Written by: Hamsa G. Landayan
The kanduli or thanks giving ceremony and signing of peace covenant by and between the people of Barangays Dungguan Aleosan represented by Aliman, Sampayan, Suga and Ungkay Clans and the people of Langayen, Pikit, all of North Cotabato, represented by Tayuan, Hamid and Pasandalan clans finally took place on June 17, 2015 facilitated by the Task Force Conflict Resolution and Management (TFCRM) organized by the General Staff (GS) of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Samad Edol, Chairman of the UNYPAD-LIPAD MINDANAO organized Responding Team, said that the settlement of the said conflict was initiated and facilitated by the TFCRM in partnership with Datu sa Taviran IV Datu Noldin S. Oyod PMO, NIA-MMIP II and the Local Initiatives for Peace and Development in Mindanao (LIPAD MINDANAO) thru the B-BANGON Project Cluster led by the United Youth for Peace and Development (UNYPAD) with generous support from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) of the Australian Embassy in partnership with The Asia Foundation (TAF).
The organizer of this affair disclosed that the success of the conflict mitigation was made possible through supports of Hon. Governor Emmylou Lala T. Mendoza of Cotabato Province, Hon. Mayor Vicente Sorofia, Jr. of Aleosan, Hon. Former Mayor Sumulong K. Sultan of Pikit, first district Congressman Hon. Jesus Susing Sacdalan, Hon. Dulia Sultan, and first district Board Members Hon. Lorito Cabaya and Hon. Moh’d Kellie U. Antao, Al Hajj.
Von Alhaq, Vice Chairman of the TFCRM, said: “The foundation of this undertaking is the strong support of local government units, the MILF and the GPH.”
“We pray to Allah that we are able to finally end this problem and strengthen our brotherhood in Islam,” he said.
“We are here to show that we love peace and we’re able to cooperate with each other in the search for lasting peace,” Alhaq added.
“This is a clear manifestation that the MILF can partner with other people in the search for peace. We have to close the conflict and open the peace. We are very inclusive as far as peace is concerned and we want that everybody is involved,” he pointed out.
Koyo Aliman, who is representing Dungguan side, had expressed his thanks and gratitude to all who supported the settlement; exerted their effort to close the conflict.
Datu Jordan Tayuan, who is representing people of Langayen, Pikit, also expressed his wholehearted thanks to all conveners of the covenant signing as it would mean achievement of lasting peace in Dungguan and Langayen.
In their messages of commitment, Barangay Captains of Langayen and Dungguan expressed their thanks for the final resolution of the long years of conflict that brought wretchedness to the life of people in two Barangays and their surrounding areas.
The Barangay officials are hoping that the letter and spirit of the agreement that has been reached will be fully implemented.
1st District Board Member Hon. Lorito Cabaya Jr. recalled that, during his young age, the said conflict was already existing. Cabaya is hoping that there shall be no more conflict to happen in Dungguan and Langayen, and in Mindanao as a whole.
Col. Noel Clement, Brigade Commander of 602nd Bde, PA, said: “For us, if there is a problem, dialogue is the best solution because our armaments are for external defense and supposedly not intended for the local conflicts.”
IMT Head of Mission, first Admiral Khayruddin, congratulated both clans and those worked to settle the conflict.
Moreover, Shariah Supreme Court Chairman of the MILF, Shiekh Khalipa Nando, said: “Kanduli means ‘Ibadah’ or worship; we will be offering prayers for our brothers from Dungguan and Langayen that they will always be guided and be able to sustain the resolution of their misunderstanding.”
Former Mayor of Pikit, Datu Sumulong K. Sultan, said that he joined this peace effort because he wants peace for his relatives. Sultan urged both sides to observe religiously the peace covenant signed.
The Municipal Mayor of Aleosan, Hon. Mayor Vecente Soropia Jr., said: “It is seldom happening in my life to be with peace occasion like this and I am very happy because, once and for all, the problem of Dungguan and Langayen has been capped.
On the other hand, the Senior Program Officer of The Asia Foundation, Noraida Chio gave her thanks and congratulated everybody for achieving peace in the area.
“The International experts on research told us the major destruction here in Moro communities is the local conflict,” she said.
Chio is vehemently opposed to the idea being brought by some groups that rido is a part of Bangsamoro culture.
Held at the JMG Place, Poblacion, Pikit, the said activity was attended by at least 300 individuals coming from both clans, communities of Barangay Dungguan and Barangay Langayen and representatives from Provincial Local Government Units, local commanders from 118th and 105th Base Commands of Central Mindanao Front, and from Eastern Mindanao Front, BIAF, 6ID and 602nd Brigades of AFP, PNP from Aleosan, Pikit and Province, LGU’s of Pikit and Aleosan, TAF, International Monitoring Team(IMT), Local Monitoring Team (LMT), members of the TFCRM, and GPH and MILF CCCH.
The Base commanders of 105th and 118th, Zacaria Guma and Hadji Wahid Tondoc, also graced the occasion.