NorCot peace and order councils find means to end MILF, MNLF land dispute

MATALAM, North Cotabato, July 19 (PNA) – The joint town councils of two adjoining North Cotabato towns have taken steps to put a stop to bickerings of Moro rebels triggered by long standing land dispute.

In a joint meeting of Municipal Peace and Order Councils of Matalam and Kabacan, three resolutions were passed hoping to address the armed conflict involving families of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) forces in Barangay Malamote which is shared by two towns.

North Cotabato Board Member Joemar Cerebo who represented Gov. Emmylou Mendoza in the meeting said the joint councils approved a resolution asking Gov. Mendoza to create an inter-agency task force on land dispute to specifically focused on armed conflict triggered by land ownership in the province.

Cerebo said the councils also passed a resolution address to the top leadership of the MNLF to help address the land conflict in Barangay Malamote and another resolution asking MILF leadership to intervene and help find lasting solution to the skirmishes.

Both the MILF and MNLF members claimed ownership and control of large patch of lands in Malamote, a remote village inhabited by both Muslims and non-Muslims.

One farmer was killed while about 50 families fled homes when farmers identified with either side traded bullets.

While both camps claimed ownership of about 50 hectares of farmlands neither of them could produce legal documents to prove their claims. (PNA)