitio San Roque joined militias. When the military organized the Integrated Civilian Home Defense Force (ichdf) following the 1972 declaration of martial law, the militia in Nalapaan came under Philippine Constabulary command. The San Roque ichdf joined government forces in operations as far as North Cotabato, Bukidnon, and Davao City. When the ichdf was disbanded in 1987, paramilitary forces in Nalapaan were advised by the military to register as cafgu members. Through the past three decades, the young men of sitio San Roque have joined government militias in a bid to protect their community from such misfortune as befell Gli-gli. They felt threatened by rival militias. But the years have only witnessed more violence and pain as families of cafgu as well as milf members continue to flee from intermittent warfare.

RIDO V2.indd 274

10/4/2007 8:24:28 AM

Big War, Small Wars || 275

In 1997, the Nalapaan cafgu were among the forces mobilized to augment Army regulars in a massive assault against suspected kidnapers and criminals reportedly hiding in barangay Rajah Muda and surrounding communities like Gli-gli. Fighting in the area escalated when soldiers encountered milf positions. At the height of the all-out war campaign launched by then President Joseph Estrada against the milf, the cafgus in Nalapaan were again tapped to serve as blocking force against any milf move towards Nalapaan. Nalapaan cafgus were also mobilized as part of blocking teams along the Pikit highway in support of government forces which lay siege the milf base in Buliok, Pagalungan town. To capture the milf base, government engaged milf forces in the sprawling fields of Gli-gli and its neighboring areas. These series of “big wars” continue to deepen the distrust and animosity among Maguindanaoan, Bisaya, and Ilonggo residents of the conflictaffected areas. Toto Gamboa, also a staff of Immaculate Conception Parish in Pikit, said the high level of distrust generated by repeated armed confrontations between government and milf forces transformed their villages into a “minefield” of community armed conflicts. Neighbors are not taking any chances and opt to align with either government troopers or the milf in case of trouble. Believing that they have the support of armed groups, neighbors sometimes escalate minor altercations into shooting wars by calling on armed relatives. Gamboa says animosity among neighbors can persist even during rehabilitation work. Disagreements over the choice of the site for a shallow tube well or even elementary schools in post-conflict rehabilitation effort have generated tension. Promenzo Cedeño, Nalapaan barangay chair, conceded the high degree of distrust among neighbors who suffered the horrifying experience of repeated armed conflict. For their part, barangay leaders and peace advocates like the Pikit parish workers have been organizing neighborhood dialogues to rebuild communities. In 2002, residents of barangays Nalapaan and Panicupan declared their villages as “spaces for peace” and therefor off limits to armed conflict. Barangay officials negotiated with the military’s 6th infantry division and sought an audience with ranking members of the milf to recognize and respect the declaration that prohibits both armed groups from bringing their war into the two barangays. During the war in February 2003, soldiers and milf rebels used parts of Panicupan and Nalapaan as their entry and exit points to the battlefields of Pikit and the adjacent town of Pagalungan. Gamboa notes that while the entry of milf and government forces in both villages prompted evacuations in the area, both forces held on to

RIDO V2.indd 275

10/4/2007 8:24:29 AM

276 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

their pledge not to use Panicupan and Nalapaan as their battlefield. As a result, houses and other properties in the area were not as damaged as in previous wars. Residents were able to return to their farms two weeks after the fighting. The example of Panicupan and Nalapaan emboldened officials in five other barangays in Pikit to similarly declare their respective areas as “spaces for peace.” In November 2004, the Pikit spaces for peace expanded to seven barangays namely Ginatilan, Nalapaan, Panicupan, Lagundi, Dalengaoen, Takepan, and Kalakakan. In these areas, barangay officials pledged to help each other in addressing the slightest signs of disagreement among neighbors in their respective communities. Case Study 4: Buliok: Family Secrets, Communal Deaths On a rainy day at the evacuation site in Pagalungan, Maguindanao town center in October 2003, a gunman killed 18-year old Ismail Sanday, a son of a local milf commander, Butu Saiyona. The alleged gunman, Walid Pendatun, also an 18-year old, is the son of Datu Tin Pendatun, a scion of the influential Pendatun family who was killed by Butu Saiyona, Ismail’s father, about 15 years earlier. Few months later, Buliok barangay chair Datu Mohammad Pendatun, an uncle of the alleged gunman, was ambushed on his way to their village in barangay Buliok. He and a follower survived the attack. Residents and Buliok barangay officials interviewed for this case suspected that the ambush was initiated by the followers and relatives of Butu in retaliation to the killing of his son. Since then, Datu Mohammad stayed away from Buliok for security purposes, a move that dramatically punctuated the uncertain security situation of his village which at that time had been largely abandoned by its residents. Ismail’s shooting and Datu Mohammad’s subsequent ambush happened about six months after fierce gunbattle between government and milf forces in the village. Buliok, then the base of milf chair Salamat Hashim, was the center of the armed clashes following the February 11, 2003 assault of government forces. Hashim and milf forces were forced to abandon their base in Buliok, but the attack triggered massive civilian displacements and the destruction of their houses, crops, farm tools and animals, and other properties. Buliok residents, initially, were scattered in various evacuation camps along the national highway in Pikit and Pagalungan towns of North Cotabato and in S.K. Pendatun town of Sultan Kudarat province. Later, many of the evacuees from Buliok stayed at government-run schools, on side streets, at relatives’ homes, and on empty lots in Pagalungan. Amid the adverse condition of life in evacuation camps, Ismail was gunned down.

RIDO V2.indd 276

10/4/2007 8:24:29 AM

Big War, Small Wars || 277

Buliok residents and a senior woman member of the Pendatun family explained that the incident is being addressed by intermediaries from the Pendatun family and the milf. They stressed that these series of violent retaliatory incidents should not be interpreted as an organized armed encounters between the Pendatun family and those of Butu and the local milf command. The execution of Datu Tin in the 1980s was actually not Butu’s or the milf’s unilateral decision. At that time, Datu Tin’s family disapproved of his affair with a niece because it was viewed as incestuous and a grave violation of Islamic tenets. The family tried to break off the relationship, but Datu Tin held firm. The family consulted milf Chair Salamat Hashim, a kin of the Pendatuns, whom they respect as an important member of the family. Collectively, the family decided that the affair brought shame to the family and that the offense warranted capital punishment under Islamic Law. They left the matter of punishing Tin to Hashim who objected strongly to the affair. Initially, the family urged Tin to discontinue the relationship and repent. Tin refused and the Pendatuns passed on the case to an milf circle of religious. The religious, in consultation with the clan, decided to impose a death penalty and ordered Butu to execute Tin in the mid 1980s, when both the sons of Butu and Tin were only about six years old. The incident remained a family secret but several versions of the story leaked to the community. During the 2000 and 2003 wars, the family of Butu was among those who evacuated to the Pagalungan town center where Datu’s Tin children also live. During idle moments at the evacuation sites, the story of Datu’s Tin execution by Butu was retold and passed on to the younger generation, including the teen-age children of Butu and Datu Tin. Pagalungan evacuees described Walid, the son of Datu Tin, as withdrawn and uptight while Butu’s son was outgoing. The two were reportedly not friendly to each other. Butu’s son, according to witnesses, often taunted Tin’s son. After a confrontation in October 2003, shots rang out from the evacuation site. Tin’s son, Walid, shot dead Butu’s son, Ismail. The Pendatun’s immediately took Walid away from Pagalungan. Butu, on the other hand, demanded that the Pendatuns surrender Walid. Complicating the situation, however, was the ambush of Datu Mohammad Pendatun while on his way to meet with some residents in Buliok in late 2003. Datu Mohammad survived the ambush but he told some barangay officials that he believed the incident was in retaliation for the killing of Butu’s son. Since the ambush, Pendatun has not returned to Buliok which remains largely abandoned despite the deescalation of armed tensions between government and milf forces.

RIDO V2.indd 277

10/4/2007 8:24:29 AM

278 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

A Pendatun scion says their family has started talks with Butu and the milf command regarding Ismail’s death. The parties have reportedly agreed to desist from further violence. Col. Benjamin Dolorfino, commander of the Marines brigade deployed in Buliok in 2004, said they knew about the feud but he restrained his men from joining the fray. Dolorfino said he is aware that discussions are being held by traditional leaders to resolve the conflict and that he will abide by that process. The Marines occupied strategic locations in Buliok at the time of the ambush. Dolorfino, however, confined the troops to patrol operations around their detachments. The afp may have overrun the Islamic Center in Buliok but the milf’s base command has reportedly re-grouped at the nearby Liguasan Marsh and along the Pulangi River. The milf has, however, similarly kept away from the Butu-Pendatun affair. Dolorfino and the milf local commander’s decision to stay away from a local conflict were crucial in preventing a “big war” similar to those that struck Dapiawan and Linantangan. Nevertheless, the standoff between Butu and the Pendatuns kept many displaced civilians from returning to Buliok. Around June 2003 or three months after the afp declared control over Buliok , only a handful of residents have heeded the military’s call for them to re-occupy their village. The villagers chose to remain in evacuation sites they thought safer than villages still occupied by some Marine and Army troops. To encourage residents to return home, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (dswd) built 241 “rehabilitation houses” in November 2003. Social workers also distributed rice, canned goods, and noodles. Many returned for the food aid but as soon as the distribution ended they went back to evacuation sites in Pikit and Pagalungan, leaving many of the newly constructed houses empty. Some evacuees from barangay Buliok and Pagalungan insisted that their security remains compromised by the presence of the afp in Buliok. On the other hand, residents of nearby barangay Buliok, Pikit town, along the Pagalungan bank of the Pulangi, began returning home since June 2003 despite the presence of Marines, Army and police detachments, and fewer government-built new homes. Col. Dolorfino speculated that it is the fear of rido that has kept residents away from Buliok, Pagalungan. Interviews with evacuees, however, reveal that it is not the fear of rido per se—since warring parties do not target those outside the conflict—that discourages people to return home but the fear of afp and milf involvement in any escalation of conflict. Zamsudin, an evacuee, said some residents who returned to Buliok after the 2003 war have set up camps along the marsh and in other parts of

RIDO V2.indd 278

10/4/2007 8:24:30 AM

Big War, Small Wars || 279

the village where they feel more secure. In sitios Sapakan II and Buliok I, two of the Buliok communities partly occupied since late 2003, three to four families sleep together in a single government-built house to facilitate flight should fighting break out. Menandang Mamolindas, a barangay council member of Buliok, said residents were wary of afp and milf forces still moving around the area as well as of the feud between milf commander Butu and the barangay chair due to the killing. Although these are separate issues, things could still get messy, Mamolindas cautioned. So far, however, there have been no clashes new between milf and Army troopers in the area. The repositioning of afp and pnp forces following a peace accord between government and the milf in 2003 has encouraged more residents to return home. In March, 2005, Mamolindas and his wife finally returned to Buliok two years after fleeing for their lives. Case Study 5: Healing and Resolution in Barangay Lebpas Since the outbreak of the communal violence across the Cotabato plains, the Erumanen Menuvu residents of Barangay Lebpas in President Roxas town have experienced countless evacuations. Some of them joined the mnlf in the 1970s in an attempt to protect their village from assaulting soldiers and paramilitary forces whom, the Erumanen claim, do not distinguish between rebels and Erumanen villagers. Lebpas folk, however, started returning to their village when peace reigned in the northern areas of Cotabato in the 1980s. They recultivated their farms and rebuilt their homes, worship places, and a public elementary school. By 1985, the village had become a vibrant trading center in the northern Cotabato section of the Pulangi River. By 1997, several stores, one of which was equipped with a kerosene-powered refrigerator, opened for business in the once strife-torn village. The following year, however, their road to recovery was blocked by a new war not between state and rebellion but among the actors of the armed resistance. Lebpas folk were displaced again as armed confrontation between members of the mnlf and the milf escalated. The mnlf-milf tension in Lebpas and its neighboring areas began around 1984, following a split within the central leadership of the mnlf. The division also affected the mnlf’s unity in the northern Cotabato area. Erumanen folk in Lebpas claimed that the deepening split prompted some of their relatives to quit the mnlf. The Erumanen said that they decided not to take sides because the parents and grandparents of the warring Maguindanaoan commanders were long-standing allies of the tribe’s ancestors and

RIDO V2.indd 279

10/4/2007 8:24:30 AM

280 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

live practically as neighboring communities along the northern section of the Pulangi River in North Cotabato. Local mnlf and milf commanders at first managed to deal peacefully with their ideological differences, restrain their forces, and prevent largescale confrontation. The milf was able to expand and consolidate its forces. Later, a leading local milf commander proposed a reconciliation and possible unification between the local commands of the milf and mnlf whose members were all Maguindanaoans. Lebpas folk claimed that the pro-reconciliation milf commander started talks with the leadership of the mnlf local command. The commanders of the rival Moro armed groups are linked by affinity and by blood. Erumanen leaders were invited to some of these meetings out of respect for the tribe. Other commanders of the milf local command, however, opposed the initiative because of ideological differences. Distrust and tension came to fore. In 1988, the commander, who favored reconciliation, was killed by a rival milf commander as the former crossed the Pulangi River with his men to dialogue with the mnlf. The incident immediately triggered retaliation from the family and the followers of the slain milf commander. His son led the assaults which escalated into heavy firefights. The fighting spread to Lebpas, forcing the Erumanen villagers to flee. The fighting destroyed their farms, houses, schools, shops, and community structures that they had painstakingly built during the seven years without war. Margate Pontongan, the leader (timuay) of Lebpas’ Erumanen community, said their people have olden ties to the Maguindanaoan, and tribal elders decided to talk to the families of the warring parties. They joined other Maguindanaoan community leaders in mediation. Eventually, the warring sides pledged to end the conflict and instead establish a united front against their common enemy—the government. Pontongan, at the time I did fieldwork in Lebpas in late 2004, said that the peace agreement was holding despite armed confrontations between government and milf forces—the big war. Due to repeated big wars, however, both Erumanen and Maguindanaoan villagers in Lebpas and neighboring areas are often forced to evacuate. Maguindanaoan and Erumanen often evacuate to separate sites settled by their respective ethnic groups. But once conflict subsides, the villagers would return home and live once more as neighbors. Tracing the Interplay : Ties That Bind, Ties That Kill The five case studies illustrate an empirical diversity in the interplay of community and large-scale armed conflicts. The relations of power and

RIDO V2.indd 280

10/4/2007 8:24:30 AM

Big War, Small Wars || 281

armed forces in these communities are significantly diverse so that in certain cases, community-level conflicts do not interplay with large-scale armed conflicts. The events of Linantangan, Dapiawan, and Gli-gli, however, clearly mark the significant roles played by paramilitary forces supported by government troops and of local militias aligned to the milf in the outbreak and the escalation of violence. In these cases, families or neighborhoods in conflict were able to mobilize the military resources of both government and rebels mainly because these family groups are also part of these larger military resources. At the outset, the Lintangan conflict involved members of only one family. But these conflicting family members were linked to networks of armed groups. The Linantangan barangay chair, Kempen Bangadan, and his followers were associated with Mayor Ampatuan whose family controls armed scaa and cvo in the area. The scaa and the cvo are structures linked to the local Army command. Bangadan’s enemies and nephews—Dautin Gandang Palaguyan and Hadji Paisal Gandang Palaguyan—were aligned with the milf’s local base command. When tension between the uncle and the nephew heated up, they drew the larger armed forces into what should have remained an internal family squabble. In the course of the assaults, the conflict was further complicated by a new episode of killing between members of other families aligned with either the government or the milf. Formal and informal alignments similarly drew government and milf forces into a conflict triggered by two feuding families in Dapiawan. Armed confrontations in Gli-gli started from a basketball rumble between Maguindanaoan and Ilonggo-speaking teen-agers. The brawl would have ended on the play court if not for family ties to paramilitary and guerrilla units. Once these armed groups were mobilized, the forces of the state and rebellion came into play. The pattern of the interplay of community and large-scale conflicts in Linantangan, Dapiawan, and Gli-gli illustrates the multi-positioned and multi-layered character of these armed confrontations. In the context of this study, multi-layer conflicts mean that these armed confrontations involved not just two but several families forming alliances. Multi-positioned refers to the nexus of the political, social, and cultural positions of actors involved in the conflicts. Some of those involved in the conflict are family members who are in control of various fields of power such as the traditional leadership structures, the local government units, and paramilitary forces in the conflict areas. Some powerful politico-traditional leaders maintain strong ties to the Philippine national government leadership by affinity or political connections. On the other hand, forces challenging families holding various

RIDO V2.indd 281

10/4/2007 8:24:31 AM

282 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

fields of power in the conflict areas are also relatives of, or are embedded in, the leadership structure of armed groups like the local government, paramilitary forces or the milf. Typically, the interplay of small and large-scale wars may start from armed confrontations between warring members of a family or of different families. These family members could also be members of the cvo, cafgu, scaa or local rebel-based commands and their militias. When they fight, they can draw in the military resources of the afp and the milf. Once all forces move to confront each other in the battle zones, the community conflict escalates and expands into large-scale war. The diagram below illustrates this interplay:

Family 3 Family 1/MILF Politician 1 Family 2/CVO MILF/MNLF Command 1 CVO/Cafgu Military

Parties at odds often call on larger forces due to the failure of existing conflict-resolution mechanisms in the community to settle local disputes. In Linantangan and Dapiawan, the warring parties differed on which conflictresolution body should settle the case. One side favored bringing it to the traditional leaders who are also officers of the local government units. The other side wanted their case submitted to a Shari’ah court dominated by religious and learned persons associated with the milf. Each side suspected that the judgment in either conflict-resolution body would favor their rival. Their suspicions discredited both conflict-resolution mechanisms. None of the political or armed forces in these three areas covered by this study seem to have achieved power as defined by Arendt—that is, the “human ability to act in concert” and something that belongs to a group. Instead, these groups try to impose authority from a position of strength and apply force through violence. No entity or individual representing either the state or the resistance or their respective allies possesses “belligerent power” as defined by Arendt. Existing relations are based on competing strengths

RIDO V2.indd 282

10/4/2007 8:24:31 AM

Big War, Small Wars || 283

between the forces on both sides. Those representing the state include the afp and local executives who exercise some control over cvo, scaa, cafgu and other allied families. The resistance is primarily represented by the milf and certain factions of the mnlf which exercise influence and leadership over their regular armed contingents, local base commands, uztadzes, and religious members. The fact that contending forces seek not only to assert territorial control over the conflict areas but also political and judicial authority shows how both sides are trying to build the apparatus of a working state. Whenever parties in conflict disagree on which conflict-resolution mechanism to employ, violence often ensues. This situation manifests the inability of any entity to persuasively enforce its authority without use of military resources. In contrast, the restraint shown by the Marines and the local milf leadership in Buliok and Lebpas indicate that small-level conflicts can be effectively contained even as the actors in these conflicts are also part of the military resources of either belligerent force. The interplay of small and big wars is effectively reversed, deescalating brewing armed confrontations. As soon as the decision of belligerent forces to steer clear of local conflicts becomes apparent to the community, displaced residents start returning home to rebuild their ravaged communities. Contrasting Views and Practice of Security Security appears to be the prime concern in the interplay between community-level and large-scale armed conflicts. Kempen Bangadan, the barangay chair in Linantangan, firmed up his alliance with the Ampatuans, the afp, and their armed militias as Bangadan’s nephews sought the protection of the local milf. Security concerns also prompted farmers in sitio San Roque in barangay Nalapaan, Pikit, to join the paramilitary ichdf in the 1970s and later on the cafgu organized in 1987. In the same vein, Maguindanaoan teenagers in Gli-gli sought milf intervention after a basketball altercation with Bisaya and Ilonggo youth who called on paramilitary and afp protection. Lebpas folk in North Cotabato firmed up their alliance with the mnlf in the 1970s in a bid to defend against the ilaga. Security, too, prompted residents to flee from their villages. Lebpas folk claim that had they not fled from previous wars, they would have had to fight to the end and cause more bloodshed. Lebpas barangay leader Daniel Pontongan says evacuation is an act of preserving the lives of both villagers and invaders. It is an act of sacrifice. Intervention of church, human rights, and civil society groups have provided residents of strife-torn communities more means to protect their

RIDO V2.indd 283

10/4/2007 8:24:32 AM

284 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

villages. The community-based Bantay Ceasefire was able to monitor and contain the situation in Pagalungan. The establishment of spaces for peace in select barangays of Pikit also contributed to the reduction of community tensions that could trigger larger wars. Other communities, however, independently established their own security mechanisms as in the case of the displaced villagers who decided to return to Sitio Buliok I. By staying three to four families in a single government-built house, the residents improved their ability to evacuate at the first sign of trouble. Security is not an abstract ideal for displaced communities but something they have continually worked at and attained through years of repeated armed conflict and evacuation. The people of war-torn communities have survived three decades of strife by planning for their protection and refining their alliances with other groups. The actions taken by communities illustrate the marked difference between the idea, and practice, of security on the ground and the state’s notion of “national security.” Families locked in armed conflict with rival clans are concerned for their own security rather than that of the “nation” but they often draw in armed groups whose mobilization impacts broader security issues. Complicating the situation are the armed groups’ responses to community and clan security threats. Often, the afp and opposing armed groups, like the milf and the mnlf, bring in the might of their firepower in response to a community and clan-level conflict. This can escalate violence and consequently elevate the incident into a “national security concern.” By nature, community and clan conflicts are small-level conflicts that can be well handled by credible and respected law enforcement agencies or through creative means of conflict resolution rather than armies. Reversing the Interplay of Small and Big Wars Small and big wars are not inevitable events. The armed confrontations in Linantangan and Dapiawan in August 2004 were effectively de-escalated through efforts involving the government, the milf, civil society, and the communities. If wars, displacement, and devastation characterized central Mindanao in 2003, the events of 2004 demonstrated how armed conflict could be nipped in the bud. The joint government-milf Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities stood out in preventing armed conflicts in the contested wetlands of the Liguasan Marsh and along the highways of Maguindanao from escalating into full- blown wars.

