Marawi boosts community policing system amid 'rido' fears

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 21 2017 06:17 PM | Updated as of Dec 21 2017 06:25 PM

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MANILA - Local officials are bent at preventing the cycle of violence in conflict-stricken Marawi City amid concerns that affected residents may wage a "rido" or clan war against relatives of those who joined or sympathized with the terrorist Maute group, which laid siege on the city for five months.

Zia Alonto Adiong, Lanao del Sur Crisis Management Committee spokesman, said officials want to channel this desire to retaliate into the local government's efforts to prevent re-emerging threats and the rise of violent extremism.

"We're channeling this resentment, this idea to, instead of retaliating, make sure that there are mechanisms to prevent... It's going to be a community effort to prevent the rise of violent extremism or to avoid any other attacks," he told ANC Wednesday. 

Adiong said it would be better to leave the task of running after sympathizers and members of the Islamic State-linked group to government. 

He said the local government is already conducting training sessions among local officials to improve the community policing system.

"Rido" is common in Muslim areas in Mindanao where families settle differences by means of violence. The Asia Foundation, a think tank which had closely studied rido, said in a report that from 2000 to 2004 alone, there had been around 637 cases of rido.

Rehabilitation efforts are already underway in Marawi City, which was ravaged by firefights between state troops and terrorists from May to October. 

Martial law, first declared over all of Mindanao when clashes erupted in Marawi in May, remains in effect in the region. 

President Rodrigo Duterte had requested for Congress to extend the period of martial law until the end of next year citing persistent security threats despite the end of hostilities in the Islamic city.