Philippines

IDP Protection Assessment Report - Forced Displacement in Brgy. Gadungan, Sultan sa Barongis, Maguindanao (IDPPAR no. 03, Issue no. 01, 2021)

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INCIDENT BACKGROUND

On 26 February 2021 at around 11 o’clock in the evening, a firefight ensued in Brgy. Gadungan, Sultan sa Barongis Municipality. Based on the information from the local government unit, the group of the village chieftain in Brgy. Gadungan and an armed group allegedly affiliated with National Guard of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front- Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (MILF-BIAF) were involved in the firefight due to long standing dispute that remains unsettled and triggered by the provocative acts from both parties. The incident resulted to the death of one person and wounded four persons who were involved in the firefight. The said gunfight led to the displacement of approximately 204 families approximately 1,020 individuals who were forced to flee their homes in Brgy. Gadungan and have sought refuge in Sitio Libul, Brgy. Kulambog in the same municipality.

CURRENT SITUATION

On 2 March 2021, a joint field assessment was conducted by Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD– BARMM), Community and Family Services International (CFSI), and local officials of Sultan Sa Barongis – Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officer and, Municipal Social Welfare Officer at the following displacement sites: (1) Sitio Proper 1 and 2, Pangawilan of Barangay Gadungan; and (2) Sitio Leba, Barangay Kulambog, all in Sultan Sa Barongis Municipality. Based on the data gathered in the assessment, there were 204 families that are still displaced and have sought temporary shelter with their relatives that are in Barangay Gadungan and Barangay Kulambog.

The tension between the warring factions was pacified by a task force that was formed to serve as negotiating panel. The task force is composed of representatives from Local Government Unit (LGU), Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH), MILF leaders from the national guard of BIAF and the 105th Base Command, 33rd Infantry Battalion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), and the council of elders.

Based on actual interview with the IDPs, the task force has informed them that they can safely return to their places of origin. Most of the displaced families are reluctant to return because of fear from the reoccurrence of firefight as the conflict between the parties remain unsettled.