TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Department of National Defense Senior Undersecretary and Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unification (OPAPRU) Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. is bullish on the immediate settlement of the ongoing tribal conflict between the Betwagan tribe of Sadanga, Mountain Province and the Butbut tribe of Tinglayan, Kalinga for the attainment of lasting peace in the whole region.
Gov. James Edduba said that Secretary Galvez informed Kalinga provincial officials of his desire for the immediate settlement of the tribal conflict that is why he wants to set another meeting with their counterparts from Mountain Province to assess and evaluate the existing conflict.
He disclosed that he even wrote Mountain Province Gov. Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr. to personally attend the Awong chi Gangsa, Agtun chi Banga event of the province’s 28th founding anniversary and 4th Bodong festival to appraise Secretary Galvez of the situation on the ground.
“We will do our best to find lasting solutions to the Betwagan-Butbut conflict so that we will be able to achieve lasting peace in these communities. We do not want that tension will continue to reign in the area because it is the people from both tribes that are affected,” Gov. Edduba stressed.
The governor pointed out that Secretary Galvez already signified his intention to help in resolving the decades-old conflict that is why he also extended an invitation for him to visit the government official in his office in Metro Manila to extensively discuss the issues and concerns surrounding this conflict and to work out possible solutions in coordination with their counterparts from Mountain Province.
Last December 28, 2022, the tribal conflict between the 2 tribes heated up after a member of the Betwagan tribe was found lifeless when several gunshots were heard emanating from the disputed area.
According to him, the provincial government is inclined to work for the realization of lasting peace with the immediate settlement of the ongoing tribal dispute and that every action that is being undertaken will be leading towards that agenda because the attainment of peace in the area will lead to the realization of growth and development in the communities.
Kalinga is known for the successful implementation of the so-called ‘bodong’ or peace pact between feuding tribes to prevent such conflicts from escalating that will pose a serious threat to law and order among the involved tribes and the communities that they belong.
Edduba pointed out that it should be made clear between the members of both tribes that they should not bring to other communities outside their places the ongoing conflict so that it will not also derail the ongoing peace initiatives of the other local governments where members of both tribes also reside.
The ‘bodong’ is an age-old tradition of the people of Kalinga passed down to generations to ensure the continuous reign of law and order in their respective communities once there will be conflicts that may arise between the members of feuding tribes as the primary concept of this practice is to allow the feuding tribes to peacefully settle their disputes through customary laws and practices.