RIDO V2.indd 284

10/4/2007 8:24:32 AM

Big War, Small Wars || 285

Of equal importance is the role of grassroots, civil society-led Bantay Ceasefire who conduct independent investigative missions on armed conflicts. The Bantay Ceasefire network can provide key members of the joint ccch crucial information about looming tensions and heightening armed confrontation within or near their respective communities. ccch representatives travel together in the same vehicles as they chase looming or running gunbattles between government and milf forces that may be complicated by their allied forces. Ccch was organized based on the February 10, 1999 agreement between the government and the milf peace panels at the Dawah Center at Crossing Simuay in Maguindanao. The Dawah Center accord grants the ccch a broad mandate to “strengthen and enhance” the implementation of the September 12, 1997 government-milf general ceasefire agreement. The ceasefire collapsed following President Estrada’s declaration of an all-out war in the summer of 2000. Following an uprising that ousted President Estrada, the administration of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo resumed peace negotiations with the milf and subsequently reorganized the government’s ccch. Ceasefire monitoring work of the ccch, however, was again grounded following massive government assault at the milf’s base at Buliok, Pagalungan in February 2003. When the government and milf peace panels initiated a March 27 to 28, 2003 exploratory talks and signed commitments to “undertake appropriate steps” (Government-milf peace panel: March 2003) that would pave the way for a resumption of formal peace negotiations, the ccch immediately resumed ceasefire-monitoring work. This time, the joint committee took a more pro-active stance in ceasefire work by anticipating, intervening, and swiftly dousing brewing armed conflict among their forces on the ground. During a joint ccch meeting at The Tower Inn in Davao City on February 8, 2004, then government ccch chair Lt. Gen. Rodolfo Garcia and his then milf counterpart, Benjie Midtimbang, highlighted their concern over possible escalation of armed confrontation among their forces in conflictprone areas in the run up to the May 11, 2004 elections. The government side also expressed concern that the reported presence of criminal groups in some areas occupied by milf local commands could complicate the ceasefire especially if the Army and the police decide to move in and confront these criminal groups. The meeting ended with both sides agreeing to set up a joint interim action team that will “quickly respond and address confrontational incidents arising from government operations against criminal elements.” Both sides also agreed, among others, to initiate “concrete conflict deterrence, prevention” and other mitigating measures by mapping “problem areas,” the conduct of visits and dialogues among residents

RIDO V2.indd 285

10/4/2007 8:24:32 AM

286 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

of conflict-prone communities, and jointly set-up “preemptive” measures against possible violence in areas considered as election “hotspots.” In this meeting, the joint ceasefire committee also acknowledged the “supportive role” of non-government organizations like the Bantay Ceasefire. Less than a month after the joint ccch signed the agreement, their commitments were put to a test. By early March, Bantay Ceasefire members called the attention of the ccch to the evacuation of hundreds of residents in conflict-prone Pulangi river banks along barangay Buliok in Pagalungan, Maguindanao and Pikit, North Cotabato. Displaced residents in Buliok, Pagalungan informed Bantay Ceasefire coordinators through the mobile phone short message service (sms) that hundreds of armed milf fighters trooped to the area, prompting Marine soldiers holding camp to take counter offensive positions. Immediately, the information was relayed by Bantay Ceasefire coordinators to the Midtimbang and Maj. Dickson Hermoso who serves as government ccch secretariat head. Within minutes, the information travelled through the chain of command in both sides. As it turned out, milf guerrillas started moving towards the Islamic Center, the compound occupied by the late milf chair Salamat Hashim before it fell to military hands in the 2003 war, because they had not received word on the postponement of their scheduled meeting with the Malaysian advance survey team (ast) of an international monitoring team (imt) on the ceasefire agreement. Rexal Kaalim, Bantay Ceasefire coordinator, said without the timely information from their members in the community and immediate action of the joint ccch in restraining ground forces, the incident could have sparked another war. The nine-day ast-imt mission jointly coordinated by the ccch proceeded without incident from March 23 to 31. The Malaysians, accompanied by Garcia, Midtimbang, and staff from both sides of the ccch visited military camps and milf formations in Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur. In a meeting at the Islamic Center in Buliok, Garcia and a contingent of government military officials and their aides were warmly welcomed by Midtimbang and the milf field commanders, prompting Malaysian Brig. Gen. Zulkefili Bin Mohammed, who headed the ast-imt, to comment that he was more than hopeful in seeing an end to the 32-year armed conflict in Mindanao. By June, the ccch started setting up a joint monitoring outpost in barangay Bagoinged in Pikit, North Cotabato. The outpost, which was run by soldiers, milf guerrillas, and monitors from the Bantay Ceasefire members residing around the village, is complete with radio equipment and cellular phones for fast and easy communication with the ccch heads in case of trouble on the ground.

RIDO V2.indd 286

10/4/2007 8:24:33 AM

Big War, Small Wars || 287

The joint ccch also played a critical role in de-escalating the interplay of community and large-scale conflicts in Dapiawan on August 17, 2004. As it turned out, the soldiers and milf guerrillas were dragged into the gunbattle following an armed confrontation involving warring clans with strong ties either to the afp or the milf. Members of the joint ccch led by Maj. Hermoso and Midtimbang immediately rushed to Barangay Dapiawan, on board the same van, after learning about the fighting. Upon arrival at the battle zone, Midtimbang radioed milf field commanders to hold their fire while Hermoso communicated to his superiors the joint ccch’s recommendation for a ceasefire. Their actions ended the battle. The ccch success earned the appreciation of civil society groups. “Thanks for the great job u did today. Twas inspiring watchng u standing in betwin ur forces to stop d fighting. Peace is indeed possible. Cheers!” noted an sms message sent by lawyer Mary Ann Arnado, secretary general of the Mindanao Peace Caucus, to Hermoso, Midtimbang, and her network of peace advocates. On August 28, a week after the Dapiawan armed confrontation, Midtimbang and Hermoso were on the road again sending sms and radio messages to their superiors and field commanders to restrain their forces and observe a ceasefire in barangay Linantangan, Mamasapano town in Maguindanao. The Linantangan firefight stemmed from armed confrontation among members of a large family with afp and milf ties. On November 3, Midtimbang and Hermoso travelled to villages along the highway cutting across the boundaries of Mamasapano and Shariff Aguak towns where they again defused armed tensions between the paramilitary forces and the milf in the area. The showdown was also spawned by inter-family conflicts. Hermoso said their efforts in “nipping conflicts in the bud” is gaining headway but noted that there are formidable challenges ahead with the alarming rise in afp-milf incidents that stem from clan conflicts. He said these conflicts, if not addressed, could undermine the peace process. Success and Opportunities The success of the joint ccch can be traced to its membership. The presence in the ccch of representative officers with direct access to their respective central leadership as well as to ground forces confers authority that defuses tension. The conduct of joint ground investigations also built up trust on both sides. The joint committee’s withholding of judgment during investigation and their non-confrontational nature in eliciting information from concerned parties earned the respect of the public. The ceasefire

RIDO V2.indd 287

10/4/2007 8:24:33 AM

288 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

committees’ exercise of transparency also boosts the integrity of the body. The joint ccch did not only allow civil society-led ceasefire-monitoring teams to independently and simultaneously investigate incidents but also informed these groups of impending investigations and of joint committee meetings. Civil society ceasefire-monitoring teams are also able to directly communicate with the leaders of the joint ccch over reports of unfolding armed confrontations. These reports are often acted upon positively by both sides. The quick response of the ccch was crucial in de-escalating the interplay of community and large-scale armed conflicts in 2004. On the ground and apart from the ceasefire mechanisms set up by the warring forces, the establishment of grassroots-based ceasefire-monitoring teams with links to a web of civil society groups, journalists, and other sectors holding stakes to the peace process is also critical. Grassroots-based ceasefire monitors are people directly affected by armed conflicts. They have the most to gain from peace. The Bantay Ceasefire monitors in Buliok provided the critical information on troop movements in their community to civil society groups. The information eventually reached the joint ccch and the leadership of the milf and afp. Continuous grassroots monitoring and active multi-level network response can be replicated in communities with a history of interkin, community-related, and large-scale armed conflicts. Given the success of the ccch, it may be possible to set up an inclusive, non-confrontational, non-judgmental, and transparent body that can put in a place an institutional (government, rebel groups, lgus, communities) quick-response and resolution mechanism modeled on the Guinapalad Ta Ka Spaces for Peace in Pikit. Those who have suffered most from decades of war have learned how best to survive. Perhaps, it is time that those responsible for the big war heed the smaller voices from below. References
Arendt, Hannah. “On Violence.” Violence in War and Peace: an Anthology. Eds. Nancy Scheper-Hughes and Philippe Bourgois. Malden, Oxford, Carlton: Blackwell Publishing, 1969/2004. Abbink, Jon. “Preface: Violation and Violence as Cultural Phenomena.” Meanings of Violence. A Cross Cultural Perspective. Eds. Aijmer Goran and Jon Abbink. Oxford and New York: Berg, 2000. “Bantay Ceasefire.” Bantay Ceasefire Preliminary Field Report: General Salipada K. Pendatun, Maguindanao Military Operations. Aug. 13, 2004. “Bantay Ceasefire.” Bantay Ceasefire Investigative Mission Report. August 30, 2004. Clausewitz, Karl von.. On War. London: Pelican Books, 1968. Disoma, Esmail R. The Role of Violence in Social Organization: The Case of the Meranao and their Maratabat. Marawi City: Mindanao State University Main, 2000.

RIDO V2.indd 288

10/4/2007 8:24:33 AM

Big War, Small Wars || 289

Government-MILF Peace Negotiating Panels. “Joint Communique.” Mar. 28, 2003. Kaldor, Mary. New and Old Wars: Organized Violence in a Global Era. Cambridge and Oxford: Polity and Blackwell Publishers Ltd., 2001. International Federation of Journalists and National Union of Journalists of the Philippines. “Violent culture behind journalist killings.” Jan. 30, 2005. Jaafar, Gadzali. “MILF disowns recent fighting in Maguindanao.” Press statement. Moro Islamic Liberation Front Central Committee. Jan. 10, 2005. McKenna, Thomas. Muslim Rulers and Rebels. California, Manila: The Regents of the University of California and Anvil Publishing Inc., 1998/2000. Philippine National Police. PNP Organization. http://www.pnp.gov.ph/about/organization.html. Accessed on April 2005. Quitoriano, Ed and Eric Libre. “Reaching for the Gun: The Human Cost of Small Arms in Central Mindanao, Philippines.” Kasarinlan. 16, 2, (2001). Sulu Peace and Solidarity Mission and the Mindanao Peace Weavers. “Sulu: State of War, Calls for Peace.” Report of the Sulu Peace and Solidarity Mission of the Mindanao PeaceWeavers. Mar. 2005. Thaite, Bertrand and Tim Thornton. “Identifying War.” Themes in History: War, Identities in Conflict 1300-2000. Eds.,Bertrand and Thronton. Thrupp, Stroud, Gloucestershire: Sutton Publishing, 1998.

RIDO V2.indd 289

10/4/2007 8:24:34 AM


ch a p ter n i n e

The Celebrated Cases of Rido in Maguindanao and North Cotabato
United Youth for Peace and Development (UNYPAD)


HIS RESEARCH focuses on three case studies of conflict resolution in Maguindanao and North Cotabato. Maguindanao is the main component province of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (armm) while North Cotabato is within the region of Central Mindanao. Both provinces are considered the home of the Maguindanaon, one of the 13 major Moro ethno-linguistic peoples of Mindanao. The Mangansakan and Tayuan clans predominate in North Cotabato, though they have their roots in Maguindanao, the former heartland of the Sultanate of Maguindanao, after which the island of Mindanao was named. The Abas and Sinsuat clans are from the municipality of Datu Odin Sinsuat (formerly Dinaig) while the Manduyog and Bagundang clans predominate in the municipality of Kabuntalan in Maguindanao. This study seeks to put the conflicts in proper perspective to enhance the peace efforts in central Mindanao. Case 1: The Tayuan-Mangansakan Conflict Geography Barangay Paido Pulangi in Pikit, North Cotabato, is known as the original home of the Mangansakan clan. Situated along a river and surrounded by marsh, the village is amidst three other barangays:Kalembog to the north, Punol to the east, the Rio Grande de Mindanao (Pulangi) and the municipality of Datu Piang—the boundary between North Cotabato and

|| 290 ||

RIDO V2.indd 290

10/4/2007 8:24:34 AM

The Celebrated Cases of Rido in Maguindanao and North Cotabato || 291

Maguindanao—to the southwest, and the Pikit side of Macasendeg to the northwest. The place is abundant with natural resources but is not industrialized. Most of the residents are engaged in traditional farming and fishing. However, the perennial floods, particularly during rainy season, often hurt farmers. The residents are mostly related by blood or affinity to the Mangansakan family and are all Maguindanaon. The Mangansakan Clan During the time of Grand Old Man Bitol Mangansakan, their renowned datu, the clan lived in peace. Datu Bitol was a World War II veteran and who became chief of police of Datu Piang, RAJAH BUAYAN MULAW Kabacan, and Maganoy, all of the former empire province of Cotabato. He was a reDATU BULAWSAN spected leader and settled conflicts in his area according to the Maguindanaon adat betad and the principle of luwaran. DATU DALUMEDTENG According to the Tarsilan, Mangansakan was the son of Pendulugong, datu of DATU TANTU DATU KAPITAN the Makaturuganan, and cousin of the datu from Zapakan (sultan sa Barongis, MaguinDATU ABUK danao) named Datu Manguda Timan from DATU ANGKAL Silik, Pikit in North Cotabato. Pendulugong DATU intermarried with the Kabalukanan, a subBANINGEN DATU tribe of the Maguindanaon.

The Tayuan Clan The Tayuans are based in barangay MANGANSAKAN Kudarangan, Midsayap in North Cotabato, about 10 km from Paido Pulangi, on MAAGEM DATU BITUL the western part of Macasendeg, Midsayap side. West of Kudarangan is Ulandang and DATU KAPITAN north is Mudseng. South of the barangay FIGURE 1: Mangansakan’s Royal Lineage runs the Rio Grande de Mindanao. The Tayuans are dominant in these areas. Ustadz Daud Tayuan, a product of Al Ahzar University in Cairo, Egypt, is the leading figure and the present titular head of the family. The Tayuans trace their ancestry to Shariff Aduk.

RIDO V2.indd 291

10/4/2007 8:24:34 AM

292 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Old Ties The two clans, who are third-degree blood relatives, were on good terms up to the 1980s. They were both with the Moro liberation movement from 1970 to 1980 and collaborated militarily. Prior to the declaration of martial law in 1972, the so-called Blackshirts were reportedly organized by the Mindanao Independence Movement (mim) to counter the ilaga (later dubbed the Ilonggo Land Grabber Army by their victims) which was formed by Christian politicians. As the ilaga became entrenched in Paido Pulangi, Datu Bitol allied with the Tayuans to drive away the intruders. This led to the organization of the Moro National Liberation Front (mnlf) that waged war against the Marcos regime. Ten young Tayuans were among those recruited to train abroad as mnlf cadres. The most senior of them was Ustadz Daud Tayuan. In 1972, Pendatukan Bila or “Big Boy,” one of the Tayuan cadres, was assigned in Paido Pulangi as commanding officer of Bravo Company of the Bangsamoro Army (bma). He was welcomed by the Mangansakans as a comrade-in-arms. Ustadz Daud Tayuan also established a training base in the area of the Mangansakans as part of the effort to consolidate the mnlf. The datus welcomed the entry of Big Boy’s outfit that defeated a Philippine Army unit in Paido Pulangi and the surrounding areas. Big Boy was recognized as a leader in the area and people turned over to him the organizational taxes/fees that were formerly given through Datu Bitol. In time, the Tayuans became politically dominant in the area. This was the situation until both Datu Bitol and Big Boy declared allegiance to the Philippine government in the 1980s. Meanwhile, the rise of the Tayuans in the area ruffled the maratabat of the Mangansakans and created animosity between the two sides. Bitol, however, was able to control his younger kin and prevented them from breaking the peace with the Tayuans. The Rido and its aftermath Things came to a head, however, when a female relative of the Mangansakans—who had been charged with “acts of lasciviousness” by the mnlf— was arrested by the Tayuan group without the consent of Datu Bitol. Bitol was offended and declared withdrawal of cooperation with the Tayuans. The simmering animosity between the clans erupted into violence when Rambo, a messenger of the Tayuans to the Mangansakans, figured in a fight with Tungan Mentang and another Mangansakan kin. Rambo and Tungan Mentang were killed in that incident. This rido, which stretches back to the 1980s, has caused much death and destruction. The involvement of the Philippine Army, the local militia (cafgu), and some elements of the mnlf in the dispute has fueled more

RIDO V2.indd 292

10/4/2007 8:24:35 AM

The Celebrated Cases of Rido in Maguindanao and North Cotabato || 293

hostility. This resulted in many casualties and displaced thousands of families across four municipalities. When the Mangansakans asked help from the Philippine Army, the Tayuans saw this as a betrayal of the earlier commitment of the clans to fight a common enemy. The Tayuans had commanders like Asraf, Wadjidi, Rasul (Big Boy), Dabid, and Ronnie Malagiok who fought against government foreces at the height of the mnlf rebellion. With the involvement of other actors, the feud worsened. From then on, any altercation between the two sides would always lead to gunbattles. Datu Bitol and four of his seven sons (Alison, Edsrafil, Datu Malambed and Guttierez) led the Mangansakans, while Ustadz Daud Tayuan and his younger brother Ali, and cousin Nasser headed the Tayuans in encounters which took place in barangays Kudarangan, Macasendeg, Paido Pulangi, Binandal, Tapudok, Kalembog, Kulambog, Langayen, Dungguan, Bakayawan, Ulandang, and Kadigasan, all in North Cotabato. It was Macasendeg, Midsayap, however, which became the major zone of conflict. Seven families who left Macasendeg to avoid the violence have yet to return home. Based on reports, the Mangansakans always initiate the fighting and carry out hate campaigns against the Tayuans. The Mangasakans believe their old power base has been undermined. Some attribute the absence of major encounters during the past years to the deaths of Datu Bitol and Ustadz Daud. It is more likely, however, that the Mangansakans have gained some satisfaction from the thought that they have somehow humiliated the Tayuans and have therefore ceased their attacks. Several Moro leaders, including those from the mnlf, have tried and failed to restore the peace between the two clans. The last major encounter happened in 1996 when the Mangansakans reportedly requested the support of the Army. Case 2: The Sinsuat-Abas Conflict Geography The town of Datu Odin Sinsuat in Maguindanao is home to two feuding clans: the Sinsuats and the Abases. Both clans are Maguindanaoan and their kin have also settled in the neighboring towns of Kabuntalan, North Upi, South Upi, Talayan, Talitay, and Guindulungan, where they have intermarried with other families. The Sinsuat Clan Datu Sinsuat was born to the clan of the Balabaran Ayunan who lived in the lower valley of Cotabato, now Maguindanao. He was born in the

RIDO V2.indd 293

10/4/2007 8:24:35 AM

294 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

municipality of Dinaig (later renamed after Sinsuat’s son, Odin). Sinsuat was first married to Sendig from the clan of Sumampao from the western part of Dinaig called Dimapatoy, and they lived at Lelambayan together with the Abas clan. Sinsuat had a son named Pidtukasan. Sinsuat’s second wife was a Maranao woman from Ramain, Lanao (now Lanao del Sur) who bore him a son: Datu Odin. In his latter years, the Grand Old Man Datu Sinsuat married other women from neighboring clans and sired other Sinsuat branches who inhabited the lower valley of Maguindanao. The Sinsuats became rivals of the older Maguindanao and Ranao clans. The Abas Clan The Abas clan originated from the old district of Tampakan in the center of Dinaig. At present, Tampakan covers most parts of Bugawas, Dulangan, Kurintem, Makir, and Kapiton and all the outlaying communities of western Butilen marsh. The Abases prefer to be called “Tampakanen” to remind others of their history as warriors who defended their land against colonizers. The Tampakanens are headed by an elected datu whom they highly respect but who can be removed from office should he break the law. The Grand Old Man Abas was more dominant than the Grand Old Man Balabaran. Abas was well loved by his people. He was powerful but generous. He shared his land and granted favors to Balabaran. Abas had vast land holdings in the area where the two clans coexisted. He owned an estimated 300 ha in Bugawas as well as property in other barangays. At present, Sinsuat land covers the boundary of Talayan and Dalican, the magelco area, Kurintem, and barangay Daiwan. The Abases own some 300 ha in Bugawas and the barangays of Makir and Bunged in Datu Odin Sinsuat. Like the Sinsuats, the Abas clan is into farming, fishing, and trading. Old Ties The two clans used to be good neighbors. Balabaran, the father of Sinsuat, and the old Abas were friends and confidants. The two clans intermarried and helped each other. Originally, the old Balabaran was from Taviran (formerly Zubidan) and Abas were from Tampakan. Taviran and Tampakan were neighboring villages in Dinaig. Later, Balabaran moved to Gapt in Maguindanao (now Cotabato City) due to severe economic crisis. Balabaran urged Abas to join him in Gapt but Abas, concerned about his constituents, stayed on and instead urged his sister Maisula to go with Balabaran. When the area recovered, Abas joined Maisula and Balabaran. Eventually, Balabaran’s son, Sinsuat, married Sendig and they lived in Lembayan with Abas, while Maisula lived separately at Kulong-Kulong with her husband Dalinding. Sinsuat and

RIDO V2.indd 294

10/4/2007 8:24:36 AM

The Celebrated Cases of Rido in Maguindanao and North Cotabato || 295

Sendig were blessed with a son named Pidtukasan. Sinsuat married a second wife, a Maranao, and their son grew up to become Datu Odin. However, due to marital conflict, the Maranao wife of Sinsuat went back to Ramain, Lanao. Abas helped to negotiate for the return of Sinsuat’s wife, further enhancing ties between the clans. For several years, the two clans intermarried. Pidtukasan, the eldest son of Sinsuat (who became the first elected mayor of Dinaig), was married to the eldest daughter of Abas named Sauda. The son of Pidtukasan named Datu Kused was married to Guianipa, a daughter of Datu Odin Sinsuat, Pidtukasan’s half brother. The genealogy shows the dominance of the Sinsuats in the local political arena.







