TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Gov. James Edubba called on members of both the Butbut tribe of Tinglayan town and Betwagan tribe of Sadanga, Mountain Province to stop the harassments they are doing in their disputed area to allow the ongoing peace initiatives to prosper for the realization of lasting peace in their communities.
Edubba pointed out that both the Kalinga and Mountain Province peace and order councils will be compelled to apply for the issuance of search warrants for both the police and military to search all the houses of the members of these tribes to confiscate all loose firearms in their possession if such harassments by both tribes will not stop.
“We do not want the prevailing tense situation to worsen that is why we are doing our best to put things in order to prevent the further loss of lives and damage to properties in the disputed area. Our goal is to have both feuding tribes agree to the peace initiatives to end the decades-old conflict,” Gov. Edubba stressed.
Last December 28, 2022, a member of the Betwagan tribe was found lifeless in the disputed area after several burst of gunfire was heard emanating from the area.
The provincial governor disclosed that even the camp of the personnel of the Kalinga Provincial Police Office was reportedly hit by stray bullets that came for the several burst of gunfire that emanated from the disputed area.
According to him, local officials of both Kalinga and Mountain Province do not understand why there are members of both tribes who still continue to be involved in harassment activities in the disputed area that might worsen the situation instead of gaining headway for the realization of lasting peace that will allow people to be able to freely move around and pursue their economic activities without fear of being harmed.
Edubba claimed that he already made several calls to his counterpart Mountain Province Gov. Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr., Sadanga Mayor Adolf Ganggangan and Tinglayan Mayor Sacrament Gomilab to ensure that the government is still in control of the situation and to exert all efforts to prevent the situation from escalating as the same will be detrimental to the ongoing peace initiatives of the concerned government officials.
Earlier, Gov. Lacwasan appealed for calm and sobriety from members of both tribes to prevent the situation from escalating because it will surely affect the peace initiatives being undertaken by concerned parties.
The Betwagan tribe comes from the Betwagan barangay in Sadanga, Mountain Province while the Butbut tribe inhabit some 5 barangays in Tinglayan, Kalinga.
Last July 1, 2022, Gov. Edubba personally met with Gov. Lacwasan at the sidelines of the kick off program of the 35th founding anniversary of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) held in Sagada, Mountain Province to convey his intention to have the feuding tribes agree on a ceasefire and eventually on a peace pact that will put an end to the brewing hostilities between the 2 tribes in the disputed area.
This meeting was followed by a series of meetings by concerned provincial and municipal officials as well as elders from both tribes to find ways on how to achieve lasting peace in the said communities.