Rido, or feuding between families and clans, is a type of conflict centered in the Philippine region of Mindanao, and is characterized by sporadic outbursts of retaliatory violence between families and kinship groups, as well as between communities. It can occur in areas where the government or a central authority is weak as well as in areas where there is a perceived lack of justice and security. "Rido" is a Maranao term commonly used in Mindanao to refer to clan feuds. It is considered one of the major problems in Mindanao because apart from numerous casualties, rido has caused destruction of property, crippled the local economy, and displaced families.
Located in the southern Philippines, Mindanao is home to a majority of the country’s Muslim community and includes the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Mindanao is a region suffering from poor infrastructure, high poverty rates, and violence that has claimed the lives of more than 120,000 people in the last three decades. There is a widely held stereotype that the violence is perpetrated by armed groups that resort to terrorism to further their political goals, but the actual situation is far more complex. While the Muslim-Christian conflict and the state-rebel conflicts dominate popular perceptions and media attention, a survey commissioned by The Asia Foundation in 2002 and further verified by a recent Social Weather Stations survey revealed that citizens are more concerned about the prevalence of rido and its negative impact on their communities than the conflict between the state and rebel groups. The unfortunate interaction and subsequent confusion of rido-based violence with secessionism, communist insurgency, banditry, military involvement and other forms of armed violence shows that violence in Mindanao is more complicated than what is commonly believed.
The causes of rido are varied and may be further complicated by a society’s concept of honor and shame, an integral aspect of the social rules that determine accepted practices in the affected communities. The trigger of conflicts range from petty offenses, such as theft and jesting, to more serious crimes, like homicide. These are further aggravated by land disputes and political rivalries, the most common causes of rido. Proliferation of firearms, lack of law enforcement and credible mediators in conflict-prone areas, and an inefficient justice system further contribute to instances of rido.
Studies on rido have documented a total of 1,266 rido cases between the 1930s and 2005, which have killed over 5,500 people and displaced thousands. The four provinces with the highest numbers of rido incidences are: Lanao del Sur (377), Maguindanao (218), Lanao del Norte (164), and Sulu (145). Incidences in these four provinces account for 71% of the total documented cases. The findings also show a steady rise in rido conflicts in the eleven provinces surveyed from the 1980s to 2004. According to the studies, during 2002-2004, 50% (637 cases) of total rido incidences occurred, equaling about 127 new rido cases per year. Out of the total number of rido cases documented, 64% remain unresolved.
Resolution of Conflicts
Rido conflicts are either resolved, unresolved, or reoccur. Although the majority of these cases remain unresolved, there have been many resolutions through different conflict-resolving bodies and mechanisms. These cases utilize the formal procedures of the Philippine government and/or the various indigenous systems. Formal methods may involve official courts, local government officials, police, and the military. Indigenous methods to resolve conflicts usually involve elder leaders who use local knowledge, beliefs, and practices, as well as their own personal influence, to help repair and restore damaged relationships. Some cases using this approach involve the payment of blood money to resolve the conflict. Hybrid mechanisms include the collaboration of government, religious, and traditional leaders in resolving conflicts through the formation of collaborative groups. Furthermore, the institutionalization of traditional conflict resolution processes into laws and ordinances has been successful with the hybrid method approach. Other conflict-resolution methods include the establishment of ceasefires and the intervention of youth organizations.
Rido has wider implications for conflict in Mindanao primarily because it tends to interact in unfortunate ways with separatist conflict and other forms of armed violence. Many armed confrontations in the past involving insurgent groups and the military were triggered by a local rido. The studies mentioned above investigated the dynamics of rido with the intention of helping design strategic interventions to address such conflicts.
- Torres, Wilfredo M (ed). 2007. “Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao.” Makati: The Asia Foundation.
- Kreuzer, Peter. 2005. “Political Clans and Violence in the Southern Mindanao.” Frankfurt: Peace Research Institute Frankfurt. <http://www.hsfk.de/downloads/PRIF-71.pdf>
- Torres, Wilfredo M (ed). 2007. “Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao.” Makati: The Asia Foundation. <http://ridomap.com/downloads/rido_full_text.pdf>
- Torres, Wilfredo M. (2010); “Letting A Thousand Flowers Bloom: Clan Conflicts and their Management.” From the Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network (ADRRN) publication Challenges to Human Security in Complex Situations: The Case of Conflict in the Southern Philippines. <http://www.adrrn.net/recentupdates/Challenges%20to%20Human%20Security%20in%20Complex.pdf>
“Maratabat and the Maranaos” From the blog of Datu Jamal Ashley Yahya Abbas, “Reflections on the Bangsa Moro.” Posted May 1, 2007. <http://jamalashley.blogsome.com/2007/05/01/maratabat-and-the-maranaos/>
“Rido and its Influence on the Academe, NGOs and the Military” An essay from the website of the Balay Mindanaw Foundation, Inc. Posted on February 28, 2007. <http://www.balaymindanaw.org/bmfi/essays/2007/02rido.html>
“2 clans in Matanog settle rido, sign peace pact” From the MindaNews website. Posted on January 30, 2008. <http://www.mindanews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3737&Itemid=50>
“Villages in “rido” area return home” From the MindaNews website. Posted on November 1, 2007. < http://www.mindanews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3181&Itemid=50>
“15 clan feuds settled in Lanao; rido tops cause of evacuation more than war” From the MindaNews website. Posted on July 13, 2007. < http://www.mindanews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2836&Itemid=75>
“’Rido’ seen major Mindanao security concern” From the Inquirer website. Posted on November 17, 2006. < http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/metroregions/view_article.php?article_id=33302>
“Children as teacher-facilitators for peace” From the Inquirer website. Posted on September 29, 2007. < http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/regions/view_article.php?article_id=91528>
"Rido", From The Asia Foundation Rido Map website. <http://ridomap.com/>