Married to Abas

PIDTUKUSAN (First Mayor of DOS)



DATU MAMA DATU MANDU SINSUAT SINSUAT (Former (Former Cotabato Commissioner) City Mayor)

DATU BLAH SINSUAT (Con-Con Delegate) DATU PUTI SINSUAT (Former North Upi Mayor)

DATU KUSED (Grandson of Married to Sinsuat Abas and Sinsuat) Board Member


DATU OMBRA (Former Mayor)

DATU BIMBO (Incumbent Vice. Gov. of Maguindanao)

DATU RUSMAN (Incumbent Board Member)


DATU LESTER (Incumbent Mayor)

FIGURE 2: Abas-Sinsuat Clans’ Intermarriages and Political Power

The Rido and its aftermath The “cold war” between the two clans started during the years before World War II. While the Abases owned much land in the area, it was the Sinsuats who registered more property under their name when the Land Registration Act and the agrarian reform program came about. This was seemingly a result of differing attitudes and beliefs: while the Abases were devout Muslims, the Sinsuats were more secular and traditional leaders and had better access to the bureaucracy.

RIDO V2.indd 295

10/4/2007 8:24:36 AM

296 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

During the war, the Abases reportedly sympathized with the Americans while the Sinsuats allegedly sided with the Japanese. Still, what sparked the feud between the clans was a misunderstanding in the 1980s between youths from the Guialon and Maliga families in Bunged. The Guialons sought help from the Abases while the Maliga went to the Sinsuats, specifically, Darry Sinsuat. At first, the Abases and the Sinsuats did not want to be involved in the dispute and tried to broker peace. When President Corazon C. Aquino came to power in 1986, she declared a revolutionary government that rendered vacant all national and local posts. She appointed Hadji Mokamad Abas, the son of the old Abas, as officer in charge of Dinaig to replace Datu Odin Sinsuat. The Sinsuats could not accept the abrupt turn of events and tried every means to regain their political power. Hadji Mokamad Abas held office for only a few months before losing a hotly contested mayoralty elections to Datu Odin Sinsuat. Unfortunately, the elections rekindled past ill will between the two clans and ignited violent encounters. The first major encounter was reported the following year in Makir, where Datu Darry Sinsuat was killed. The incident happened at the Pilot Elementary School in the northern side of the town’s poblacion Dalican. The second major encounter was along the national highway at the boundary of Dalican and Makir, and the third one took place once more at the upper part of Makir. The fighting claimed the lives of three on the side of the Abases. On the other hand, two Sinsuat grandsons were killed in an ambush that the Sinsuats blamed on the Abases. The Sinsuats were accused of slaying a member of another powerful Dinaig clan, the Ambolodtos, who allegedly sided with the Abases. The Ambolodtos had allegedly helped organize the ambush on the Sinsuats in Makir. In retaliation, the Sinsuats razed the house where the ambush occurred. Reportedly, when the Sinsuats realized that some of the attacks against them were initiated by another party other than the Abases, the Sinsuats tempered their actions and the violence subsided. Aside from deaths, the conflict caused evacuations and damage to property, crop, and livestock. Students had to forego schooling at the Mindanao State University (msu) campus in Dalican, Datu Odin Sinsuat. Battles occurred in Bunged, Dalican, Makir, Kakar, and Kurintem while barangay Sapalan and Dulangan witnessed ambuscades. Several people tried to reconcile the feuding sides. The final effort was facilitated by the Abas clan itself. They requested the help of Col. Rudy So Chio of the afp in setting up a meeting attended by Datu Bimbo, Datu Ombra and Bai Yasmine from the Sinsuats and Ust. Brahim, Hadji Mokamad, Commander Tungan, and Mr. Madale from the Abas clan. The two sides

RIDO V2.indd 296

10/4/2007 8:24:37 AM

The Celebrated Cases of Rido in Maguindanao and North Cotabato || 297

sealed a peace pact that culminated in the holding of a kanduli. The parties swore before the Holy Qur’an to discard any animosity between them. The settlement was not documented, but so far, the peace is holding. The policies of the incumbent mayor, Datu Lester Sinsuat, are reportedly in accord with Islam, which is favorable to the devout Abases. The national government is often seen as perpetuating the colonial strategy of “divide and rule” by exploiting the differences among local clans like the Abases and the Sinsuats, especially during elections. Before the advent of post-1986 elections, the two clans treated each other like saka kuden: siblings sharing the same pots, plates, and land. However, personal interests now often overcome peaceful coexistence. Case 3: The Manduyog-Bagundang Conflict Geography In Maguindanao tradition, Kabuntalan is the land across which the Pulangi River forks through the tribal heartland towards the Moro Gulf and Illana Bay. Inhabited originally by the Nagtangen, Kabuntalan eventually emerged by the 16th century as one of the three sultanates in the tribal heartland along with the Maguindanao and Buayan. In northeast Kabuntalan is barangay Gambar, a self-sustained community of farmers and fishers. The area boasts of fertile plains and marsh watered by the Pulangi River that overflows its banks annually. The Bagundang Clan The prominent Bagundang clan of Maguindanao traces descent to a member of the royal family of Brunei who came to Mindanao at the close of Spanish rule in the Philippines in the 19th century. A man of no great means, Karnain of the Bagundang clan married Gapas Watamama of the Watamama clan of Gambar, Kabuntalan, The couple had eight children: Ahmad, Oting, Blah, Manan and Macmod, all surnamed Bagundang. The diagram on the opposite page shows that both Karnain Bagundang and Hadji Alim Manduyog have the right to claim over the ancestral land of the Watamama Tubotubo. The Manduyog Clan On the other hand, the marriage between Hadji Alim Manduyog to the sister of Watamama saw the intermarriage between the influential Buayan and Kabuntalan clans. The marriage bore at least seven children including Datukon, Asgar, and Adrie.

RIDO V2.indd 297

10/4/2007 8:24:38 AM

298 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao WATAMAMA TUBOTUBO
BAGUNDANG (Focal person of Watamama)

MANDUYOG (Half brother of Usi and Dilangalen)
















FIGURE 3: Bagundang-Manduyog Clans’ Relationship

Old Ties Historically, the three Moro sovereign powers at times forged a confederation to resist foreign incursion. In the mid 1970s, the people of Gambar, Kabuntalan rallied behind the call for an independent Muslim Maguindanao homeland. The Bagundang and Manduyog clans, closely related by blood and affinity, were both staunch supporters of the Moro liberation movement. The Rido and its Aftermath Conflict between the clans broke out in 1982. Reportedly, the Bagundangans were more powerful during the height of the conflict. The rido that erupted during the administrations of barangay captain Adtong Utto of Gambar and Mayor Johnson Lauban of the municipality of Kabuntalan started as a dispute over land. The Watamamas, the clan whom both the Bagundangs and Manduyogs had intermarried with, possessed an estimated 120 ha of land in Gambar, the largest landholding in the village. The land of the Watamamas was divided equally among the siblings. Karnain and Hadji Alim, both married to Watamama women, were among the beneficiaries. Each beneficiary family inherited about one hectare mainly for residential use. Traditionally, the Maguindanao did not document their land holdings, but when land titling was started in the 1980s, Karnain allegedly claimed more land than he owned. With the help of his son Ahmad Bagundang, an

RIDO V2.indd 298

10/4/2007 8:24:38 AM

The Celebrated Cases of Rido in Maguindanao and North Cotabato || 299

agriculturist who had access to the local office of the Department of Agrarian Reform (dar), Karnain registered 14 ha under the name of his brother- inlaw, Mohammad Sangki. As expected, the other heirs were outraged. Karnain discovered that Hadji Alim was building a house on land that Karnain had registered under his name and was mortgaging to the Development Bank of the Philippines (dbp). Karnain confronted Hadji Alim who refused to vacate the lot. During the encounter, Alim’s son, Datukon, shot dead Karnain with an M16 rifle. The neighbors fled the area in fear of violence. The clans, whose mothers Giday and Ampok were first cousins, were now at war with each other. Two months after Karnain’s death, Asgar, the brother of Datukon, was slain in Campo Muslim, Cotabato City, allegedly by the Bagundang clan. Later, two of Karnain’s sons, Manan and Macmod, and two of his brothers-in-law, Hadji Abas Salim and Hadji Latip Ukay, were also killed. The Bagundang side lost seven men. On the side of Manduyogs, eight were killed, including Asgar, Batua Minidal, Tua Kapid, Macmod Agong, and Guimaludin Agong. All of them were closely related to Hadji Alim who was himself killed by Karnain’s son, Blah, at a supermarket in Cotabato City. Leaders of Kabuntalan and other towns, including the late mayors Sukarno Samad and Bai Unggi D. Abdullah and Assemlyman Arafat Abdullah, tried but failed to reconcile the feuding clans. Later, prominent personalities from the feuding clans worked to end the rido. Hadji Salim from the Bagundangs and Mando Macacua from the Manduyogs requested the intervention of regional trial court judge Ismael Bagundang and Samsudin Macacua, the most influential members of the two clans. These two personalities arranged a dialogue between the clans that was held at the residence of Sumampao Bagundang in Cotabato City. As a result of the talks, the feuding clans agreed to enter into a traditional peace covenant through the holding of a kanduli. At the kanduli, the Bagundang clan was headed by Judge Ismael Bagundang, who was joined by Sammy Bagundang, municipal auditor of the armm; Col. Esmael Daulog; Abdulrahman Bagundang, among others. The Manduyogs were led by Samsudin Macacua with barangay captain Adtong Utto, Hadji Latip, Mando Macacua and some other influential members of the clan. Both sides agreed to disregard all previous casualties and property damage. Clan members were advised not to respond in haste to any perceived future provocation. The two men who led the talks assumed responsibility for any violation of the truce that may be committed by their respective clan members.

RIDO V2.indd 299

10/4/2007 8:24:39 AM

300 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

In 1989, the rido was finally settled after 12 years of conflict and seven years of violence. There was, however, no formal document signed by the two sides. It is noteworthy that the negotiators rendered void the disputed land title that caused the conflict and restored the property to their rightful owners. Since then, the two clans have lived in peace. Without a written document, there is no guarantee that this rido will not recur after the passing of the elders who brokered the peace. Although the original land title that caused the dispute has been rendered void among the clan members, the property has not been re-registered under a rightful owner. This could cause future problems. Stages of Rido Based on the above rido case studies, the following pattern can be observed: 1. Pre-Rido/ “Cold War” Misunderstanding/miscommunication. Commonly, a rido starts with an intense misunderstanding. Lack of communication and respect. When misunderstanding is not resolved right away, the conflict may deepen because of lack of communication and absence of mutual respect. Verbal threats and confrontation. Misunderstanding can lead to verbal provocation between clans (usually fanned by rumor) that can trigger a rido. Socio-political and economic domination. When rich and powerful individuals or families in an area become oppressive, the stage can be set for animosity or “cold war” between clans. Opening stage of a rido When animosity leads to homicide, the maratabat and territoriality of the clans are ignited and the violence escalates. Escalation Revenge and property damage. A rido can be said to have escalated when retaliation has resulted to several casualties and much property damage. Involvement of third party and powerful groups. Rido can be exacerbated by “third parties” who support or arm the principals. Neglect by authorities. Rido can be become unmanageable when authorities do not nip it in the bud.

RIDO V2.indd 300

10/4/2007 8:24:39 AM

The Celebrated Cases of Rido in Maguindanao and North Cotabato || 301

Settlement and Resolution • Pre-Settlement Realization and bargaining . It is the stage of repentance and realization of the clans about the negative impact of the rido. Draining of resources. Both parties are no longer capable of sustaining the conflict materially. Fatigue. Both sides are psychologically drained. • Settlement Proper Intervention of peacemakers. Prominent lay or religious individuals or groups in the community try to broker peace. Participation of clan leaders and members. Any move to settle a rido must involve clan members. Nonverbal arrangement. At this point, both sides share a desire to end the conflict. Dialogue. The parties agree to settle through mediation of peacemakers. • Process of Dialogue Communication between mediators and feuding clans – Consent of clans to talk peace – Covert negotiations between mediators and feuding clans – Evaluation of conditions and possibilities – Actual talks Agreement Terms for peace are spelled out. It may be written or verbal so long as approved by both conflicting parties. Transformational Stage It is the stage where trust and confidence between parties are gradually restored. Conclusion Rido may involve any family or clan, anywhere at anytime, given the right conditions. The prevalence of rido among the Moro may be due to the concept of maratabat that obligates every clan member to do everything within his power to defend the clan honor once this is perceived as having been desecrated. The Moro say that “what ails the little finger, the whole body feels,” so the individual must always share the clan burden. Attempts to settle rido while emotions are high and resources are still intact may be futile. However, when the conflict has taken its toll and parties

RIDO V2.indd 301

10/4/2007 8:24:39 AM

302 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

begin to feel drained, then the chances for resolution increase. The parties may cease their attacks or even seek formal talks as in the case of the Mangansakan and Tayuan clans.When this happens, it is best to start a dialogue that will lead to a formal agreement. During the settlement period, it is important to determine the individuals for whom both sides have the utmost trust. The peacemaker should bear in mind that both parties have committed extreme offenses and completely distrust each other. The mediator must be cautious and fair. Rido is best prevented when community leaders are keen to detect animosities between individuals and between families and move early to restore good will. Recommendations There is a need to conduct more peace education seminars/trainings on rido and conflict resolution among concerned local government units (lgu) and community leaders, and a deeper study on the concept of maratabat and traditional conflict resolution among the Moro. Postscript After undertaking an in-depth investigation of the Mangansakan-Tayuan conflict, and upon the request of the clans involved in the rido, the Cotabato-based United Youth for Peace and Development (unypad) initiated a series of dialogues between the feuding clans to help settle the conflict. With support from The Asia Foundation and the United States Agency for International Development (usaid), the youth group used the study results to organize and empower the council of elders of both clans, find an acceptable mediator, and conduct consultations with and information dissemination to grassroots members of both clans. Throughout the resolution process, unypad faced several obstacles. The families initially doubted the sincerity and capability of the youth in helping resolve the problem. The untimely death of a Tayuan clan council member also affected the dialogues. In addition, the Shariff Aguak incident in June 2006, which killed a Mangansakan leader and triggered a major armed conflict in Maguindanao, further complicated the resolution process. However, through persistence, hard work, and sincere engagement with the people, unypad was able to overcome these challenges and help the families reach a final settlement. On March 11, 2007, a grand kanduli or thanksgiving celebration was held in Paido Pulangi, Pikit, by the two clans to formalize the settlement and mark the end of their 21-year old rido. The kanduli also commemorated the 14th death anniversary of Datu Bitol Mangansakan who was patriarch to

RIDO V2.indd 302

10/4/2007 8:24:40 AM

The Celebrated Cases of Rido in Maguindanao and North Cotabato || 303

both clans. The kanduli was a very emotional event for all the families. For many of them, it was their first time to meet again after a very long time. The successful kanduli became a manifestation of their genuine commitment to finally end any future conflict between the clans. It is also an affirmation of their conviction that hatred, conflicts, and misunderstanding are retrogressive and have no more space in either of the clans.

RIDO V2.indd 303

10/4/2007 8:24:40 AM


ch a p ter ten

Tausug and Corsican Clan Feuding: A Comparative Study
Gerard Rixhon

ALFWAY THROUGH the first decade of the second millennium, people in many places across the world continue to suffer from the violence leftover from the 20th century. The cries of “Never Again!” heard at the end of World War II continue to resound in vain. Perhaps the oldest form of feuding is that between families or clans.1 Interfamilial feuds are the most common precipitates of violent crime in the Philippines, according to a 2004 Social Weather Stations (sws) survey on “Conflict Resolution and the Participation of Women in Peace, Governance and Development.” Most survey respondents across the country say violence in their neighborhood result mainly from family and clan conflicts.2 It is a national issue and one that is especially significant in the South3.


