Resolving Kalinga, Mt. Province tribes’ hostilities

>> Friday, February 12, 2021


The tribal dispute over border between the Betwagan and Bugnay tribes in Sadanga, Mountain Province and Tinglayan Kalinga respectively may take some time to be resolved, but somehow talks and the process are going on.
    The Police Regional Office Cordillera hosted a meeting with heads of regional government line agencies presided by  Cordillera police director Brig. Gen. R’win S Pagkalinawan  Feb. 3 at Camp Dangwa, regional police headquarters in La Trinidad, Benguet.
    The meeting was held for the fact-finding body to present result of their investigation regarding the dispute. In attendance were members of the police command group, provincial directors of Mountain Province and Kalinga, 503rd Brigade of 5th Infantry Division, Philippine Army, regional offices of Departments of Interior and Local Government, Public Works and Highways,         Environment and Natural Resources, Agriculture, National Economic and Development Authority and National Commission on Indigenous Peoples.
     Engineer Joseph Dilem of DENR’s surveys and mapping division presented map of the disputed area as per results of the inter-agency investigations and supported by testimonies of representatives of the neutral tribes.
    Sadanga mayor Gabino P. Ganggangan, who attended as  resource speaker, presented a comprehensive background of the boundary dispute based on his research. He gave a historical account of how the “Macli-ing boundary” came to be known as such.
    Problems encountered in the course of the fact-finding inquiry were identified, such as refusal of one party to recognize testimonies of neutral tribes’ representatives.
    Lawyer Wilson Kalangeg of Mountain Province NCIP, said it was the Saclit and Basao elders and officials who identified and sent their representatives during the Jan. 15 dialogue.
    To address this issue, it was agreed during the Feb. 3 meeting the two involved barangays should make resolution stating that representatives they send are authorized to speak in behalf of their respective tribes.
    Citing the recently reported shooting incident at the disputed site, Pagkalinawan said there was urgent need to establish the boundary to finally put an end to similar confrontations not only between the two tribes but others with similar problems.
    Considering both tribes agreed to a ceasefire, the border dispute sees a ray of hope of it being resolved in the near future.
    From an objective point of view, this is one laudable initiative of regional police headed by Brig. Gen. Pagkalinawan to bring peace between the two tribes.    


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