Google Earth map of Dinas town in Zamboanga del Sur in southern Philippines. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)
PAGADIAN CITY (Mindanao Examiner / Apr. 12, 2013) – An undetermined number of people were believed killed when two warring families clashed at sea in the southern Philippines, police said on Friday.
It said the protagonists – who are members of the Lam and Lao families - arrived in boats and engaged in a fierce sea battle off the town of Dinas in Zamboanga del Sur province.
Insp. Ariel Huesca, a regional police spokesman, said Lam’s boat was sunk by Lao’s family in the fighting. “The boat sunk with undetermined number of passengers,” he said.
He said the Lam’s family is native of Dimataling town, while the Lao’s is from Dinas town. He said the fighting was the result of a long time family feud, but it was not immediately known what triggered the latest clashes.
Clan war or locally known as “rido” is common in many parts of the southern Philippines. The U.S. Agency for International Development and think-tank Asia Foundation said that more than 3,000 people have been killed over the past seven decades in family feuds in the southern Philippines.
Rido can involve disputes among family members or among two or more rival families, pitting neighbors or different ethnic groups against each other. The disputes center on issues of land, money, marriage or political power and involve revenge killings.
The violence increases with each act of retaliation, broadening to include those not directly involved in the dispute, including women and children, according to the Asia Foundation, adding, some feuds lasted for decades. (Mindanao Examiner)