1 For greater simplicity and clarity, I will henceforward use the term “clan feud” as I consider family (pamilya) and clan (angkan) feuds to be the same phenomenon. The dynamics and character of the blood feuds are the same in both cases. 2 Social Weather Stations, 2005: slide 12. 3 The country as a whole has not come to terms with clan feuding. At the national level, some 16% of the respondents admit having experienced family/clan violence in their community; and, second, 40% of Filipinos still approve of taking revenge as acceptable behavior. What was believed to be a unique southern Mindanao phenomenon is not.

|| 304 ||

RIDO V2.indd 304

10/4/2007 8:24:40 AM

Tausug and Corsican Clan Feuding || 305
TABLE 1. Conflict Resolution and the Participation of Women in Peace Governance and Development: An Integration of Three Surveys, SWS 2005:12

SUMMARY OF EXPERIENCE OF VIOLENCE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD: ARMM vs. RP RP 16% 1 4 0.2 0.5 3 4 1 0.4 ARMM 28% 20 9 5 2 2 1 1 0.3

Conflict between families/clans Conflict between Muslim rebels and AFP Crime Conflict between Muslims and Christians Conflict betweem tribes Conflict between farmers and landowners Conflict between NPA and AFP Conflict between laborers and employers Conflict between other groups

The figures speak for themselves but it should be noted here that, contrary to popular perception, the most number of violent deaths in the armm is not due to the war between Moro rebels and government troops but is the result of inter-family feud. This fact is further supported and qualified by another set of figures on the “Vengeance Factor,” as found in the same sws Survey Summary: If a family member is hurt/murdered/raped, 60% in RP disapprove (both women and men) of taking vengeance, but 70% in ARMM approve (both women and men) of it.4 (Underlining mine) These large approval numbers in southwestern Mindanao and Sulu for clan feuding added to those for the secessionist civil war do not augur well for the return of a comprehensive peace to Mindanao and Sulu. It is therefore important to examine this aberrant and damaging behavior. My purpose is twofold. It is first an attempt to understand the nature and structure of family feud and its impact. From this analysis, I aim to identify the basic Tausug cultural elements that may remedy and transform this phenomenon.
4 Ibid:18, a summary of slide 19. The question was: “To what degree do you agree or disagree with the following statement: “IT IS RIGHT TO AVENGE MY FAMILY IF ONE OF ITS MEMBERS GETS HURT, IS MURDERED OR IS RAPED?” (SHOW CARD”) (STRONGLY AGREE, SOMEWHAT AGREE, SOMEWHAT DISAGREE,OR STRONGLY DISAGREE)

RIDO V2.indd 305

10/4/2007 8:24:41 AM

306 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Family feuding, which is as old as humankind, was best defined some 120 years ago by Mark Twain in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn through Huck’s new friend, Buck, who had lost three older brothers in a 30-year-old feud: “Well,” says Buck, “a feud is this way: A man has a quarrel with another man, and kills him; then that other man’s brother kills him; then the other brothers, on both sides, goes for one another; then the cousins chip in—and by-and-by everybody’s killed off and there ain’t no more feud. But it’s kind of slow, and takes a long time.”5 Buck admits that he doesn’t know how the row started “long ago” save that the families’ honor were at stake. According to the anthropological literature on revenge, the term “feud” is ascribed to a cycle with at least three successive killings of members on both sides.6 What Mark Twain describes in his novel fits perfectly with what the Tausug call mamahuli 7. In Meranao society it is called rido, the Higaonon use the term lido and the Magindanaon use kontra or kontla. Nowadays, most writers and researchers use the Meranao term rido to describe all clan feuds in the South but I rather use the English term “clan feud.” I limit my study to the Tausug because of my greater familiarity with Sulu. In any case, there are strong similarities between Tausug clan feuds and those of other ethnic groups in western Mindanao. Although it is not my primary purpose, this paper will help dispel the misconception that family or clan vengeance occurs only among Muslim groups of Mindanao and Sulu.8 Non-Muslims in Mindanao, like the Higaonon, peoples of the Luzon highlands, as well as lowland Christians, all engage in clan feuds. Such feuds are also well known in southwest China, the eastern and southern United States during the 19th century—as described in Twain’s novel—and in the Mediterranean Basin.9 In fact, it was
5 Mark Twain, 2003: 120. 6 See Otterbein 2000: 231-2 7 The term “clan” (liyuuran) includes people issued from the same lineage and their allies while “family” (tawtaymanghud) refers to members of a nuclear family and kin such as uncles, aunts, and cousins. Revenge killings between two clans or two families differ only in the size or membership of groups involved where the same patterns of conflict and the same cycle of murderous behavior obtain 8 One major Muslim ethnic group inhabiting the Sulu Archipelago is the Sama people (including the Sama Dilaut; see Nimmo 2001:128-131 and 162-164). They generally abhor violence and settle disputes peacefully through arbitration. Most of them are located in Tawi-Tawi and along the coasts of Sulu, Basilan, and the Southern Zamboanga Peninsula; there are also large Sama populations in Eastern Sabah, Malaysia and in Eastern and Southern Sulawesi where they are known as Orang Bajo. One exception among them might be the Balangingi Sama, west of Jolo Island, who fought alongside the Tausug in piracy raids in the 19th century.. . 9 In Yunnan (southwest China). In the United States, some of the Appalachian families in Kentucky and Western Virginia were notorious for their long string of murders between competing families until

RIDO V2.indd 306

10/4/2007 8:24:41 AM

Tausug and Corsican Clan Feuding || 307

the Corsicans, notorious for their family/clan feuds during the 19th century and famous for Napoleon Bonaparte, who gave the world the term vendetta (from the Latin vindicta or vengeance). I chose Corsica for this comparative study because the clan feuding behavior of its people shows striking similarities to that of the Tausug. Many parallels can be drawn between the Corsican vendetta and the Tausug mamahuli which show the impact of their respective political histories on the psyches of both peoples. This study will hopefully help in understanding the clan violence in both cultures and find ways to remedy feuding through a conflict-transformation approach. The first part of the paper starts with a case study of a family feud in Sulu in which the author was part observer and part actor or participant observer. It is supplemented by literature on vengeance in Sulu, mainly from Kiefer and Hussin.10 In the second part, I look at the Corsican vendetta in its historical and cultural context. In the third part, I consider the commonalities in both cultures that foster clan violence. Finally, in the last section, the possibility of a council for peace and justice is discussed along with a program toward conflict transformation and the role of the government in bringing back peace and justice in southern Philippines. Clan Feud in Sulu In Sulu, the traditional term for inter-family or clan revenge is mamahuli from pahuli, to take revenge. Some people use the generic term nagbanta (from banta, an enemy11) which means literally “to fight or oppose.” The following case is based on the author’s personal experience in Sulu12 (pseudonyms are used). The case of Ibnu Some 40 years ago, I was director of a high school in the Sulu Archipelago. One of my fourth year students, Ibnu, was a very bright student from a poor family barely subsisting on coconut farming in the gimba, the interior of the island. Because his family found it difficult to fully pay for his studies and his stay in town, I took him in and paid for his school fees in exchange

they were stopped at the end of the 19th Century. In the Mediterranean Basin, among the most notorious were and still are those in Corsica (France), Sardinia, Sicily, and Calabria (Italy); the Balkans, Greece and Egypt, among others. 10 Kiefer, Thomas M., 1986 and Hussin, Alber, 2005. 11 See Hassan and Ashley, 1994: 81. 12 This was personally reconstructed from memory.

RIDO V2.indd 307

10/4/2007 8:24:42 AM

308 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

for light work in the school library. I was quite relieved to know that he was accepted by the Mindanao State University (msu) in Marawi City. Most school days ended after dinner with the pasiyal (strolling) hour at dusk which I enjoyed with a few students, Ibnu among them. A frequent topic of our conversations was family feud. Ibnu recounted how his family was embroiled in an old feud with the Abdullah family that caused several deaths on each side. He narrated how his mother and sisters could hardly make ends meet due to the vicious cycle of revenge killings. Ibnu’s father was slain due to a land boundary dispute with their neighbors, the Abdullah family. A few years later, Ibnu’s older brother who became head of the family and the main defender of his family’s honor and interests, ambushed and killed old man Abdullah. Again, some years later, Abdullah’s son, Mr. Bin Abdullah, returned to the island as a public school teacher and killed Ibnu’s older brother. Ibnu—then a teen-ager—thus became his family’s last hope in vindicating their honor. At this time, Ibnu was about to graduate from high school and looking forward to attending msu. But the expectations of Ibnu’s family weighed on him. We often talked about the ethics of revenge. He agreed that the cycle of vengeance was destroying his family. If he were to kill Mr. Bin Abdullah, Ibnu knew he would lose his scholarship and endanger his future. Yet he was constantly reminded of his duty to redeem the family honor by his mother and sisters. In our last conversation, Ibnu agreed that revenge was not a solution and that despite his misgivings about the system, justice should be obtained through the courts. A week later, just past 7 a.m., as we were singing the Philippine National Anthem to start the new day, I noticed Mr. Bin Abdullah standing at attention on the road fronting our school. I immediately scanned the ranks of the fourth year students. Ibnu was not among them. As we were singing the last line, Ibnu suddenly darted out from behind a huge acacia tree opposite the school and fired his .45 cal. pistol pointblank at Mr. Bin. Bullets were flying in our direction and kids were screaming. To protect the students and faculty members, I ran after Ibnu, shouting at him to go away until he disappeared from sight. Fortunately, there was only one student whose shoulder was grazed by a bullet. However, Mr. Bin was sprawled on the ground, bleeding but still alive. I and two male teachers brought Mr. Bin to the public health clinic. Mr. Bin recovered and was eventually arrested and convicted of the murder of Ibnu’s brother. Meanwhile, Ibnu, his dreams shattered but his family’s honor intact, went into hiding as an outlaw and remained so for a few years.

RIDO V2.indd 308

10/4/2007 8:24:42 AM

Tausug and Corsican Clan Feuding || 309

This case of Ibnu and Mr. Bin is typical of family or clan feuds among the Tausug as shown by the gripping revenge patterns witnessed and described by Hussin13 last year. It bears the same pattern as that of the Meranao rido and other clan feuds in the Philippines. To understand what happened to Ibnu and other mamahuli cases, it is important to discuss salient cultural elements which Tausug society shares with other societies that have a similar history of political instability (which includes the lack of an effective formal justice system). Internal Factors That Shape Clan Feud Strong kinship and fierce family bonds. In attempting to kill Mr. Bin, Ibnu acted as the male head of the family in lieu of his late father, following the example of his late brother, and based on strong kinship and family bonds. As in most families in the Philippines, the Tausug trace their descent from both the father and mother; in Tausug this tradition is called usba-waris. As in most western Mindanao groups, however, the Tausug father is the main authority figure and family symbol. The loss14 of a father in a family feud is a very serious matter. Therefore, Ibnu’s mother insisted that Ibnu avenge his father and brother in order to redeem the family honor. As in most Filipino families, the Tausug mother remains in the background but has a strong say on matters affecting the family. In Tausug society, family ties are passionately respected and defended. Land owned by the family is defended with equal ferocity as it is viewed somewhat mystically as an extension of the family.15 Therefore, any encroachment of a family’s property can lead to deadly conflict. As in any family feud, Ibnu’s commitment to defend his family was unequivocal and, yet, mixed with other motivations. Bravery: the maisug factor. Ibnu manifested in his behavior one of the key values of the Tausug male: bravery, from isug which means valor, intrepidity, and also fierceness and violence. The word also connotes “masculinity”16 and, according to Hussin, fearlessness (2005:117). Kiefer succinctly defines it thus: “A maisug person is combative and not deterred by physical danger and risk, one who has strong feelings and is not afraid to express them.”17 Motivation for maisug action is complex. In his case, Ibnu may
13 See Hussin’s Thesis, 2005, passim 14 Mamahuli’s root is pahuli which literally means “to repair what was broke,” according to a private contribution by Mr. Talib Sangogot whom I gratefully acknowledge 15 For a description of the relationship of land, house, and family, see Jainal, Rixhon and Ruppert, 1972: 88-92, 113/2003: 148-150, 170 16 See Hassan and Ashley, 1994:200 17 Kiefer, 1986: 53

RIDO V2.indd 309

10/4/2007 8:24:42 AM

310 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

have feared being branded a sissy or a coward for not avenging his family. A Tausug proverb says: “Gam muti’ in bukug, ayaw in tikudtikud” (Literally: “Better the white bone than the heels”) “It is better to die than be dishonored.”18 To redeem one’s family is to redeem one’s self. Ibnu’s violent action was facilitated by the easy availability of firearms. Handling a .45-cal. pistol—borrowed from a relative—enhanced his deep sense of machismo and personal power. In Tausug society, a man’s firearm is said, albeit often in jest, to be more “precious than his wife.” As Hussin points out, the kalis of the past and the Armalite of today are more than mere weapons, they are prestige symbols. There is “fusion” between weapon, even one that is borrowed, and its bearer.19 According to Hussin, Sulu counts an average of four weapons per household (2005). In clan feud, bravery overcomes the sense of shame, or sipug, inflicted on one’s family by an offense. Shame means the loss of martabbat or honor and self respect. Ibnu and his family suffered the dishonor caused by the act of the accused, Mr. Bin Abdullah. Young Ibnu had to erase this shame by taking revenge at some propitious time. I subscribe to Kiefer’s definition of “honor” as the awareness “of the self in relation to society. … It is not only something to describe an inner feeling, but it is also used as an ideal which serves to justify the individual’s enmity.”20 In a society where people own little that is tangible outside of a simple home and a small piece of land, the family’s intangible honor or self-respect counts as the most precious matter to defend even at the cost of one’s life. As the last adult or quasi-adult in the line of succession, Ibnu had the burden of repaying his debt of gratitude, buddi, to his dead father and brother. He had the powerful sense of obligation to get even with the Abdullah family by eliminating Mr. Bin. Revenge, as Kiefer notes, is a form of “negative reciprocity” 21 also called at times “the debt of a soul.” In the early stage of feuding, customary law (adat) recommends a peaceful settlement between the two families through arbitration by a neutral and

18 Hassan and Jainal, 1973:221. 19 Hussin 2005: 106 ff. and 126. This insight into what I would call a “mystical” fusion between bearer and weapon could be related to the unity between a piece of land and its owner and the relationship of a house built on that land according to specific body directions. This is an idea that may inspire further research. 20 Kiefer, 1986: 68 . 21 Ibid.: 67.

RIDO V2.indd 310

10/4/2007 8:24:43 AM

Tausug and Corsican Clan Feuding || 311

highly regarded head man or panglima. Usually, this process results in the aggressor compensating the victim. It is followed by an agreement between both sides, who swear by the Holy Qur’an, to refrain from killing each other. However, this process is seldom resorted to during the early stage of feuding. For the Tausug, including Ibnu’s family, formal court proceedings are only a means to temporarily imprison a crime suspect. Such processes do not resolve the conflicts between clans or prevent further violence. The preferred way for the majority of the aggrieved parties throughout Mindanao and Sulu is to follow their own private sense of justice and take the law into their hands. Incidentally, figures gathered by the Asia Foundation-supported research on clan feuding in southern Mindanao show that out of 1,220 rido cases in Mindanao “40 % are resolved, 3% have recurred, 57% remain unresolved”23 Though deeply shaped by his culture, Ibnu’s actions were also strongly influenced by political events he might not even be aware of. In fact, Ibnu grew up during the years that presaged the turbulent 1970s. External Factors That Induce Clan Feud Sulu’s travails and instability can be traced with a broad brush to the turbulent events of the past three centuries. It started in the 18th century when a brisk trade in spices, pearls, and sea products marked the height of the Sultanate of Sulu’s commercial success. This caught the attention of the English and other European traders. These foreign merchants slowly and aggressively displaced the center of the spice trade to their warehouses elsewhere in East Borneo and along the coast of the Malay Peninsula. The commercial decline of the Sulu Sultanate during the 19th century brought about unrest across the Sulu Archipelago. To recoup their losses and to keep away the Spanish colonial troops from the North, some Tausug and Balangingi Sama launched piracy raids. However, the glory days were past and this was a terrible blow to Tausug pride. Worse was to come; first with the establishment of Spanish colonial forts and enclaves in Zamboanga and Jolo; then the American occupation and colonial regime. When the colonial masters left, they turned over power and administration to Manila with its distant and “neocolonial” attitudes toward Mindanao and Sulu.
22 For a detailed description of feud settlement according to the customary law of the Meranao, see Bula, 2000: 15ff. 23 The Asia Foundation: 2005. From the same study, here are some of the figures on another province of Mindanao. In the past ten years (1994-2004) alone, Lanao del Sur had 284 cases of clan feuds (or rido in Meranao), with 542 dead and 79 injured; 44 cases only were settled with 4 perpetrators jailed; this leaves 244 cases unresolved up to now.


RIDO V2.indd 311

10/4/2007 8:24:43 AM

312 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Economic decline and political turmoil slowly gnawed at the people’s sense of security in their homeland. There were varied arrangements. Many among the elite were loyal to Manila, others were critical of the Philippine government while serving it; there were rebellions (as that led by Kamlon); most people coasted along indifferently, and a minority still showed loyalty to the usa. An example of this situation is highlighted by a visit I paid, some 45 years ago, a panglima in the interior of Ibnu’s home island with one of my students as guide. When the chief of the area saw me, he shook my hands warmly and proclaimed for all to hear: “Ha, sir, when are you Americans coming back to lift independence from us?” My protestations that I was Belgian did not seem to register with the chief. At the other extreme, there were, in 1961, former Sulu Congressman Datu Amilbangsa calling for an Independent State of Sulu, and, in 1968, former Cotabato Governor Udtug Matalam launching the Movement for Independent Mindanao (mim). The peace and order situation grew worse with the birth of the Moro National Liberation Front (mnlf) in 1969, the imposition of martial law, and the ensuing war between the Philippine government and the Moro rebellion. Manila symbolizes a distant and uncaring government that neglects the people of Mindanao and Sulu. This neglect is exemplified in the absence of an effective and honest justice system. It is no wonder the rural Tausug with a deep sense of personal justice shy away from the courts in settling their disputes. The formal court system was seen as a Manila-imposed institution good for locking some people away but with no relevance for dispute settlement. Ibnu was raised during this period of Tausug insecurity and mistrust of government. The times have not changed as clan feuding still flourishes as reported by Alber Hussin and his research colleagues in western Mindanao. The past 30 years have seen a full blown civil war led earlier by the mnlf and, later, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (milf). More recent times have seen the emergence of the extremist Abu Sayyaf group. The splintering of the two rebel fronts into various factions has not helped the peace situation as families and clans realigned themselves not for ideological reasons but in opposition to rival clans. Shifting alliances have made peace negotiations trickier and narrowed down the number of effective and neutral mediators. This environment continues to encourage clan feuds and private wars. This situation is such that many of us, social scientists, search for comparisons with similar feud patterns elsewhere that might help us gain insights toward an action program. The Corsican vendetta compares well with the Tausug variety.

RIDO V2.indd 312

10/4/2007 8:24:43 AM

Tausug and Corsican Clan Feuding || 313

The Vendetta in Corsica Corsica is an 8,680-sq km island of France in the western corner of the Mediterranean Sea, southwest of northern Italy and southeast of France. Its 270,000 inhabitants live for the most part in the rural areas where they are wheat farmers and sheep producers. Corsica has been part of France for the past 240 years. The Corsicans are proud to count Bonaparte Napoleon as one of their own but they are also notorious for their vendetta skills. Before becoming part of France—it was not their choice—the island was governed for 600 years from afar by the Genoa and Pisa principalities that are now part of northern Italy. The local people are of Tuscan (Italian) origin and speak Corsican, a Tuscan/Italian language enriched by many accretions that reflect the island’s turbulent past. French, however, is the official language. The Corsicans are Catholics at least nominally with a few small Greek Orthodox Christians communities and a sprinkling of Muslims in the southern coastal towns. Corsica has been occupied by Romans, Greeks, Byzantines, Pisans, and Genovese. Because of its strategic position in the Mediterranean, the island also had to contend with numerous incursions by the Etruscans, Saracens, Austrians, and British. North African pirates often raided the Corsican coast. After 600 years under Genoa and Pisa, a Corsican, Pasquale Paoli, succeeded in rallying his people to form a democratic government that lasted 15 years under their own constitution. This new state brought about political stability and peace among the warring clans and ushered in economic growth. Corsican democracy ended when the island was annexed by France in 1768 and badly neglected. The French language and school system began taking root only around 1850.24 Corrupt or ineffective government officials from the mainland were often “exiled” to Corsica as administrators and judges. To survive foreign occupation and economic malaise, the Corsicans had to constantly shift alliances. This in turn created more political and social unrest, a climate of suspicion, and a “culture of silence.” Moreover, up to the 1950s, the justice system was inadequate and corrupt. Vendetta, or acts of vengeance for obtaining justice, became more widespread. This explains why throughout the centuries “the Corsican man was always armed, ready to attack or to defend himself against many potential enemies.”25 And he will never give up the pistol or rifle which has become a symbol of his liberty as well as an affirmation of his machismo.26

24 Wilson, 2002:4. 25 Andreani 2002: 42, my translation from the French. 26 Ibid.

RIDO V2.indd 313

10/4/2007 8:24:44 AM

314 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Corsican society is anchored strongly on the family. However, the Corsican family goes beyond the nuclear and encompasses other relatives and close friends in a familial network or clan under the leadership of the male family head who exercises a strong paternalistic authority. There is passionate attachment to the family and a strong sense of ethnic identity to the point of clannishness. 27 As expected in such a system, there is a strong cohesion among members expressed through solidarity, reciprocity, and honor with the latter to be defended at any cost. On the other hand, every clan member feels equally valued and protected. In Corsica as well as Sicily, Sardinia, and other Mediterranean Basin cultures, the typical vendetta scenario is as follows: Once someone is murdered in the village, the victim’s family mourns, listens to rumors in order to identify the killer if he’s not yet known...The inquiry takes the time needed, sometimes even years. When the evidence is deemed conclusive, the family (relatives and friends) gather to plot their revenge. The decision must be unanimous. The ‘executioner’ is then chosen from among the closest male relatives of the victim or the ablest among them. In hatching the plan, plotters try to ensure that the ‘executioner’ can flee the scene without being identified. The preferred weapon is an automatic rifle or machine-gun pistol. The target may be felled in a public place, or inside his home, his face or body mutilated. After the deed, the killer disappears and if he is sought by the law, he hides in the forest (the maquis, the underground) and becomes an outlaw. 28. An external threat rallies all members of the Corsican family against the attacker or an outsider perceived as a potential enemy. This attitude is inculcated early in life as the following lullaby shows: “Dodo … dodo … dodelinette … Go to sleep, oh my child! When you come of age, You will carry a gun And police and soldiers Will not scare you.29

27 Tillard 2003::3/12. 28 Summary based on Bella’s article (translated from the French by the author. 29 Andreani 2002: 42 (my translation).

