2 Basilan families end dispute; surrender 43 guns


ZAMBOANGA CITY — Two feuding families have settled their dispute after almost six years of sporadic armed confrontations in one of the towns in Basilan province, military officials announced.

Brig. Gen. Fernando Reyeg, Army’s 101st Infantry Brigade commander, said the feuding families’ disputes were finally settled Thursday through the intercession of the 4th Special Forces Battalion.

Reyeg withheld the identities of the feuding families except that they are from Barangay Lawi-Lawi, Lantawan, Basilan.

Lt. Col. Achilles dela Cruz, 4th Special Forces Battalion commander, said the feuding families pledged, through a peace covenant, “to embrace peace and live in eternal harmony.”

The signing of the peace covenant was held at the headquarters of the 4th Special Forces Battalion in Barangay Cabunbata, Isabela City, the capital of Basilan province.

Dela Cruz said the almost six years of sporadic armed encounters between the feuding families “resulted in great damage of properties and unnecessary loss of innocent lives.”

The feuding families, together with the village officials of Lantawan, as a show of support and gratitude to the military, voluntarily surrendered their firearms to dela Cruz.

In turn, dela Cruz formally presented a total of 43 assorted high-powered firearms to Reyeg, during the signing of the peace covenant.

Reyeg, in his message during the ceremony, emphasized the importance of peace and order in the community.

“Ang amin pong tinututukan ay ang mga Barangay. Makakaasa kayo, sa mga nagsisilbi ng maayos sa kanilang mga Barangay, sa proteksyon at tulong ng Armed Forces of the Philippines na ibibigay sa inyo (We are focusing in the villages. Rest assured that those who serve well in their villages, the Armed Forces of the Philippines will protect and help you),”said the JTF-Basilan Commander.

He also affirmed the surrender of firearms by the respective barangay chairpersons as a welcome to peace and development.

He said the proliferation of loose firearms in the community is a contributory factor to the occurrence of feud locally known as “rido.”

The signing of the peace covenant culminated with warm embraces between members of the formerly feuding families.