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Lanao governor sets example of stopping cycle of clan war violence after ambush 


LANAO del Sur Governor Mamintal A. Adiong, Jr. and his family cheered the fast case resolution of his near fatal ambush on Feb. 17, where four of his companions died, and vowed not to take any retaliatory action in the tradition of rido or clan wars. 

The leader of the attackers, Oscar Capal Gandawali, known to authorities as the head of a criminal gang engaged in gun-for-hire and illegal drugs, was killed last week in a gunfight with policemen who tried to arrest him. 

Cases had also been filed against the gunmen who attacked the convoy of Mr. Adiong in Maguing, Lanao del Sur. 

“I am grateful to the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region and the Lanao del Sur Provincial Police Office for the rigid investigation on the incident, which is a step forward in our quest for justice,” the governor said on Wednesday. 

Mr. Adiong, a scion of Lanao del Sur’s politically influential Adiong ang Alonto clans, said he will never resort to retaliation to set an example to his constituents in the province’s 39 towns and the capital Marawi City. 

“We shall leave everything to the judiciary,” he said. 

Rido is rooted in traditional settlement processes, such as a means of extracting swift justice especially in cases involving clan honor and pride. It persisted in areas in southern Philippines where the government’s justice system is considered weak. 

Lanao del Sur accounts for most cases of still unresolved clan wars in the Bangsamoro region that also covers Maguindanao del Sur, Maguindanao del Norte, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, and the cities of Marawi, Cotabato and Lamitan. 

Bangsamoro Local Government Minister Naguib G. Sinarimbo said he is thankful to Mr. Adiong for his non-confrontational stance despite the deadly ambush.  

“His restraint is admirable. His relatives are towing the line. It is good,” Mr. Sinarimbo said on Wednesday.    

Mr. Adiong and his office aide, Ali Tabao, were badly wounded in the attack that killed driver Hassanor Pundaodaya and their police escorts, Mohammad Jurai Mipanga Adiong, Johanie Lawi Sumandar, and Jalil Ampuan Cosain. — John M. Unson  

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