RIDO V2.indd 314

10/4/2007 8:24:44 AM

Tausug and Corsican Clan Feuding || 315

An actual, or perceived, offense committed against one’s family challenges an individual’s sense of worth and equality and is a pernicious way to sever his family’s ties with the community.30 These familial and communal ties are inscribed in “blood” according to Andreani: … [I]n the Mediterranean region the honor of a group depends on a state of equilibrium between, on one hand, the blood that is genealogically pure, and, on the other, the reputation or a good name. … Within a group, care is taken to assure this equality: The male gender is to control the other in full respect of the traditions, for instance, men are to ensure that women protect their chastity or modesty so as not adulterate their blood, and women are to pressure men to safeguard the family’s honor or good name. In effect, the loss of honor is the source of shame. To retrieve it, the group is obliged to restore the equilibrium lost …The soul of the flesh is in the blood; the substance of the soul of a man resides in his name. Thus the members of the same family are doubly united by the fact that they share the same blood—consanguinity—and carry the same name; hence, they must preserve the name by which they become part of the collective memory.31 Historian Wilson, in concluding his monumental study of feud in Corsica in the 19th century, points out an important factor that might explain the uneven incidence of clan feud throughout the island: … demographically buoyant communities making extensive use of resources over a wide area can tolerate levels of violence that would be difficult to live with in more restricted habitats. It also suggests that conflict may be intensified where land and resources are reduced or access to them limited, or where population increases in proportion to resources. The cultural stress on honor, moreover, militated against the peaceful settlement of disputes, which were inherent in the system of land use.32 If vendetta cases were at their highest in the 19th century, they decreased during the 15-year governance of Pasquale Paoli. Paoli was firm against loose weapons, violence, and vendetta. When the French took over, Paoli was exiled to London and the Corsicans were pretty much left to themselves. Troops and police were sent from the “metropole,” the mainland, but few of

30 See Tillard: 4/12. 31 Bella 2001: 7-8/12. 32 Wilson 2002: 416.

RIDO V2.indd 315

10/4/2007 8:24:44 AM

316 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

the locals spoke French and few of the officials spoke Corsican. In fighting the vendettas, the state police made use of local interpreters who manipulated the system to their and their relatives’ own ends.33 The second time, through the past several centuries, when the number of Corsican vendettas decreased was during the past 50 years. For once, the justice system is less corrupt and more effective than before World War II. Tillard cites other factors for this decrease: modernization and “the dislocation of family ties and the evolution of the status of women.” Although at times Paris still appears distant, relations between the capitol and Corsica have improved greatly because of better transportation, communications, and living conditions. Higher education has also allowed a good number of young Corsicans to obtain high level posts in France. These younger people return home for brief visits and give long sermons against vendettas. However as of 2001, there was disappointingly no significant group action by Corsican women against violence. On another front, fed up by preferential treatment for new settlers from Algeria in the 1960s, a group of Corsicans rebelled by occupying a large vineyard owned by a settler. This was the start of a separatist movement in the 1980s, the Corsican National Liberation Front (flnc). Since then the flnc splintered into various factions. At present, the top militants are negotiating for peace and better services with Paris which has responded more liberally and wisely. Currently, the situation is relatively peaceful but still volatile in the interior of the island. Lessons From the Comparison Between Tausug and Corsican Feuds Their differences notwithstanding, much of the revenge patterns in Sulu and Corsica bear significant similarities from which some conclusions can be drawn. For greater clarity, this section distinguishes between internal factors—local culture and psyche—and external factors that emanate from outside the culture. Internal Factors Family and Alliances Both Tausug and Corsican cultures follow general bilateral kinship patterns with a fierce loyalty to the family. Both societies are centered on families that provide support and security to individuals in a hostile environment. The father is revered as an authoritarian figure in both cultures but as the “boys grow into men,” they are allowed certain prerogatives necessary to
33 Wison, 2002: 267ff..

RIDO V2.indd 316

10/4/2007 8:24:45 AM

Tausug and Corsican Clan Feuding || 317

foster alliances. A certain degree of equality is observed among male family members so the young may learn the virtues, such as bravery, and the political skills to pursue clan interests. In both cultures, an individual’s loyalty is to the family and clan before nation. Many Tausug profess support for the Bangsamoro nation but the level of commitment still depends on the clan patriarch’s relation to any of the mnlf factions. On the other hand, hardly any Tausug will declare prime loyalty to the Philippine state. Relations between Corsica and France may be better than those between Tausugs and Philippine state and many urban Corsicans profess allegiance to Paris, but in the rural areas, Corsican children are still raised to champion their respective clans. In both cultures, the mother, who falls under her husband’s authority, has a strong influence in child rearing and in other family matters such as revenge taking. Traditionally, she stands foursquare behind her husband and the clan. In Sulu, however, women are now getting together to oppose the mamahuli practices. They have suffered too long the anguish of losing husbands and sons to clan violence. They are looking for ways to mediate conflicts and achieve peaceful solutions through dialogue. A group of Tausug women successfully lobbied the Sulu provincial board to pass the “Sulu Provincial Ordinance on Tausug Customary Law” which aims to prevent and settle serious disputes. In their peace advocacy, the Tausug women are joined by Magindanaon and Meranao women who have formed organizations as the PeaceWeavers. On the other hand, as far as I know, there has not been a similar movement among Corsican women. Those in the islands’ rough interior have remained very traditional in their views on vendetta. This may be due to their low status in the family and lack of education. It is also imperative for development planners to consider the relationship, as per Wilson, between agricultural and natural resources and interclan violence. Provincial and local governments must support innovative land reform programs that suit the varying conditions in the armm. There is a need for more research on the correlation between land resources, population, and conflict. Honor and Shame In both societies, individual honor and shame are tied up with one’s loyalty to family and clan. Personal identity can hardly be separate from that of the clan. In most clan feuds, the points of contention are economic: land, financial rivalry, animal rustling, theft of farming implements or machinery. The second main cause of clan feuds is politics and the third, attempted rape

RIDO V2.indd 317

10/4/2007 8:24:45 AM

318 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

or molestation of women and competition over marriage prospects. However, in all conflict situations both personal and collective honor is involved and defeat means “loss of face” for self and family. Most of the time, self respect and self-interest intertwine. The world of both the rural Tausug and Corsican is limited to that of family and kin alliances. Their social behavior is always segmented or fractious (segmentary opposition) and too often exposed to patron-client relationships in order to win favors and protection. Although neither mamahuli nor vendetta is motivated by religion, both Tausug and Corsican avengers pray and use religious rituals incidental to the revenge act. In fact, through the centuries, Islamic teachers and leaders as well as Catholic priests have strongly condemned violent acts of vengeance as grievously sinful but largely to no avail. However, as Muslims, the Tausug also see themselves as part of the umma—Islamic brethren—that transcends race and gender. This religious identification may be worth exploring in relation to mamahuli. Bravery and Firearms In both European and Asian societies, bravery is highly valued. However, the value of forgiveness and dialogue are generally ignored outside the negotiation or mediation activities. Earlier in the first section, a Tausug proverb was quoted that valorizes revenge. This is counterbalanced by the following proverb that gives a ray of hope: Salaggu’laggu’ dusa Malaggu’ pa ampun No matter how grave the offense Greater is forgiveness! 34

The proliferation of firearms is a problem in both Sulu and Corsica which have long, porous coastlines. The “culture of the gun” is now so embedded in the Philippine South that it cannot be ignored by peace advocates or transformed by pure military and police means. Comprehensive solutions are needed. External Factors Foreign Occupation During the course of their respective histories, both Sulu and Corsica were once prosperous trade and maritime centers. However, as either archipelago came under the suzerainty of far away rulers, they both came to be seen as unimportant and troublesome places. Both places came to be
34 Rixhon 1974:45/2003:227.

RIDO V2.indd 318

10/4/2007 8:24:45 AM

Tausug and Corsican Clan Feuding || 319

wracked by conflict between pro-metropolis forces and “liberation fronts” while most people took intermediate positions. Elsewhere in Mindanao, the general disaffection with the central government was exacerbated by the entry of settlers from Luzon and the Visayas who occupied land without regard for the local adat system and without due consultations with original landowners. The Maguindanao, the Meranao, and the lumad or non-Islamized indigenous peoples of mainland Mindanao suffered the most from this process while the Tausug of Sulu were threatened by the small Edcor resettlement in Tawi-Tawi. These events deeply affected Ibnu and his Muslim contemporaries. Corsica, for its part, was forced by Paris during the 1970s to accommodate thousands of French settlers who had been expelled from Algeria after the latter obtained independence from France. By 1977, Corsica had made room for 70,000 “pieds-noirs” settlers in a population of 190,000! In Corsica as well as Sulu (and mainland Mindanao), imposed resettlement programs fuelled secessionist movements. However, after some initial success, both the mnlf in Mindanao, and the flnc35 in Corsica splintered into various factions and contributed to social instability. I believe the turbulent histories of both Sulu and Corsica is at the heart of the instability in either society. Corsicans and Tausugs have been betrayed by foreigners as well as by their own. Napoleon drafted many of his fellow Corsicans into his wars and yet as emperor of France did little to uplift his native island. Such sad experiences reinforce the insular or parochial attitude in both societies. Both Tausugs and Corsicans have learned to trust only in themselves and their clans and to fend for themselves, especially when it comes to internal, inter-family and inter-clan rivalries. One interesting development in 18th century Corsica was the independent and democratic governance of Pasquale Paoli who, in even handed manner, kept a tight control over the island for 15 years. It brought prosperity (which attracted the French to take over the island from Genoa) and peace. For the past 250 years, Sulu has suffered from the intramurals in the centers of power in the West and in Manila. The manipulation of electoral results in Sulu by national officials and military officers during the 2004 presidential elections is the latest injury committed by Malacañang against the people of Sulu. All that is needed for peace in the Philippine South is a stable government that is sensitive, helpful, open, honest, and firm. An example of such enlightened leadership is that of former Governor Jikiri, a former mnlf chief of staff and governor of Sulu until 2004.

35 FLNC stands for le Front de Liberation Nationale Corse or the Corsican National Liberation Front

RIDO V2.indd 319

10/4/2007 8:24:45 AM

320 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

According to Hussin,36 Jikiri proved his commitment to peace by traveling across barangays unarmed and without armed escorts and by ending inter-clan feuds through provision of blood money. However, he lost the 2004 elections. Jikiri’s successor, the current Governor Benjamin Loong, attempted to continue Jikiri’s work and conceived a plan for economic recovery of Sulu in collaboration with the mayors. However, his efforts were aborted when the Philippine military unilaterally bombarded areas of Jolo in response to provocation from a small band of disgruntled mnlf partisans in February 2005. Definitely, political stability is crucial to the development of a peaceful and just society. Clan feud grew out of a rough terrain lashed by political storms that favor only the weeds of hate. Only a central authority (not necessarily Manila) with a charismatic and democratic leadership that is just, respected, respectful, and innovative can transform the situation in cooperation with the people. Lack of an effective justice system Justice administration was poor in both Sulu and Corsica with many corrupt judges. Both islands were places of exile for inept officials who knew little of the local culture. In Corsica, some of the judges selected from the local population failed to show neutrality in carrying out their work. Still, a marked improvement in the ranks of municipal court judges is considered a major cause of decreased incidence of inter-clan feud. In Southern Philippines, the relatively recent creation of Shari’ah courts in the armm and in cities with a large Muslim population is a step in the right direction. This provides one more avenue in solving intra-family and clan feuds. Exploring Ways Toward Peace and Justice The following observations are offered to the readers for their own comments or for group discussions.37 Toward A Council for Peace and Justice, Inc. In my mind, whatever the scale of the conflict, the key to peace and order in a community has to come from within that community. A homegrown solution empowers the community. The locals will probably seek

36 Hussin, 2005: 123ff. 37 I’ll appreciate receiving comments, suggestions and criticisms at the following email address: gerard.rixhon@gmail.com.

RIDO V2.indd 320

10/4/2007 8:24:46 AM

Tausug and Corsican Clan Feuding || 321

the assistance of outside nongovernmental organizations (ngos) and the government in carrying out these solutions. Outsiders, however, should accept their limitations and be sensitive to the needs and sentiments of the local population. I suggest the creation of a peace and justice council to help train local people as community facilitators or mediators. These facilitators/mediators should be known for their neutrality, intelligence, humility, and sensitivity to the local culture. Besides their intelligence (IQ), mediators should have high EQ, or emotional quotient (i.e. emotional stability) and should be properly trained for the purpose. These facilitators/mediators must be provided knowledge of Islam, especially its tenets on peace and forgiveness, the local culture and value system (such as the Tausug values of ispug, sipug, maratabat, buddi, etc.), and some local oral literature (to enhance discussion of moral issues with the community). After their training, these facilitators will work at the community level (during a ceasefire period) to dialogue with warring factions separately then, later, together, to discuss reconciliation. Meanwhile, over a period of time, they will train other mediators/facilitators. Whenever communities are confronted with feuding, locals can invite such a peacemaker to assist them. These trained peacemakers can also help communities find solutions to such problems as the proliferation of loose firearms. The solution here requires both collection and control. Collection is the government’s prerogative and is often done through coercion or, more diplomatically, by giving incentives for the surrender of firearms. Past experience show, however, that most weapons surrendered are mere tokens or are easily replaced by more high-powered weapons. Control, on the other hand, is something people themselves can carry out with the help of an able peacemaker and a reliable and neutral local government official. Local “arms control” programs should be carried out over the long haul since decades of violence and animosity between clans cannot be ended by a few meetings. Even as the first positive results show, facilitators should continue meeting with feuding sides. If peace finally holds, then the facilitators could suggest, funds permitting, a common project to be undertaken by the feuding sides for them to attain reconciliation. In doing such work, the trained peacemakers will achieve the greatest honor and also exhibit the highest form of bravery. These peacemakers will work with local and provincial government officials as private individuals but will not be controlled by government. Quite often, elected officials cannot guarantee continuity of programs over the long haul or show neutrality at all times. The independence and autonomy of the council should be safeguarded.

RIDO V2.indd 321

10/4/2007 8:24:46 AM

322 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Private foundations and ngos can provide start up funds for the program and help the council for peace and justice become self-sustaining. Mindanao social scientists who investigate rido have come up with interesting suggestions on how to mediate clan feuds. I would like to emphasize the role of religion, more specifically the role of religious instruction at the madaris that stress respect for life, forgiveness, peace, humility38. The religious schools teach students the value of “living together.” Cooperation between researchers and religious teachers in the work of “conflict transformation” will do much in fostering peace. Conflict Transformation The approach to conflict varies depending on the nature of the offense and circumstances surrounding it. In the case of clan feud, emotions run deep and psychic wounds take long to heal. The transformation approach I recommend aims not to “solve” a particular clan conflict but to transform it at the community level. The process may begin in an informal setting where the people feel at home and where the facilitator gains trust. Subsequent meetings allow participants to better communicate their cultural, religious, and ideological positions. During the third phase, participants discuss commonalities and begin to build consensus. In the last phase, the participants consider once more their differences but with new perspectives and insight. As each understands the other side better and learns to communicate better, the conflicting sides plan a collaborative project. While the pain of conflict may linger after the sessions, participants may begin to transcend their pain and transform these into positive action. The antagonists can plan together for a shared future. Two institutions in Zamboanga City, Silsilah and paz (Peace Advocate of Zamboanga) and PeaceWeavers of Cotabato, among other regional institution, are ready to advice and assist those interested in experimenting with “conflict transformation.” The Role of Government Much remains to be done by provincial and local government units in bringing about a comprehensive peace in the Philippine South. The histories of Sulu and Corsica show how the turbulence of the past and the insincerity of present government—as shown in its talks with the Moro rebellion—impact the local peoples’ psyche. The national government should seriously reform the justice system, especially in the troubled South, and sincerely engage the secessionist movements in talks to end the hostilities. I

38 In the choice of ulama and the development of religious instruction, the group of researchers on rido will be equally helpful in identifying the proper persons and materials to avoid extremes.

RIDO V2.indd 322

10/4/2007 8:24:47 AM

Tausug and Corsican Clan Feuding || 323

am profoundly disturbed by the government’s attitude that allowed for the inhumane bombing of Jolo villages by the Philippine military in February 2005 where disgruntled mnlf elements, who have formerly made peace with government, attacked an Army camp and ignored calls for negotiations. A strong but balanced statement from the members of Pagtabangan basulta39 that urged restraint was ignored by the President’s cabinet. This does not bode well for the future. However, such a behavior should not deter those committed to work for peace. Politicians come and go, but the people remain. Retributive justice as so harshly handed down, not only in Mindanao and Sulu but the world over, is based on a high value system where reciprocity, honor, love for family, responsibility, and justice interplay with cultural symbols that link land and body, the past and the present. The neglect of the periphery due to distance from the political center reinforces this form of grassroots justice. The terrible loss of life notwithstanding, one cannot deny the presence of certain principles at play in the act of feuding. However, one has to remember that these principles are simply pushed to their extremes. After all, human virtues are the result of a balance between extremes and public morality is built upon a similar but broader and more difficult equilibrium. That equilibrium cannot be achieved unless all people—from both the public and private sectors—consult openly with each other and work together and on an equal footing for peace and justice. References
Andreani, Jean-Louis. Comprendre la Corse. Paris: Gallimard, 1999. Bella, Maria Pia di. Question de vie et de mort: La vendetta en Méditerranée. Chimères: Revue des Schizo-analyses. www.revue-chimeres.org/pdf, 1987 Bula, Dalomabi Lao. “The role of communication in Meranao conflict resolution.” Dansalan Quarterly, 20:1-4: 5-113 (2000). Hassan, I. U., S. A. Ashley, and M.L Ashley. Tausug-English Dictionary: Kabtangan iban maana. Quezon City: SIL and Jolo: CISC-NDJC, 1994. Hassan, Irene and T. I. Jainal. “A selection of proverbs and riddles.” Sulu Studies 2. Ed. Gerard Rixhon. Jolo, Sulu: CISC/NDJC, 1973. Hussin, Alber A.. “‘Kalis’ and ‘Armalite’: Symbols of weapons and meanings of violence in Tausug society.” M. A. Thesis. Mindanao Anthropology Consortium Xavier Univ., 2003. Jainal, T. I., G. Rixhon and D. Ruppert. “Housebuilding Among the Tausug.” Sulu Studies 1. Ed. Gerard Rixhon. Jolo, Sulu: CISC/NDJC, 1972. Also reprinted in:

39 For “Help for Basilan Sulu and Tawi,” a private gathering of NGO officers committed to assist these three provinces amidst the poorest of the Philippines.

RIDO V2.indd 323

10/4/2007 8:24:47 AM

324 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao People of the Current: Selected papers from Sulu Studies. Manila: National Commission for Culture and the Arts, 2003. Kiefer, Thomas M., 1972/1986. The Tausug: Violence and law in a Philippine Moslem society. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc; Prospect Heights, Ill.:Waveland Press. Nimmo, Harry Arlo. Magosaha: An ethnography of the Tawi-Tawi Sama Dilaut. Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2001. Otterbein, Keith F.. “Five feuds: An analysis of homicides in Eastern Kentucky in the late nineteenth century.” American Anthropologist, 102/2: 231-243, (2000). Rixhon, Gerard. “Tausug literature: An overview.” Ed. Gerard Rixhon. Sulu Studies 3. Jolo, Sulu: CISC/NDJC, 1974. Also reprinted in: People of the Current: Selected papers from Sulu Studies. Manila: National Commission for Culture and the Arts, 2003. Social Weather Stations (SWS). Conflict resolution and the participation of women in peace governance and development: An integration of. three surveys. PowerPoint presentation. Quezon City: SWS. The Asia Foundatiom. The big and silent killer: Getting to the bottom of rido. A compilation of papers and PowrPoint presentation, Mandarin Oriental, Manila, 2005. Tillard, Delphine. L’île de Corseface au droit Français: L’opposition culturelle en question. Anthropologies et Sociétés, .27/1. Accessed (6/16/05) from www.erudit.org/revue/as/2003/v27/n1/007007ar.html on June 16, 2005. Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. New York: Penguin Books (USA), 2003. Wilson, Stephen. Feuding, conflict and banditry in nineteenth-century Corsica. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

RIDO V2.indd 324

10/4/2007 8:24:47 AM

Conclusion: A Personal Reflection
Samuel K. Tan

EING A NATIVE of Sulu with a mixed Tausug-Sama-Chinese ancestry, I took the self-imposed mandate of studying the roots and prospects of the centuries-old armed conflict and violence in the Muslim South. My endeavors inevitably have gone beyond the limit of classroom work and significantly touched on the more enriching field of research. My quest for more knowledge and insight included also the search for truth and justice for a people whose struggle for freedom has been misunderstood, misinterpreted, and, even distorted. My research involved surveys of existing studies and other sources eventually leading to the barely touched archival materials in the country and abroad. My desire and purpose, which ultimately evolved into a mission and continuing advocacy, has been to seek a more meaningful understanding of the worsening armed struggle of the Muslim South and its tragic effects on the lives and future of both the innocent and the guilty. My concern for what the future holds for the southern frontier has remained vibrant especially as I continue to dream of spending my remaining retirement years on the white sandy shores and blue waters of Sulu. It had taken me in the past 30 years to many seminars, conferences, workshops, festivities, rituals, dialogues and other endeavors participating in various significant capacities both in the country and outside. After the long and costly involvement to both health and resources, I have seen in recent times more frustrations bordering on hopelessness in the quest for peace and prosperity in the southern region. I could only feel the ebbing optimism and hope that once propelled a young and curious mind from Muddas (Siasi), Sulu 30 years ago to pursue higher education in the country’s premier university.


