TABUK CITY, Kalinga – The Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) recently crafted short, medium and long-term strategies to prevent the escalation of the Mabungtot-Lubuagan conflict into a full-blown tribal war that might result to the isolation of some communities and negatively impact on the economic activities of members of both tribes.
Gov. James S. Edduba presided over the recent council meeting where various agencies were tasked to perform certain functions that will help in diffusing the tension between the two tribes and lessen the impact of the rift to lives and property while allowing tribal members to pursue their economic activities.
The council tasked the Philippine National Police (PNP) to affect a round-the-clock mobile and foot patrols in the conflict area to prevent members of both tribes from engaging in armed confrontations that tend to sow fear among the people living in the affected communities
Further, the PNP was also tasked to deploy personnel to live with the members of both tribes to ensure that the indiscriminate firing of firearms that tend to harass the residents will be avoided and for the law enforcers to arrest the members of the Mabungtot sub- tribe who were said to be responsible for a shooting incident that led to the untimely demise of a farmer who belongs to the Lubuagan tribe.
On the other hand, the council requested the education department to implement the modular mode of learning among the pupils and students within the affected barangays of Mabungtot, Mabilong and Antonio Canao to prevent them from being caught in the crossfire in case there will be skirmishes between members of both tribes while efforts are being done to settle the said conflict.
DepEd representative Judybelle N. Campus reported that they had conducted an outreach program by giving school supplies to Barangay Mabungtot.
However, they had to ask the parents to meet them at Barangay Taloctoc and requested that they could deliver it directly to Mabongtot to avoid complications.
Father George Manisem appealed to all the council members to help the teachers with the mobilization of school supplies to Taloctoc in support of the DepEd’s relief operation for the affected families.
Edduba also mobilized the provincial social welfare and development office to conduct the necessary relief operations in the affected barangays to ensure the provision of family food packs to the affected residents who are not able to do their regular farming activities because of the ongoing conflict.
The governor rallied uniformed personnel to further increase their visibility in the conflict areas to prevent the occurrence of untoward incidents that may cause the rift to escalate while efforts are being done to defuse the brewing tension. The council reminded both tribes of an existing covenant that the ongoing conflict between them should not escalate in other areas outside their respective places to avoid the disruption of law and order in places like Tabuk City and other areas outside the province.
Members of the Lubuagan tribe requested their counterparts from the Mabungtot sub-tribe to voluntarily surrender to the concerned authorizes the suspects responsible for the killing of their fellow tribesman but the latter claimed that the suspects in the recent shooting incident went into hiding in the forested area of their barangay although they are still the subject of an ongoing manhunt operation by the law enforcers.