ISABELA CITY, Basilan, Dec 7 (PIA) - Conflicting families in Lantawan town finally made peace and surrendered some 43 high-powered firearms recently.
The Army's Fourth Special Forces Battalion (4SFBn) here said that the efforts of the military is historic in bringing together warring families to a peace covenant and surrender of firearms.
As a show of support and gratitude to the military, the feuding families together with their respective Barangay Chairpersons of Lantawan Municipality voluntarily surrendered their firearms.
Lieutenant Colonel Achilles A. Dela Cruz, 4SFBn commander said the feuding families from Barangay Lawi-Lawi have finally settled their clan war, locally known as "Rido", and pledged through a peace covenant to embrace peace and live in harmony.
"For almost six years, there were sporadic armed confrontations between the feuding families which resulted in great damage of properties and unnecessary loss of innocent lives," he said.
LTC Dela Cruz presented a total of 43 assorted high-powered firearms to Brigadier General Fernando M. Reyeg, commander of the 101st Brigade and Joint Task Force-Basilan.
In his message, Brigadier General Reyeg 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 on the villages. To those who are serving well in their barangays, rest assured of the army's protection and help)", said the JTF-Basilan Commander.
Brigadier General Reyeg also affirmed the surrender of firearms by the respective Barangay Chairpersons as a welcome desire and commitment of the officials to peace and development.
According to him, the proliferation of loose firearms in the community is contributory to the existence of Rido.
"Kapag may mga baril [loose firearms] sa ating paligid, yan ay isang mitsa ng kaguluhan (The presence of loose firearms sparks conflict in the community," Reyeg further explained.
The activity ended with warm embraces between the members of the formerly feuding families. (EDT/RVC/PIA9-Basilan with reports from 1Lt Clint AG Ramos-CMO/4SFB/PA)