Kalinga deals with another tribal conflict

TABUK CITY, KALINGA – In the wake of the ‘sipat’ or the exchange of peace tokens between Tinglayan and Tulgao, a new land dispute between the tribes of Dacalan and Ga-ang was brought to the attention of the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC).

The boundary dispute between Dacalan and Ga-ang was escalated to the PPOC after a series of failed negotiations.

In a special meeting on Wednesday representatives of Dacalan and Ga-ang reported that arbitration by Tanudan Mayor Johnwell Tiggangay had failed to settle the boundary dispute, and so did another negotiation taken up at the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

The PPOC decided to defer the matter to the Municipal Peace and Order Council (MPOC) and would proceed depending on the latter’s course of action.

The PPOC also moved for the restoration of the ‘sipat’ between the two tribes to facilitate peaceful talks and to prevent a repeat of the violence seen in the Tinglayan and Tulgao conflict. In August, failed negotiations had led to a gunfight that wounded a member of the Tinglayan tribe and nearly sparked a full-blown tribal war.

Earlier this month Dacalan Barangay Captain Alejandro Dinnao sought the help of the Philippine Army to escort back to Dacalan the teachers and elders who attended the Indigenous Peoples’ Summit in Tabuk City.  Fear of aggression from members of the Ga-ang tribe had kept the teachers and elders in the capital for days after failed attempts to settle the boundary dispute.

Engr. Andres Ngao-i and other representatives of the Kalinga Bodong Council (KBC) are given until next week to work on the restoration of the ‘sipat’ between Dacalan and Ga-ang, beginning with the designation of a ‘sipat’ holder.

Until peace tokens are exchanged the decades-old ‘bodong’ or peace pact between Dacalan and Ga-ang is considered broken.

Meanwhile, Acting Governor James Edduba reported that it is only a matter of time before the ‘bodong’ of Tinglayan and Tolgao. “It will definitely happen. Let’s wait until things have simmered down,” Edduba said.

By Iryll Sicnao

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