When a bunch of aggrieved Muslims from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front descended on a plot of land in a Christian Farm Town being tended by farmers in the Cotabato province of the Philippines, they quickly discovered that they had chosen the wrong people to harass.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that when the Muslims arrived, the farmers, presumed to be Christians, pulled out their weapons and fired back, thus starting a firefight that reportedly lasted three hours.
The firefight provoked at least 64 families and more than 200 individuals into fleeing the area, and it also left three of the farmers dead: Renato Tadiaque, Anthony Camiring; and Loloy Lumacad.
When it comes to why the Islamists chose to invade, things become significantly more complicated.
The Inquirer explained that it all stems from some land dispute between the farmers who tend the land and the Islamists who tried to invade it. Moreover, the Cotabato government has been working since 2013 to investigate and resolve the conflict, but apparently, these efforts have failed.
Speaking on behalf of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, a member named Von Al-Haq added that this dispute was one of many grievances his Islamic peers had with the Christians of the Philippines.
The Christian farmers and their families remain our prayers, lest violent Islamists return for another round of unnecessary violence.