|| 325 ||

RIDO V2.indd 325

10/4/2007 8:24:47 AM

326 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

Somehow, reading the published and unpublished reports and studies in recent times, including those on rido, have reinforced fading optimism but it has also, in a sense, opened a door to renewed search for a people’s destiny in waiting. Laboring through the rido surveys, reports, and studies has given impressions that cannot be ignored and might be helpful in the meaningful resolution of conflict. First is the impression that the coordinated research project on rido, covering the period from 2003 to 2005, had attained the desired methodological level of objectivity and credibility. This was more or less achieved through the comprehensive spread of participation from various individuals, institutions, and agencies in the public and private sectors, with important roles given to appropriate ethnic, professional, and sectoral representation apportioned to the 12 provinces covered by the survey project except Palawan. The unexplained exclusion of Palawan somewhat left a point for clarification considering historico-politically that the province has been home to Tausug, Sama, and Yakan from Sulu, Basilan, and Tawi-Tawi and the residential center of the sultanate of Harun Al-Rashid (Narrassid), 1886-1893. In fact, armed conflicts including rido had been reported and documented in the past. But more than rhetorics, the following somehow brought reassurance from the survey results that the frustrations and failures of the past may not be necessarily the pattern for the future: 1. The comparative aspect, largely drawn from various published studies of known scholars and institutions on armed conflicts in selected areas of the world, has given the impression that there is a parallelism between other conflicts in the world and the family or clan rivalries, conflicts and wars in Mindanao. Although dealt with in a general fashion, the comparative analysis points to a causal commonality and therefore, the imperative of a broader approach along the higher level of conflict resolution beyond the narrow perspective of the contemporary peace processes in Mindanao. In effect, it appears that the various types and forms of human conflict, including rido, are merely specific, contextual, and superficial manifestations of ethnic, local, sectoral, or socio-economic differentiation. It suggests an etiological similarity of rido to other clan or family conflicts traceable to the human need and search for freedom, honor, integrity, dignity, and security which are sine qua non and vital to the good life. This makes the Muslims and lumad of southern Philippines no different from other peoples experiencing similar problems regardless of race, color, culture, or religion. In addition, the comparative dimension of rido studies implies a rationale for increased involvement of institutions, people, and agencies from domestic and global sectors in a kind of regional development project or program with a new global paradigm of conflict resolution. The new framework

RIDO V2.indd 326

10/4/2007 8:24:48 AM

Conclusion: A Personal Reflection || 327

is based on the belief that development must lead to the ultimate attainment and preservation of cherished universal human values regardless of religion or ideology. It must offer in the case of southern Philippines, especially the Muslim and lumad communities, the prospect of lasting peace and progress by enabling the marginalized to enjoy meaningful freedom and to exercise it with real dignity of labor in a truly just and equitable distribution of wealth and benefits. But more than words, the new paradigm needs a significant and altruistic measure of foreign assistance in all aspects of development to complement the inadequate domestic resources for the depth of development that includes the serious and realistic recovery of ancestral lands, especially those related to rido. This sensitive issue, which was underlined in one of the survey recommendations, recalls the impasse in the current grp-milf peace negotiations or talks precisely caused by the difficult and complicated issue of ancestral lands and domains. It is not a surprise that the negotiations or talks have bogged down over the issue as had earlier been anticipated in the revised edition of my “Internationalization of the Bangsamoro Struggle” (2000). There is no doubt that the resolution of conflict in the Muslim South, including rido, is contingent partly if not decisively on the resolution of claims to ancestral lands and domains involving, in a sense, families, clans, and parties in rido. In fact, the alienation of a lot of the lands and domains to non-Muslims or non-Christians has further complicated the issue. The recovery of ancestral lands is not as simple as just relinquishing by law certain areas of the public domain to Muslim political jurisdiction and control. It also involves the recovery of lands lost to outside individuals, groups, and entities by coercion or questionable purchase from Muslim perspective. This point may not have been accorded the attention it deserves, but it continues to haunt the Muslim or lumad consciousness as they think of ancestral lands long gone to modern subdivisions, business edifices, factories, public structures, and multinational enterprises. As it appears in contemporary realities, recovery of lost ancestral lands is a physical futility beyond the equitable sharing of the benefits of growth and production through a just distribution of income and resources. It is in this regard that the loss of ancestral lands and domains must be compensated by (1) a system of just compensation for labor often not implemented by landlords and/or corporate entities and (2) an altruistic commitment and habit on the part of the owners of production to empower the marginalized sectors, dependent solely for living on just the meager returns of compensation under a flawed legal scheme, as well as the unemployed poor surviving below poverty level, to attain the desired quality of life.

RIDO V2.indd 327

10/4/2007 8:24:48 AM

328 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

2. The local, ethnic, and regional perspective of the rido studies reveals both the advantages and disadvantages of indigenous and external mechanisms of conflict resolution. Resort to traditional modes was encouraging in the case of Maranaw rido, but the inter-tribal conflict between the Maguindanaon and Manobo was more receptive to external intervention especially by the government. In other rido cases described, it appears that the integration of the indigenous systems and external mechanisms from both governmental and non-governmental sectors worked more successfully in the reduction or resolution of conflict. Consequently, there is sense in contemporary efforts to bring all possible sectors, private and public, into the search for effective resolution of rido as endemic phenomenon in southern Philippines. But while this comprehensive approach is a practical alternative to the divisive and strictly ethnic and sectoral mode of settlement, the apparent impact of religion in cases involving the Muslim communities cannot be ignored. The frequent outbreaks of rido in cases where the integration of local political struggles into the electoral process had occurred, unavoidably led to dynastic consolidation. Interests and groups have moved around certain traditional or neo-traditional families and clans. Very often, as in recent years, dynastic struggles have been complicated by outside patronage. Unfortunately for the Muslims, it is the search for outside economic and armed support that has exposed them to exploitation and adverse influences of external forces and interests not really sensitive to their basic values and ideals. As integration of outside interests, especially armed components, develops toward institutionalization, rido in all its aspects cannot remain unaffected. The transformation and shift of rido into something else, depending on what external forces are involved, is what seems to be emerging in Muslim Mindanao where rido has remained entrenched in local culture and tradition. The possibility of Islamic radicalism coming into the process and its implication to peace cannot be overlooked. A party in rido may be perceived as an enemy of Islam due to compromise with outside interests prejudicial to Islam. This may be speculative than real, but the possibility cannot be ignored considering that the Abu Sayyaf founder, Ustadz Abdulrajak Janjalani, in one of his eight recorded hutbahs (sermon) entitled “Pagbaugbug Sin Qur’an Ha Ummat Sin Akhir Jaman” (Upholding the Qur’an in Present Day Muslim Community), identified one of the three enemies of Islam as Muslims who, instead of studying the Qur’an, read publications such as comics, books, magazines, etc. The preservation of the Islamic local tradition has checked the advance of militant or political Islam in its extremist form. The great majority of Muslims who practice the local form of Islam tend to be “moderate” in

RIDO V2.indd 328

10/4/2007 8:24:48 AM

Conclusion: A Personal Reflection || 329

outlook, accommodate people of other faiths, and are willing to co-exist peacefully. Allowing radical Islam to purge local traditions of indigenous non-Islamic elements is to unnecessarily disrupt the dynamic equilibrium that can bring internal harmony and peace to the Muslim South. Unlike colonialism, local Islam has been the unifying element of Muslim communities when faced by outside threats. Purging is counterproductive to the otherwise phlegmatic and practical observances of Islamic rituals and holidays usually done with Qur’anic and hadithic fervor not contrary to the Five Pillars of Islam. Muslims can also adapt as a minority to a numerically dominant majority. But in no other area has the impact of liberal democratization been more felt than in the socio-economic aspect of the Muslim South. Local elites have yielded more and more traditional power and dignity to outside interests in return for economic progress and prosperity. Consequently, control over traditional economic domains such as the centuries-old barter trade and the development of ancestral lands had been co-opted a long time ago. Hence, in underlining the paramount importance of research in the ultimate resolution of rido conflict, it is imperative to give priority to the etiology of conflict. The research process must begin from the Jawi and Kirim traditions of local culture. The Jawi and Kirim are Arabic-derived and otherwise known as the Old Malay. The Jawi is used in Tausug, Sama, and Yakan communities and the Kirim in Maguindanaon, Maranaw, and Iranun areas to preserve the intellectual heritage of the Muslim South. The khutbahs and lectures of Ustadz Abdurajak Janjalani in Tausug and written in Jawi, are good illustrations of the etiological origin of the Abu Sayyaf. The messages of Janjalani reveal the root causes of the series of violence and conflict involving the Abu Sayyaf and government troops as a result of kidnapping of Filipinos and foreigners for ransom and beheading of some. Rationalization and justification of conflict can only be understood from thorough analysis of the messages. After viewing the complex world of rido, the question that ultimately arises is what the future holds for those who long for peace and progress in the southern region. Despite the excellent policies and programs declared by government, the prospect of development for Muslim Mindanao has remained contingent on the extent to which the recommendations of the surveys are taken seriously and implemented. Unrest and conflicts can worsen if population growth in the region is not effectively checked by both the government and the people themselves. The inevitable pressure on economic resources may be aggravated by the pluralistic orientation of the various ethno-linguistic groups that constitute the fabric of Mindanao society, despite

RIDO V2.indd 329

10/4/2007 8:24:49 AM

330 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao

the state educational promotion of Filipinism and nationalism as basis of regional unity and consciousness. The problem of a unified effort to resolve socio-economic problems is confounded by endemic graft and corruption which had weakened the capacity of both the state and private sector to bring about the desired level of regional progress and prosperity. One of the recommendations of the coordinated surveys to end rido and other forms of violent conflict is through disarmament and gun control. In effect, it recalls the historic campaigns of Gen. John Pershing (1909-1913) the last governor of the Moro Province, who ended his term with the Battle of Bud Bagsak on June 15, 1913 that wiped out the old generation of Tausug warriors. The confiscation of hundreds of weapons marked the transition to an era of peaceful civil government that lasted for two decades. The recurrence of armed conflicts in Sulu in 1927 and in Central Mindanao in 1924, 1927, and in the 1930s do not discredit or negate the value of disarmament but indicate the extreme difficulty of enforcing such policy without the use of overwhelming military power and the staggering loss of human lives and resources in the Muslim South. Gun control often runs counter to Muslim warrior traditions. Muslim men are attached to their weapons as symbols of pride and courage. This attachment is reinforced by easy access to modern weaponry. Lasting peace in the Muslim South requires new thinking among the local people. The final battleground is the mind of the Muslim and the lumad where democratic ideas must be nurtured and allowed to triumph. Islam too values liberty and freedom based on the Qu’ran and the Hadith just as Western democracy rests upon Judeo-Christian tradition. Rido’s meaningful resolution rests ultimately on the capacity of the Filipino people, especially the national leadership, to truly understand the complexity of the regional conflict. The depth of insight cannot be realized from the narrow and, often, biased perspective of the dominant national majority, but from a panorama of the multi-ethnic history and culture of the region’s indigenous inhabitants, especially the Bangsamoro people. Their difficult and long struggle for freedom refuses to die and their only aspiration is to enjoy the fruits of their labors and the riches of their lands without threats from the outside world. But, equally important is the universal belief that the senseless pursuit of extremist violence in the name of freedom and God is contrary to the meaning of human existence and Divine purpose. Perhaps in the contemporary discourse on regional prospects, the ongoing grp-milf peace negotiations, with significant support from the AsiaPacific powers, can consider the realistic establishment of two federated Muslim States on the basis of historico-political criteria. First is the Islamic State of Sulu which includes Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, and Palawan, and

RIDO V2.indd 330

10/4/2007 8:24:49 AM

Conclusion: A Personal Reflection || 331

anchored on the ancient foundations of the Sulu Sultanate as developed during the reign of Sultan Salah ud-Din or Karamat Baktiar following independence from Brunei in 1675 AD. Second is the Islamic State of Muslim Mindanao based on the territorial and political foundations of the ancient Maguindanao Sultanate during the reign of Sultan Dipatuan Kudarat. The federal option comes as a timely reminder that the grant of autonomy to the Muslims under the Autonomy Act of 1989 (as amended in 2001), as well as the 1991 Local Government Code, is short of Muslim expectations. However, under the foregoing federal model, only nominal ties to Philippine sovereignty remain, through Philippine control of foreign affairs, currency, and national security. Consequently, under the two federal states, the Muslims can adopt the Qur’an as their Constitution, the Shari’ah as their legal system, and the Hadith and sunna as complementary source of guidance for Muslim public and private affairs. The creation of two Muslim Federal Islamic States in Southern Philippines brings two great benefits. One is the emancipation of the national government from the quagmire of protracted armed confrontations with a militant sector seeking freedom at all costs. The burden of sovereignty and its responsibilities are assumed by the new Islamic leadership. The other benefit is the profound sense of true freedom for both the Christian and Muslim communities with the accompanying feeling of security from external threat. For the Muslims in particular, the problem of national identity finally rests not on Filipinism but solely on the new Bangsamoro nationalism and its distinct place in the world community.

RIDO V2.indd 331

10/4/2007 8:24:49 AM

The Editor Wilfredo Magno Torres III is an anthropologist working for The Asia Foundation’s conflict management program. Prior to his work with the Foundation, he served on the faculty and as director for research and extension of the Notre Dame of Jolo College in Sulu. A grant from the Nippon Foundation’s Asian Public Intellectuals Fellowship allowed him to study Bajau Laut ethnicity, leadership, and conflict-resolution mechanisms in Semporna, Sabah, Malaysia. He received his M.A. in Anthropology from the Ateneo de Manila University under a fellowship from the Ford Foundation. The Contributors Survey of Feuding Families and Clans in Selected Provinces in Mindanao Jamail A. Kamlian is a professor of history at the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (msu-iit) in Iligan City. He has presented papers on understanding the Mindanao conflict in universities in Asia, Europe and the USA, and in different forums in the country. Kamlian holds a Ph.D. in Philippine Studies from the University of the Philippines. His publications and research interests are mainly focused on Bangsamoro history, society and culture, and peace and development. Dynamics and Management of Rido in the Province of Maguindanao Abhoud Syed M. Lingga is the executive director of the Institute of Bangsamoro Studies in Cotabato City. He was an associate professor at the Mindanao State University in Maguindanao and a lecturer at Cotabato City State Polytechnic College and Sultan Kudarat Islamic Academy. His research interests are on Bangsamoro right to self-determination, conflict management, human rights, sustainable development, Islamic education, and Bangsamoro affairs. Inventory of Existing Rido in Lanao del Sur (1994 –2004) Moctar I. Matuan is a sociologist and holds a Ph.D. in Peace and Development Studies from Notre Dame University. Matuan joined in 1992 the Sociology-Anthropology Department faculty of the Mindanao State University in Marawi City. He served as executive director from 1992 to 1997 and then from 2001 to 2006 of the msu Muslim-Christian Center for Peace Studies, now known as Institute for Peace and Development in Mindanao. This research was conducted with the help of Dr. Intuas Abdullah, director of the Mamitua Saber Research Center of msu.
|| 332 ||

RIDO V2.indd 332

10/4/2007 8:24:49 AM

Contributors || 333

Management of Clan Conflict and Rido Among the Tausug, Magindanao, Maranao, Sama, and Yakan Tribes Ofelia L. Durante, Ph.D., is the director of the Ateneo Research Center, Ateneo de Zamboanga University. She is a visiting professor at the adzu Graduate School and a consultant at the Ateneo Peace Institute. Durante conducts research and peace education workshops for teachers and school administrators, members of the civil society, civil servants and members of local government units, and has assisted a number of educational institutions in developing their peace education programs. Howard J. Mañego is a research associate at the Ateneo Research Center, Ateneo de Zamboanga University. Ester Sevilla is a research associate at the Notre Dame University Research Center. She holds a Ph.D. and is a full-time faculty member of Notre Dame University. Norma T. Gomez is the executive director of the Notre Dame University Research Center. She holds an M.A. in Economics and a Ph.D. in Education. Responses to Interkin Group Conflict in Northern Mindanao Erlinda Montillo-Burton obtained her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh. The director of rimcu for three terms, she currently serves as director and curator of the Museo de Oro (Xavier University Museum). Moctar I. Matuan. See entry above. Guimba Poingan, Ph.D., is on the faculty of the Mindanao State University in Marawi. Jay Rey G. Alovera finished his M.A. in Anthropology in Xavier University under the Mindanao Anthropology Consortium Program. Aside from teaching in the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Agriculture, he is also a researcher for the Research Institute for Mindanao Culture (rimcu) and the Museo de Oro in Xavier University. Understanding Inter-ethnic Conflicts in North Cotabato and Bukidnon Provinces Guiamel M. Alim is the executive director of the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society. He has spent most of his life in Mindanao advocating peace and sustainable development for Mindanaons.

RIDO V2.indd 333

10/4/2007 8:24:50 AM

334 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao Contributors || 334

Jose Bulao Jr., ocds, is the dean of Ignatian College where he also teaches research. He is a member of the board of directors of Kadtuntaya Foundation, Inc. (kfi) and the formator of the secular Discalced Carmelites in Cotabato City and Tacurong City. Ismael G. Kulat is the program manager and research coordinator of the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society. Management and Resolution of Rido Among Meranao in Baloi, Lanao del Norte: Case Studies Monalinda E. Doro obtained her M.A. in Anthropology under the scholarship of the Ford Foundation through the Mindanao Anthropology Consortium at Xavier University. She co-authored “Survey of Indigenous Peoples’ Access to and Utilization of ecd Services in Region XII”. Big War, Small Wars: The Interplay of Large-scale and Community Armed Conflicts in Five Central Mindanao Communities Jose Jowel Canuday is an anthropologist and a journalist based in Mindanao. As an anthropologist, his current focus of inquiry is the production of social and cultural relations in migration and forced migration experiences of peoples in Mindanao. He also lectures anthropology at the University of the Philippines Mindanao and works with the Mindanao News and Information Cooperative Center. The Celebrated Cases of Rido in Maguindanao and North Cotabato The United Youth for Peace And Development (unypad) is a peace and development institution that envisions a just, peaceful, and humane society. It was formed to help alleviate the plight of the people in Mindanao and other marginalized sectors of the society. Tausug and Corsican Clan Feuding: A Comparative Study Gerard Rixhon is a Belgium-born Filipino citizen who spent 20 years with the Oblate priests in Tawi-Tawi and Sulu. He holds an M.A. in Anthropology from the Ateneo de Manila University. Conclusion: A Personal Reflection Samuel K. Tan, Ph.D., was born in Siasi, Sulu of Chinese-Tausug-Sama parentage. As an educator and scholar, Dr. Tan held several important positions in the government for which he received numerous distinctions and awards. He served on the faculty of history at the University of the Philippines at Diliman for more than 30 years. He is now enjoying his retirement.

