The Evolution of Ilaga in Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte towards Peace

Cecilia B Tangian, Dianne S Basergo, Arnel L Huilar


Tacub, a barangay (village) of Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte is located 18 kilometers away from Iligan City. The barangay is home to fishermen, farmers, cattle herders, and a few land owners. Among other barangays, this is the one mostly populated with Christians, while the closest Maranao barangay is Inudaran. Most of the landowners in Tacub raise animals and produce coconuts. In 2000 and 2008, these two neighboring barangays became the sites-of- conflict between the MILF, government soldiers, and Ilaga. Ilaga is the focal point of this study and it is concerned with their activities in and around Tacub. The interviews undertaken validated ‘hearsay’ of its presence, although the respondents denied their involvements for fear of being apprehended. As to their activities and their mode of operation, now some are politician’s bodyguards while others are ‘men-for-hire’. Conversely, others are passive, only concerned about making their daily living. Some landowners in Tacub have resorted to selling their properties to the Maranaos at Inudaran, while others have opted to reduce their time spent in the mountain habitat.

Keywords: ILAGA, MILF, Maranao, Landowners, Chrsitians

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