Clash sends hundreds fleeing in Maguindanao town

February 17, 2018 - 9:21 AM
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COTABATO CITY, Philippines — Hundreds of families were reported to have fled their homes in two villages of Datu Abdullah Sangki after fighting broke out between followers of two Moro Islamic Liberation Front commanders.

Authorities said the fighting between the men of the commanders identified as “Bags” and “Datu Kob” appeared to have worsened following reports that the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters had joined the fray in Sitio Kalandagan, Barangay Kaya-Kaya and Old Maganoy Area.

The initial investigation indicated that a land conflict triggered the hostilities.

The town has been gripped by tension over controversies involving Delinanas Banana Plantation, a contractor of food giant Del Monte, which has been attacked several times over issues such as its failure to pay rent to landowners.

The plantation has been temporarily shut down until the problems besetting it have been resolved.

Odjie Balayman, the town administrator, said they are still working to find out if there have been casualties in the fighting.