RIDO V2.indd 334

10/4/2007 8:24:50 AM

37th infantry battalion, 262, 264, 265, 272 6th infantry division, 275 Abas clan, 29, 293, 294 Hadji Mokamad, 296 Abbink, Jon, 256, 257 abduction, 139, 141 Abdullah, Arafat, 76, 205, 299 Abdullah, Bai Unggi D., 299 Abdullah, Intuas M., 75, 205 Abinales, Patricio N., 98 Abu Sayyaf Group (asg), 104, 110, 111, 312, 328 accidents, 92, 93 adaban, 64 Adapun Ali, 208 adat, 30, 64, 76, 204, 205, 211, 310, 319 adat betad, 66, 291 addiction, 207 Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (ahjag), 16 Aduk, Shariff, 291 adultery, 138, 155, 157, 212 agama, 73, 75, 209, 210 agaw ho balaw, 202 Agusan del Sur, 127, 129 Agus River, 128, 207 Agyu, 131 ahawey. See ahow ahow, 137 Al-Rashid, Harun, 326 Alawi, Sharif, 210 alcoholism, 92 alimaong, 136, 144 all-out war campaign, 275, 285 Aluyudan, 224 amanah, 239 Ambolodto family, 296 Amilbangsa, Datu, 312 Aminollah, Sultan Hadji, 229, 244 Ampatuan, Ahmad, 264 Ampatuan, Andal, 264 Ampatuan, Datu Zamzamin, 98 ancestral domain, 212, 327 Andreani, Jean-Louis, 313 Angga-an, 165 angyas, 61 Anton, Bob, 206 Aquino, Corazon C., 255, 296 Arabic schools. See madaris Arabic teachers. See ustadz arbitration, 61, 67, 202, 203

board. See lupong tagapamayapa Arendt, Hannah, 256, 257, 258, 282 Armed Forces of the Philippines (afp), 12, 24, 68, 164, 254, 260, 269, 287 armed robbery, 240 Arnado, Mary Ann, 287 arrogance, 141. See also kibr Ashley, S. A., 307 Ashura, 217 Asraf, 293 astana, 204 at-a-pongampong, 101 Ata, 99 Ateneo de Zamboanga University, 27 atoran, 211 Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (armm), 13, 51, 52, 79, 97, 100, 103, 104, 119, 162, 290, 305, 317, 320 Autonomy Act of 1989, 331 awidan, 75 Ayunan, Balabaran, 293 B’laan, 108 Bacayawan, 73 Badar, 223 Badjao, 99, 102, 103 bae, 206 a cabugatan, 207 a dalomangcob, 207 a labi, 28, 207, 243 bagani, 129, 131, 135, 137, 138, 153 a tangkulok, 136 Bagobo, 99 Bagoinged, 286 Bagumbong, 270 Bagundang, 298 Abdulrahman, 299 clan, 29, 297 Ismael, 299 Sumampao, 299 bagwal, 139 bagyang, 134 bahandi, 143, 144 Bahasa Sug, 102 Yakan, 102 Bakayawan, 293 bake. See lebut bakos ho balokan, 202 Baktiar, Karamat, 331 bala, 134, 135 Balabagan, 77, 128 Balabaran, 294

|| 335 ||

RIDO V2.indd 335

10/4/2007 8:24:50 AM

336 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao
balaghusay, 131 Balangingi Sama, 311 balo-balo, 138 Baloi, 28, 72, 101, 132, 207, 210 sultanate system in, 210 Bangadan, 268 bangkaw, 135 bangon, 174, 175, 177, 202 bangsa, 142 Bangsamoro Army (bma), 292 Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (biaf), 255 bangun, 25. See also diyya, diat, kandiat Banisilan, 41 bansa, 20, 134, 136, 143, 161 banta, 307 Bantay Ceasefire, 25, 263, 269, 270, 284, 285, 286, 288 bantug, 20, 134, 136, 143, 161, 162 bantugan, 161, 162 Banwaon, 99, 130 Barangay Peace and Order Council (poc), 120 Barasi, 222 Barira, 25, 51, 53, 63 Barra, Hamid Aminoddin, 62 Bartolome, Clarivel D., 53, 76, 105, 106 Barton, Roy, 12, 17 basak, 132 Basilan, 26, 36, 37, 41, 42, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 99, 100, 102, 103, 105, 107, 108, 109, 110, 120, 121, 306, 326, 330 batasan, 130 Bates, Robert, 19 Bato, 228 Battle of Bud Bagsak, 330 Bayabao, 101, 132, 210 Bayang, 86 baylan, 130, 131, 135 bayle, 151 Bentley, George, 201, 205 Bently, Carter G., 71 bese, 21 Bila, Pendatukan, 292 Binago, Abdul Rahman, 262 Binandal, 293 Bin Mohammed, Zulkefili, 286 Bisaya, 150, 275 Bla-an, 99 Blackshirts, 28, 164, 292 blood debt, 202 blood feuds, 21, 24 blood money, , 18, 24, 25, 46, 66, 89 91, 115, 116, 119, 120, 122, 123, 155, 225, 232, 238, 243. See also diat blood revenge, 11, 19, 24 Boehm, Christopher, 12 Bongao, 41 bono, 140 Borneo, 12, 311 bravery, 21, 136, 309, 310, 318 Briones, Samuel M., 209 Brunei, 297, 331 btal, 223 Buat, Musib M., 205 Buayan, 101, 103 Buck, 306 buddi, 22, 310, 321 Bugawas, 294 bugay, 138 Bukidnon, 26, 27, 28, 72, 99, 126, 127, 128, 130, 145, 150, 151, 164, 165, 203, 274 bul-uyanon, 139 Bula, Dalomabi, 105, 126, 240, 243 Buldon, 51, 52, 53, 56 Buliok, 28, 262, 275, 276, 278, 283, 286 Buluan, 51, 101 Bunged, 296 Burton, Erlinda M., 27, 126 business rivalry, 111 Butig, 77, 86 Butilen marsh, 294 Buug, 41 Cabadiangan, 165 Cadiis, 166 Cagayan de Oro City, 72 Cagoco-Guiam, Rufa, 97 Calabria, 307 Calanugas, 206 cali, 211, 212 Camp Abubakre, 53 Campo Muslim, 299 Candao, Zacaria, 264 Canuday, Jose Jowel, 28, 98 Caris, Amroussy, 201 carjacking, 240 Carmen, 164, 165 cattle rustling, 42, 60, 111, 171, 172, 212, 213, 233, 239 Cebuano, 52 Cedeño, Promenzo, 275 Central Mindanao, 71, 254, 255, 257, 290, 330 Chavez, Nialyn Chrysa T., 202 Christians, 273, 306

RIDO V2.indd 336

10/4/2007 8:24:51 AM

Introduction || 337 lowland, 160 Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (cafgu), 109, 111, 164, 172, 223, 255, 257, 259, 260, 264, 273, 274, 292 Civilian Home Defense Force (chdf), 109, 274 Civilian Volunteers Organization (cvo), 12, 164, 255, 257, 259, 260, 268, 269, 270, 281 clan conflict, 11, 13, 98, 122, 304 and ethnicity, 44 causes of, 41, 42, 105, 107 incidences of, 39 perceptions on, 46 reasons for unsettled, 120 settlement of, 45, 115 status of, 43 Clausewitz, Karl von, 259 Claveria, 27, 129, 160 collective responsibility, 17, 18, 22, 54, 242 Commission on Elections (comelec), 58, 109 Committee of Blood Reconciliation, 29 Condovar, Manuel M., 205 conflict -management techniques, 31 election-related, 57 escalation of, 146 etiology of, 329 ideological, 171, 172, 174 inter-island, 12 inter-tribal, 11, 23 kin, 160 management of, 146 mapping, 31 people involved in management, 146 resolution, 143 bodies and mechanisms, 24, 62, 142 methods, 61 transformation, 322 Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society, 28 Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (ccch), 262, 270, 271, 287 Cordilleras, the, 12, 17, 23, 31 corruption, 116 Corsica, 11, 23, 29, 307, 313, 314, 318, 319, 320, 322 clan feuding in, 29 Corsican National Liberation Front (flnc), 316, 319 Cotabato, 164, 165, 170, 217, 257, 279, 322 Cotabato City, 50, 52, 54, 57, 100, 105, 299 council for peace and justice, 307, 320 council of elders, 67, 114, 175, 177, 249 counsel. See wakil court house of. See walay na bitiara courts legal, 62 native, 30 Philippine, 68 crimes against chastity, 60 Crisologo clan, 12 Crispo, Christine, 203 Crossing Simuay, 285 culture, 256 and violence, 256 gun, 318 of peace, 206 daa a phamamasadan, 91 da a pagampilan iyan, 243 Daayata, Jessamine, 203 Dabenayon, 270 Dabid, 293 Daiwan, 294 da kaoman, 114 Daladap, 270 da laha, 113 Dalama, 73 Dalengaoen, 276 da leod, 114 Dalican, 294, 296 damage to property, 42, 173 da makamaolika, 206 dampas, 138, 145 Damulog, 164, 165 Dansalan City, 128 da omboh, 113 daon so kazabar, 92 da pehak, 114 da pehak kitam, 113 Dapiawan, 12, 260, 262, 270, 271, 272, 281, 284, 287 encounters in, 28 Darangen, 101, 206 Dariat, 208 Dasikil, 270 Datu Abdullah Sangki, 51, 52 Datu Bitol, 292 Datu Hamis, 157 datu kali, 64 Datu Kused, 295

RIDO V2.indd 337

10/4/2007 8:24:52 AM

338 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao
Datumanong, 64, 67 Datu Montawal, 51 Datu Odin Sinsuat, 51, 52, 293, 294, 296 Datu Paglas, 51, 108 Datu Piang, 51, 101 Datu Pinaluay, 149 datus, 20, 24, 101, 126, 130, 131, 133, 134, 135, 142, 143, 175, 202, 203, 211, 212. See also timuays Datu Saudi Ampatuan, 51, 262, 266 Datu Usay, 51 Daulog, Esmael, 299 Davao, 15, 22, 102, 127, 217 Davao City, 104, 155, 157, 263, 274 Dayak, 102 debt of gratitude, 247, 310. See buddi debts, 42, 80, 138, 145 non-payment of, 111 deceit, 202 Deles, Teresita, 271 Department of Agrarian Reform (dar), 299 Department of Social Welfare and Development (dswd), 278 deportation. See taog di-i paka-aatawon or di pakarurupungen, 215 diat, 25, 142, 155, 228, 229, 230. See also diyya, kandiat, bangun Diaz, Patricio, 123 Dibabawon, 99 didalum ha nanad, 130 didungkulan, 130 dignity, 53, 326 Dimataling, 41 Dimbawangan, 112 Dinaig, 100, 294, 296 Dinas, 41 di pakaataon, 92 di pakanganganinen, 92 disarmament, 121, 330 Disoma, Esmail R., 208, 209, 256 disputes affinal, 205 unresolved, 205 di tahnor, 222 divorce, 204 diwata, 129, 134, 144, 153 diyya, 25 diyyat, 116. See also diyya, blood money Dolorfino, Benjamin, 278 Doro, Monalinda, 28, 211 dorog, 142 dorogen, 148 dowry, 138, 222 Dozier, Edward, 12 drugs, 93, 106, 109, 110, 122, 141 addiction to, 240 cases related to, 79 crimes related to, 42 illegal drugs, 80, 92 trafficking of, 94 users of prohibited, 80 duay, 129 Duguengen, 270 Dulangan, 294 dumagat, 150, 161 Dungguan, 293 Durante, Ofelia, 27 dyandi, 24 Eid El Adha, 217 Eid El Fitr, 217, 218 elections, 122, 226, 285, 296 anomalies and irregularities, 28, 141, 236, 239, 240 Elizalde, Manuel ‘Manda’, 150 elopement, 42, 110, 141, 240 Elusfa, Romy, 98 enmity, 22, 151, 227 enslavement, 212 envy, 28, 207, 240 Erumanen, 279 Escalante, 207 Estrada, Joseph, 255, 275 ethnic affiliations, 44, 45 ethnicity, 52 excommunication. See also taog Executive Order 264, 255 exile, 18, 202. See also taog extended kinship ties, 75 fajr, 223 family and alliances, 316 bonds, 309 conflicts, 326 feuds, 306. See also rido honor, 19 lineage, 212, 228, 238 love for, 323 relations, 204 Fernandez, Perfecto, 133 feuding, 11, 17, 160, 232 inter-family, 305 fiqh, 64 firearms, 122, 256, 265, 318, 321 control, 321, 330

RIDO V2.indd 338

10/4/2007 8:24:52 AM

Introduction || 339 loose, 94, 246 proliferation of, 106, 109, 111 smugglers, 247 flight, 202 forgiveness, 66, 322. See also rila Four Federations of Lanao. See pat a pangampong ko ranao gahum, 144, 149 Gambar, 297, 298 gambling, 240 Gamboa, Toto, 275 Gandang, Rotin, 266 gantangan palabian, 134 Gapt, 294 Garcia, Rodolfo, 285 Gen. S.K. Pendatun, 51 genealogy, 26, 146, 238 gerar, 207 gimba, 307 Ginat, Joseph, 12, 18 Ginatilan, 276 Glang, Sahid, 205 Gli-gli, 28, 262, 273, 274, 281 Goda, Toh, 12 Gomez, Hilario, 100, 101 Gomez, Norma, 27 Gonzales, Francisco, 98, 104 gossip, 207 government role of, 322 war with Moro secessionist groups, 170 Government Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (ccch), 98 Gowing, Peter, 103, 105, 106 grar, 219, 224 grave offense. See ta-azir Guialon family, 296 Guinapalad Ta Ka Spaces for Peace, 288 Guindulungan, 51, 293 Gutierrez, Eric, 97 Gutoc, Samira, 98 hadana, 209 Hadith, 73, 211, 330, 331 Hagpa, 203 hahum, 143 Hashim, Salamat, 276, 277, 286 Hasluck, Margaret, 18, 20, 21 Hassan, I. U., 307, 310 hazil, 103 heated argument, 28, 240 Hermoso, Dickson, 68, 98, 263, 267, 271, 286, 287 Higaonon, 99, 126, 129, 134, 137, 139, 144, 149, 160, 161, 162, 202, 306 cosmology, 130 Higaunon. See Higaonon High Point, Macabenban, 166 Hiligaynon, 52 homicide, 24, 207 honor, 16, 19, 20, 21, 53, 76, 105, 142, 148, 161, 225, 310, 315, 317, 323, 326 among indigenous peoples, 134 concepts of, 134 Hunt, Chester L., 209 husay, 24, 150, 175 Hussin, Alber A., 307, 309, 310, 312 hutbahs, 328 idma, 205 iftar, 158 igbuyag, 129, 134, 145 igma, 27, 89, 95, 211 igma ago taritib, 89, 91, 132 ijma, 204 ilaga, 164, 169, 170, 171, 274, 292 Ilanun, 131 ili, 17 Iligan City, 41, 44, 202, 207, 208, 213, 214 Illana Bay, 297 Ilocano, 52 Ilonggo, 52, 274, 275 Indanan, 107 indemnity, 152, 153 land as, 151 indigenous peoples, 99, 128, 177 inged, 73, 132, 210 inheritance, 106 Institute of Bangsamoro Studies, 27 insult, 201 integrity, 326 intermarriages, 67, 90, 118, 205 internal displacement, 44, 276, 280 areas with, 270 victims of, 168 internal revenue allotment, 79, 108, 122, 123, 141, 162 international monitoring team (imt), 16, 286 Inusar, 216, 218, 219 Iranun, 12, 51, 52, 54, 99, 166, 329 Iraya, 204 ird, 20 Islam, 21, 27, 73, 328 Islamic Center, 286 Islamic jurisprudence. See fiqh

RIDO V2.indd 339

10/4/2007 8:24:53 AM

340 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao
Islamic local tradition, 328 Islamic peace education, 162 Islamic radicalism, 328 Islamic State of Muslim Mindanao, 331 Islamic State of Sulu, 330 ispug, 321 Isulan, 121 Jaafar, Gadzali, 98, 263 Jakiri, Yusop H., 120 jama, 158 Jama Mapun, 99, 102 Janjalani, Ustadz Abdulrajak, 328, 329 Jawi, 329 jealousy, 111, 137, 207 Jenista, Frank Lawrence, 23 jesting. See angyas Jikiri, 319 Johore, 102 Joint CCCH-IMT, 13 Joint Government-milf Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (ccch), 16, 25, 31 joint interim action team, 285 Joint ulama municipal peace and order council, 25, 63 Jolo, 306, 311, 323 Judd, Mary, 53 Jundam, Mashur Bin-Ghalib, 204 Junker, Laura Lee, 12 jury. See also kali justice system barangay, 24, 145, 160, 203 ka-salk, 148 Kaalim, Rexal, 286 Kabacan, 164, 165 Kabalukanan, 291 Kabulnan River, 263 Kabungsuan. See Shariff Kabunsuan Kabuntalan, 51, 293, 297, 298 Kadigasan, 293 Kadil, Ben J., 203 Kadingilan, 164, 165 kadsarakan, 66 Kahal, Mohammad Ali, 270 kahanda, 64 kakandori, 148 Kakar, 296 kakitas, 147 Kalagan, 99 Kalagangan, 150, 151 Kalakakan, 276 Kalanogas, 77 Kaldor, Mary, 259, 260 Kalembog, 293 kalephad, 148 kali, 141, 142, 204, 239, 243 Kalibugan, 99 kalibutan, 130 Kamala, 222 kamattoahan, 113 kambalay, 205 kambatabhata’a, 205 kambobono o mga bae, 91 Kamlian, Jamail A., 26, 100 Kamlon, 312 kampong, 210 kanaman, 53 kandiat, 25, 147, 245. See also diyya, diat, bangun kandiyat. See kandiat kandori. See kanduli kanduli, 26, 118, 119, 142, 149, 158, 221, 226, 229, 236, 238, 297, 299, 302 kanduri. See kanduli kanggiginawai, 210, 242 kapamalo, 148 kapamamanikan, 148 kapamimisaya-an, 212 kapamitiyara, 212 kapangangawid, 225 kapangangawidan, 212, 228 kapangetoma, 148 kapanginsalaan, 212 kapangondoi, 92 kapasadan, 211 Kapatagan, 107, 108, 110, 121 kapheletakan, 147 Kapiton, 294 kapririspitoa, 242 karila, 148 Karomatan, 206 kasaop, 12, 246 kasarigan, 243 kashapot, 147 kashappa, 147 kasosongkai, 91 kataog, 148 katarungang pambarangay, 61, 62, 163 katatabanga, 209 katchaw, 110 katopo, 92 kedsapa, 66 khutbahs, 329 kiambabaan, 92 kibr, 141 Kidapawan, 156

RIDO V2.indd 340

10/4/2007 8:24:54 AM

Introduction || 341 kidnapping, 139, 141, 240, 329 Kiefer, Thomas M., 17, 21, 98, 307, 309, 310 Kimadzil, 166 kinship, 17, 205, 245, 248, 309 system, 27 ties, 22, 242 Kirim, 329 Kisupaan, 166 kitab, 73, 75, 211 Kitango, 266 Kitaotao, 129 kitas, 89, 142, 161, 232 kokoman, 206 kokoman a kambhatabata’a, 24, 205, 206, 221, 234, 245 kontara. See rido kontla. See rido kontra. See rido Kudarangan, 291, 293 Kudarat, Sultan Dipatuan, 331 Kulambog, 293 kumanaytay un sa alimaong ta balukan hu datu, 136 kuntara. See rido Kurais II, 102 Kurintem, 294, 296 Labog-Javellana, Juliet, 99 Lagundi, 276 Lake Lanao, 72, 101, 128, 132, 210 Lanao, 127, 128 Lanao del Norte, 16, 26, 28, 36, 37, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 72, 128, 201, 207, 210 Lanao del Sur, 13, 16, 26, 27, 71, 72, 77, 7 9, 80, 92, 93, 99, 100, 101, 103, 1 09, 116, 121, 126, 128, 131, 154, 156, 157, 206, 210, 229, 256, 286 land, 174, 204 alienation of, 327 conflict, 59, 240 disputes, 41, 79, 92, 93, 95, 104, 105, 106, 107, 138, 141, 170, 172, 203, 207, 239 recovery of, 327 titling, 122 landgrabbing, 59, 106, 201 Land Registration Act, 295 Langayen, 293 langit, 130 Lantapan, 27, 127, 130, 151 Lantawan, 107 lashing. See lephad laws customary, 21, 25, 130, 133, 134, 160, 161, 203 indigenous, 73 Islamic, 73, 75, 140, 211 native, 30 Philippine, 75 Layson, Roberto, 15 lebogoy, 138 Lebpas, 28, 262, 279, 283 lebut, 137. See also bake legislation, 120 lephad, 142, 159 letakan, 142, 159 Liab, 270 Liangan, 112 Libre, Eric, 255, 257 Libutan, 263, 268 lido. See rido lido hu katangkawan, 136 Liguasan Marsh, 270, 278, 284 Liliongan, 166 limokon, 153 Linantangan, 12, 262, 263, 266, 268, 269, 270, 281, 284, 287 assault, 28 lineage. See bangsa Lingga, Abhoud Syed, 26, 27 Lintangan family feud in, 262 liyuuran, 306 Local Government Code, 145, 331 local government units innovative mechanisms of, 62 local judge. See kali local monitoring teams, 25 Loong, Benjamin, 320 looting, 273 loss of culture and traditions, 170, 172 loss of face, 318 love affair, 221 unfavored, 28 lugbak, 202 Lumabao, 213, 215, 216, 218, 219 lumad, 12, 27, 28, 133, 134, 135, 142, 143, 160, 161, 326, 327, 330 concepts of law and justice, 133 some cases among, 149 Lumayanague, 86 Lumba a Bayabao, 72 lupong tagapamayapa, 62, 145, 172 luwaran, 64, 291 Luwaran Code, 204 Luzon, 108, 306

