TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Gov. James Edubba underscored the importance of the reign of law and order in speeding up the growth and development of remote communities and the provincial government is inclined to work hard for the settlement of the tribal conflict between the Butbut tribe of Tinglayan town and the Betwagan Tribe of nearby Sadanga, Mountain Province.
Edubba stated that it is usually the children, women, senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs) that are affected whenever there are skirmishes between the members of the two tribes as they usually scamper for safety whenever they hear gunshots when they are working in their farms.
The governor pointed out that the Butbut-Betwagan tribal conflict is the only remaining dispute among tribes in the region thus it is one of the major thrusts of the concerned local governments to settle this to achieve the primary objective of making the Cordillera the most peaceful place in the country.
He recognized the efforts of the previous administrations of both Kalinga and Mountain Province to settle the dispute and that the present administrations will pursue the difficult task of looking for ways how to make the elders of both tribes agree to go back to the drawing board to discuss ways to settle the rift.
According to him, law and order is still the best option to help spur growth and progress in remote communities so that investors will have the confidence to put up their businesses and create jobs and economic activities for those communities.
Edubba admitted that finding solutions to the said dispute might take a longer time to make the elders of both tribes to agree but this should not deter them from pursuing the road to peace so that members of the warring tribes can freely pass through their respective boundaries without unduly harming each other.
The provincial chief executive claimed that it is important that Mountain Province Gov. Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr. is open to the idea of going back to the drawing board to review the gains of the previous negotiations and try to find acceptable terms for the settlement of the conflict.
Earlier, Edubba personally attended the kick off ceremony of the 35th founding anniversary of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) held at the St. Mary’s School, Inc. in Sagada, Mountain Province last July 1, 2022 to personally talk to his counterpart for them to continue pursuing the negotiations to find a feasible solution to the said long standing dispute for the reign of lasting peace in the region.
Kalinga practices the traditional ‘bodong’ or the so-called peace pact between feuding tribes which is achieved through the intercession of the so-called ‘binudngan’ or the peace pact holders that led to the settlement of brewing tribal disputes in the past.
Initially, Edubba is recommending that the two feuding tribes enter into the traditional ‘sipat’ or the exchange of peace tokens to prevent the escalation of further violent incidents in the coming days which will be part of the confidence building measures for the realization of lasting peace in the disputed area.