Ex-GenSan dad, 74 others nabbed over land dispute in TboliPosted on
GENERAL SANTOS CITY--A person was wounded while 75 others–including a former city councilor here–were arrested after violence erupted Sunday morning in a disputed ancestral land in the outskirts of Tboli town, South Cotabato province.
Maj. Irish Hezron Parangan, chief of Tboli municipal police station, said on Monday that a group of land claimants allegedly harassed and destroyed at least 20 shanties owned by members of the Palon family at a portion of Sito Pagang in Barangay Basag past 7 a.m.
Parangan said the Palons were occupants of a portion of ancestral land in the village that was also being claimed by a group of residents from the city led by former City Councilor Minda Atendido.
Carrying high-powered firearms and bladed weapons, he said the claimants led by Atendido reportedly stormed the site and harassed the occupants.
An occupant identified as Junjun Menson Daroy, 21, sustained a gunshot wound from an undetermined firearm during the attack, he said.
During the clearing operations past 9 a.m. along with elements from the Army’s 11th Special Forces Company, Parangan said they found the armed suspects on site along with the former city councilor.
Recovered from the alleged attackers, who were mostly residents of this city, were five high-powered firearms and dozens of assorted bladed and other homemade weapons, he said.
The suspects are currently in the custody of the Tboli municipal police station.
“We’re initially filing frustrated murder and malicious complaints against them,” Parangan told PNA in an interview.
The police official clarified that they were not taking sides over the land dispute and they only intervened to pacify the involved parties and prevent the further escalation of violence.
Tboli Mayor Dibu Tuan said the police and military were forced to step into the situation as there were already firearms and harassments involved.
He said the municipal government earlier tried several times to mediate and settle the dispute between the claiming parties but later distanced after it reached the court.
The disputed ancestral land of the Blaan tribe in Barangay Basag covers a total of 297 hectares.
“This is a serious problem that should be resolved as soon as possible,” the mayor said. -PNA