RIDO V2.indd 341

10/4/2007 8:24:54 AM

342 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao
mabalaw, 136, 144 Macabenban, 166 Macacua, Samsudin, 299 Macapagal Arroyo, Gloria, 285 Macasendeg, 293 Madale, Nagasura, 76 Madalum, 77 Madamba, 73 madaris, 209, 322 madhhab, 64 madrasah, 74, 209. See also madaris magahat, 12, 134, 135, 138, 139, 142, 150, 160 Magayoong, Hadji Abdullah ‘Mamaodang’, 239 Magayoong, Sheik Abdullah C., 211 magbabaya, 129, 130, 153 magdanakan, 113 magdanakan ma agama, 114 Magindanao. See Maguindanao Magindanaon, 52, 54 magsapa, 118, 119 Maguindanao, 12, 16, 25, 26, 27, 28, 50, 51, 52, 54, 57, 61, 63, 72, 98, 99, 100, 101, 103, 106, 108, 131, 170, 256, 260, 262, 264, 266, 270, 276, 284, 286, 287, 290, 293, 297, 302, 319, 331 Maguindanaoan, 131, 164, 204, 275, 290, 328, 329 harmony with Menuvu, 169 Maharaja Lawana, 132 Mainot, 217 Makaturuganan, 291 Makir, 294, 296 Makopa, 150 Mala a Bayabao, 72, 210 Malaa Inged, 234, 236 Malabang, 128, 206 Maladeg, 112, 120, 206 malagbasuk, 131 Malagiok, Ronnie, 293 malai paratiya ko Allah, 243 Malapag, 167 Malaybalay, 127 Malay Peninsula, 12, 311 Malaysia, 30, 306 Malibuteng, 234, 236 Maliga family, 296 Malintad, 231 Malunasay, 150, 151 mam-on, 153 Mamaanun-Lumbac, 208 mamahuli, 317, 318. See also rido Mamanwa, 99 Mamasapano, 51, 98, 260, 262, 263, 265, 266, 267, 287 mamauli, 12, 21, 22, 23 manama, 129 mananambal, 131 mandalangan, 143 Mandaya, 99 Manduyog clan, 29, 297, 298 Mangansakan, Bitol, 291, 302 Mangansakan clan, 26, 29, 290, 291 Mangawan, 226 manggad, 143, 144 Mangguwangan, 99 Mangorsi, Asnia B., 206 Manobo. See Menuvu Mansaka, 99 maongangen, 243 maongangen-a-sogo, 147 maquis, 314 Maranao. See Meranao Marantao, 77, 154 maratabat, 20, 22, 62, 76, 79, 80, 91, 93, 98, 101, 105, 112, 121, 141, 142, 146, 148, 158, 201, 204, 215, 225, 229, 232, 238, 240, 245, 248, 249, 292, 301, 321 and socio-economic status, 84 as a factor for rido, 22 killing in defense of, 110 Marawi City, 72, 74, 79, 100, 128, 132, 162, 208 Marcos, Ferdinand, 150 marital conflict, 137, 203, 207 marriage, 204 martabbat. See maratabat martial law, 292, 312 masabar, 243 Masiu, 72, 86, 101, 132, 210 Mastura, Tocao O., 63 Matalam, Udtug, 312 Matanog, 51, 53, 56 Matigsalug Manobo, 27, 128, 129, 134, 136, 137, 143, 145, 150, 151, 160, 161 Matuan, Moctar, 26, 27 mawarao, 243 Mawaraw, 227 mbatabata’a, 27. See also kinship system McAmis, Robert, 103 McKenna, Thomas, 257 mediation, 19, 24, 27, 31, 60, 61, 91, 112, 155, 203, 205 mediators, 24, 67, 91, 113, 120, 157, 221,

RIDO V2.indd 342

10/4/2007 8:24:55 AM

Introduction || 343 225, 243, 245, 247, 248 men and women, 28 profile of, 88 qualities of effective, 115 traditional, 24 Mediterranean Basin, 306, 307, 314 Mentang, Tungan, 292 Menuvu, 24, 28, 126, 127, 130, 134, 153, 164, 202, 328 harmony with Maguindanaon, 169 Meranao, 12, 20, 24, 27, 28, 93, 104, 105, 106, 107, 110, 117, 119, 126, 128, 131, 132, 140, 160, 161, 162, 201, 205, 212, 218, 230, 319, 328, 329. See also Maranao economic activities of, 133 family, 208 indigenous mechanisms, 159 kinship system, 74, 75, 208 marriage, 209 endogamous, 209 political organization of, 27 political system of, 145 proverbs, 206 rights of women, 207 socialization and personality formation, 209 social organization, 208 some cases among, 154 traditional court, 206 women, 206 miakamaolika, 205 miakasilai so rido, 92 Midsayap, 291 Midtimbang, Benjie, 262, 265, 285, 287 Minalwang, 149, 160 Mindanao, 12, 13, 14, 26, 36, 97, 101, 108, 255, 305, 311, 319 1970s war in, 28 prominent families in, 28 Mindanao Independence Movement (mim), 292 Mindanao Peace Caucus, 287 Mindanao State University (msu), 75, 296, 308 Mindanao State University Marawi, 27, 77 Mindanews, 98 Misamis Oriental, 27, 72, 126, 127, 129, 207, 210 miyagagaw sa gapa, 239 sa kawali, 239 sa tamanaan, 240 modernization, 23, 316 molestation, 201 Molibog, 99 Moner, Nagamura T., 239 montol, 243 Moro, 99, 100, 165, 170, 177 code, 122 Moro Islamic Liberation Front (milf), 12, 13, 25, 53, 65, 68, 98, 104, 111, 155, 165, 171, 224, 229, 235, 243, 247, 255, 257, 259, 262, 264, 269, 270, 271, 274, 277, 281, 287, 312 as mediators, 157 Central Committee, 263 conflict-resolution mechanisms, 27, 61, 64 Shari-ah court, 65 Moro National Liberation Front (mnlf), 25, 109, 164, 171, 255, 257, 259, 264, 292, 312, 319 Movement for Independent Mindanao (mim), 312 Muddas, 325 Munai, 207 murder, 138, 154, 201, 203, 204, 212 attempted, 207 Murdock, George Peter, 75 Muslims, 326, 327, 328 nagbanta, 307 Nagtangen, 297 Nalapaan, 262, 272, 274, 275 nalinguan, 111 National Movement for Free Elections (namfrel), 122 Nangka, 208 Nawahag, 151, 152 negative reciprocity, 22 negotiation, 203 coaching, 31 neutral ground, 138, 226 New Rizal, 167 Newsbreak, 15 Nimmo, Harry Arlo, 306 North Cotabato, 25, 26, 28, 36, 38, 41, 42, 43, 44, 46, 47, 48, 127, 170, 255, 256, 260, 262, 272, 274, 276, 280, 286, 290, 291, 293 North Upi, 25, 293 Notre Dame Journal, 99 Notre Dame University, 27, 105 Nunungan, 111, 206 Nye, Robert A., 20

RIDO V2.indd 343

10/4/2007 8:24:56 AM

344 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao
Ocfemia, Romulo, 272 Office of the Muslim Affairs, 98 Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (opapp), 15 Old Maganoy, 263 Omonay, 167 Onayan, 72 opakat, 73 oral contract, 212 Orang Bajo, 306 order. See potoray oripon, 139 Otterbein, Keith F., 306 outcasting, 19 padumol, 202 Pagalungan, 51, 262, 275, 276, 277, 278, 286 Pagapon, 228, 229 Pagatin, 270 Pagayawan, 77 pagbanta, 12, 53 pagbaos. See pagbaus pagbaus, 53 pagbunuh, 12 pagdumot, 12 Paglas, Datu “Toto”, 15, 98 Paglat, 51 Pagtabangan basulta, 323 pahuli, 307 Paido Pulangi, 290, 291, 292, 293, 302 palagugud, 131 Palaguyan, Daotin Gandang, 265, 268 Palapa, 157 Palawan, 102, 326, 330 Palimbang, 107, 108, 110, 112 paloklokesan, 224 pamalao, 157 pamalas, 144. See also singampo pamamanikan, 142 pamaras, 175 pamimitiyara, 212 panabud, 136, 138 panagat sa lasang, 139 panagulambong, 131 panakew, 139 panalusow, 137 pandita, 204 pangampong, 210 pangampong ko ranao, 132 Pangandaman, 119 pangangawedan, 220 pangangawid, 202, 203 pangaw, 204 pangayaw, 12, 134, 135, 136, 137, 139, 143, 149, 150, 151, 153, 160, 161 causes of, 139 common causes that lead to, 137 pangensalaan, 220 pangiloban, 202 panglima, 113, 204 pangongokum, 212 Panicupan, 275 panlemet, 139 panlibug. See lebogoy Pantaoragat, 207 Paoli, Pasquale, 315 Parang, 51, 52, 56 paruala, 122 pat-pa-pongampong ko ranao. See pat a phangampongang ko ranao pat a pangampong ko ranao. See pat a phangampongang ko ranao pat a phangampong. See pat a phangampongang ko ranao pat a phangampongang ko ranao, 27, 72 patoray, 215 peace process, 13, 14, 29, 287 settlement, 24 spaces for, 25, 31, 275, 276, 284 zone of, 31, 120, 206 Peace Advocate of Zamboanga, 322 pedtuntut, 64 pedtuntutan, 64 peg-imatey, 138 peg-imateyey. See peg-imatey pehak, 113 penalties sala, 139 Pendatun clan, 276 Datu Tin, 276 Walid, 276 Pentagon, 171, 172 perajamen, 148 Pershing, John, 330 phangokuman, 212 Philippine Air Force, 255 Philippine Army, 264, 269, 278, 292, 293, 323 Philippine Coast Guard, 255 Philippine Constabulary, 274 Philippine Constitution, 72 Philippine Daily Inquirer, 103, 255 Philippine government, 257 Philippine Marines, 159, 255, 278 Philippine military, 320, 323

RIDO V2.indd 344

10/4/2007 8:24:57 AM

Introduction || 345 Philippine National Police (pnp), 247, 254 Philippine Navy, 255 Philippines, 12, 23, 30, 72, 101, 104, 309 Philippine Star, 255, 262 physical injuries, 207 Picong, 111 Pikit, 25, 41, 260, 272, 276, 286, 288, 290, 302 Pimbalakan, 270 pinabagang puthaw, 135 Pitt-Rivers, Julian, 19 political rivalry, 41, 42, 79, 106, 108, 239, 240 politics, 79, 92, 93 electoral, 151 partisan, 151 polygyny, 130 Poona Bayabao, 72 potri maamor, 244 Presidential Assistance for National Minorities (panamin), 150 President Roxas, 164, 165, 262, 279 prestige, 19, 20, 76, 105 pride, 76, 142, 161, 207 Prill-Brett, June, 12, 17 protection, 22 Provincial Reconciliation and Unification Program (pruc), 119 Provincial Unification Fund, 120 Pualas, 86 pugos, 139 puka-sowa, 212 Pulanginon, 127 Pulangi River, 100, 270, 278, 280, 297 punishment, 212 Pusao, 270 Quitoriano, Ed, 255, 257 Qur’an, 66, 73, 103, 116, 118, 119, 141, 149, 204, 206, 221, 226, 230, 248, 311, 328, 330, 331 Radia Indarapatra, 101 Rajah Buayan, 51 Rajah Muda, 275 rajam, 142, 159 Ramadhan, 215, 218, 226, 236 Ramayana, 132 Ranon, 222, 223, 224 rape, 42, 139, 141, 207, 212 Rasul, 101, 103 reciprocity, 19, 22, 74, 75, 205, 323 katatabanga, 209 reconciliation, 66 Reconciliatory Initiatives for Development Opportunities, 26 Regional Reconciliation and Unification Commission (rruc), 25, 119, 162 religion, 318 role of, 322 religious beliefs, 21 religious instruction, 322 reprimand. See thoma Republic Act No. 2364, 52 retaliation, 54, 91, 94, 142, 216, 231, 236 retribution, 60, 212 retributive justice, 323 revenge, 17, 21, 232, 237, 304, 314 killings, 11 patterns, 21 raids, 12 rido, 11, 12, 13, 14, 39, 40, 44, 50, 71, 77, 90, 94, 97, 98, 99, 100, 105, 109, 121, 126, 135, 136, 139, 155, 157, 159, 161, 164, 171, 214, 219, 220, 223, 224, 225, 226, 227, 228, 230, 231, 234, 237, 246, 292, 295, 298, 300, 306, 326 “fatigue”, 54 “cold war” stage of, 29 “realization” period of, 29 a case of aborted, 158 agreement, 301 and conflict management, 45 and development, 103 cases of, 56, 83 case studies of, 28 casualties in, 56, 81 causes of, 27, 77, 80, 104, 141 classifications of, 140 communities prone to, 86, 87 concept of, 53 consequences of, 43, 84, 201, 240 effects of, 16, 201 effects on communities, 173 escalation of, 300 extent of, 54 external factors that induce, 311 factors leading to, 111 factors prolonging or aggravating, 172 factors that facilitate the settlement of, 245 failures in settling, 90 fear of, 278 frequency of, 56, 77 impact of, 56 indigenous means of resolving, 24, 174 inter-ethnic, 169

RIDO V2.indd 345

10/4/2007 8:24:57 AM

346 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao
frequency of, 169 inventory of, 26 number of persons injured in, 82 persons imprisoned in, 83 processes and methods to settle, 89 profiles of assailants and victims of, 83 recurrence of, 26, 54, 67 settled, 26, 106 settlement of, 301 socio-economic impact of, 47 stages of, 29, 143, 300 opening, 300 transformational, 301 strategies in resolving, 245 transformation of, 29, 54 triggers of, 57 unresolved, 26 victims of, 83 violence in, 56 rido-kapiya’an, 75, 76 ridu. See rido Riemer, Carlton L., 76 rila, 142 Rio Grande de Mindanao, 100. See also Pulangi River Rixhon, Gerard, 23, 29 robbery, 42, 141 Rodil, Rudy, 99, 100, 104 Rogongon, 202 Rosaldo, Renato, 12 rumor-mongering, 240 S.K. Pendatun, 271, 276 Sabah, 30, 306 sabapan, 64 Sabarang, 224, 226 Saber, Mamitua, 72, 76, 210 Saiyona, Butu, 276 saksi ki modai sapa ki modalai, 141 sala, 139 sale, 204 Saleeby, Najeeb M., 64, 205 salsila, 131, 132, 221, 226. See tarsila Salug River, 129, 151 Sama, 27, 99, 100, 102, 105, 106, 107, 119, 204, 306, 325, 326, 329 Sama Bangingi, 103 Samad, Sukarno, 299 Sama Daleya, 102 Sama Dilaut, 102, 306 Samal, 102, 103 Sanday, Ismail, 276 San Fernando, 27, 128, 145, 150 Sangil, 99 San Roque, 272, 274 sapa, 142, 159, 175 sapolo ago lima a pagawidan sa ranao, 211 sapot, 142 sara, 204 Sarangani, 170 Sardinia, 307, 314 Sariling Command, 172 Saudi Arabia, 154, 235 Sawir, 73 say-og, 135 Schlegel, Stuart, 126 security, 22, 283, 326 and protection, 19, 22 Sejara Melayu, 12 self-esteem, 20, 53, 76 self-help, 17, 22 Semporna, 12 settlement, 66 agreements, 116 amicable, 112, 113, 205 mode of, 205, 328 process, 225 Seymour-Smith, Charlotte, 22 Shafi’i schools of law. See madhhab shame, 16, 19, 21, 142, 146, 310, 317 kapanunungka, 67 sharaf, 20 Shari’ah, 25, 61, 69, 103, 140, 231, 282, 320, 331 law, 121 Shariff Aguak, 12, 51, 264, 268, 270, 287, 302 Shariff Kabunsuan, 63, 101 shokodan, 75. See also zukudan Siama. See Sinama Sicily, 11, 307, 314 Silik, 291 Silsilah, 322 Simsimon, 150 Sinama, 102 singampo. See pamalas Singson clan, 12 Sinsuat -Abas conflict, 293 clan, 29, 205, 293 Datu Darry, 296 Datu Lester, 297 Datu Odin, 290, 296 Pidtukasan, 294, 295 Siocon, 41 sipug, 21, 310, 321 So Chio, Rudy, 296 social rank, 205

RIDO V2.indd 346

10/4/2007 8:24:58 AM

Introduction || 347 Social Weather Stations (sws), 13, 50, 304 soko, 210 South Cotabato, 170 Southern Palawan, 103 South Upi, 51, 293 Special cafgu Active Auxiliary (scaa), 255, 259, 264, 268, 269, 281 status, 76, 105 stealing, 138 stoning. See rajam Subanon, 99 suga, 159 suha-suha, 138 sukod, 134 suku, 72 Sulawesi, 306 sulha, 24, 29 Sullivan, Robert E., 53 sulo, 159 sultan, 20, 101, 142, 243 of Aluyudan, 226 of Bandar a Inged, 229 of Lumabao, 213, 214 of Malibuteng, 243 of Mangawan, 226 of Samanaya, 225 of Sulu, 102 of Ulowan, 225 sa Barongis, 51, 291 sultanate, 212 in Buansa, 102 of Balut, 211 of Maguindanao, 290 of Marawi, 26 of Momungan, 211 of Sulu, 103, 204, 311 system, 145 Sultan Gumander, 109, 111, 112, 121 Sultan Kudarat, 25, 26, 36, 38, 40, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 51, 52, 62, 99, 107, 108, 109, 110, 121, 170, 271 Sultan Mastura, 51 Sulu, 12, 16, 23, 25, 26, 29, 36, 38, 40, 41, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 107, 109, 110, 121, 204, 256, 305, 306, 307, 311, 312, 318, 320, 322, 325, 326, 330 Sulu Archipelago, 306, 307, 311 sulutan, 211, 212 Sumaguina, Esmail, 74 Sumisip, 110, 120 sunna, 204, 331 suspicion, 28, 240 swearing. See sapa symbolic rituals planting a tree or bamboo, 202 vine cutting, 202 T’boli, 99, 203 ta-azir, 215 taboo, 139, 215, 238 Tacurong City, 271 Tagakaolo, 99 tagbusao. See talagbusao Tagimaha, 102 tagna, 135 Tagoloan, 207, 210 Takepan, 276 Talaandig, 27, 99, 126, 127, 130, 151, 153 talabusao. See talagbusao talagbusao, 137, 143, 144 Talakag, 127, 130 talamuhat, 131 Talayan, 51, 293, 294 taleseb, 139 Talipao, 41 Talitay, 51, 61, 293 Tamano, Mauyag, 76 Tampakan, 294 Tampakanen, 294 Tamped, 167 tampuda ho balagon, 24, 139, 143, 149, 152, 153, 161, 162, 202, 203 tampulo. See taleseb Tan, Samuel K., 29, 102 tandangan, 64 Tandubas, 112 Tangkulan, 167 tangkulok, 136, 137 taog, 142 Tapudok, 293 tarawi, 228 taritib, 27, 89, 95, 101, 102, 132, 210, 211 taritib-ago-igma, 24, 27, 72, 75, 140, 141, 145, 157, 163, 205, 226, 229, 245, 249 tarsila, 101 Tarsilan, 291 tatamoken, 243 tau-maas, 204 Tausug, 17, 21, 27, 29, 98, 99, 100, 101, 105, 204, 305, 306, 309, 311, 325, 326, 329, 330 Tausug Customary Law Ordinance, 25 Taviran, 294 Tawi-Tawi, 26, 36, 38, 40, 41, 42, 45, 46, 47, 48, 99, 100, 102, 103, 105,

RIDO V2.indd 347

10/4/2007 8:24:59 AM

348 || Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao
107, 109, 110, 120, 121, 306, 319, 326, 330 Tayuan -Mangansakan conflict, 290 clan, 26, 29, 290, 291 Ustadz Daud, 291, 292 Teduray, 51, 52 Teves, Magno, 100 The Asia Foundation, 11, 302, 311 theft, 28, 141, 203, 204, 207, 240 thoma, 142 Thornton, Tim, 260 thothonganaya, 27. See also kinship system tige, 204 tigi-an, 134, 138 Tigwahanon, 127 Timan, Datu Manguda, 291 timuays, 175. See also datus Tiruray. See Teduray tiyotupan sa wator, 221 Torens titling system, 104, 107 toril, 209 Torres, Wilfredo Magno III, 11 trial by ordeal, 133, 134, 138 Tubaran, 13 Tugaya, 133 Tuka na Lipao, 263, 270 tuluga, 130, 153 tunglo, 135 Turonan River, 165 Twain, Mark, 306 Ubo, 99 ud-Din, Sultan Salah, 331 Udtog, Ibrahim, 270 ukag, 53 ukit, 64 ulagingan, 130, 131 ulama, 74, 121, 126, 146, 212, 231, 267 Ulandang, 293 Ulowan, 222, 223 umayamnon, 139 umma, 318 Unayan, 101, 132, 210 United States Agency for International Development (usaid), 11, 13, 302 United States of America, 11, 257, 306, 312 United Youth for Peace and Development (unypad), 25, 28, 302 Upi, 51 usba-waris, 309 ustadz, 209 vendetta, 11, 23, 98, 160, 172, 202, 216, 234, 307, 312, 313, 315, 318 vengeance, 18, 20, 106, 202, 209, 268, 305 violence, 257, 258 structural, 207 Wadjidi, 293 wakil, 64, 142, 212 walay na bitiara, 25, 62, 63 Wao, 128 Warriner, Charles, 76 Watamama, Gapas, 297 wazir, 64, 205 western Mindanao, 306 wife grabbing, 137, 140 Wilson, Stephen, 313, 315, 317 Wingagaw, 151 women, 21, 114, 146 as initiators of conflict, 244 as negotiators, 217, 244 as pacifiers of conflict, 244 battering of, 207 leaders, 207 retaliated, 83 World Bank, 53, 104, 254 World War II, 260, 316 Xavier University, 27 Yakan, 27, 99, 100, 102, 103, 106, 204, 326, 329 Yano, Alexander, 272 Yumo, 202 Yunnan, 306 Zacaria, Barodi, 271 Zagar, Mitja, 23 Zamboanga, 102, 311 Zamboanga City, 100 Zamboanga del Norte, 26, 36, 39, 42, 44, 46, 47, 48 Zamboanga del Sur, 26, 36, 39, 41, 42, 45, 46, 47, 48, 72 Zamboanga Sibuguey, 26, 36, 39, 41, 44, 46, 47, 48 zukudan, 214, 215, 216, 229, 232, 238, 243

RIDO V2.indd 348

10/4/2007 8:25:00 AM