BAUKO, Mountain Province – Sadanga Mayor Adolf Ganggangan underscored that there are numerous ways in achieving peace but it will be up to the feuding tribes of Betwagan and Bugnay to ascertain the right way in ending their decades old dispute to pave the way for progress and growth in their respective communities.
Ganggangan, whose late father former Sadanga Mayor Gabino Ganggangan was one of the pioneers of the historic Mount Data ‘sipat’ pointed out that provincial and municipal officials from Mountain Province and Kalinga expressed optimism in the eventual settlement of the said conflict that will allow people to freely pursue their daily routine without fear of being harmed by members of the other tribe and vice versa.
The younger Ganggangan was one of the local chief executives of Mountain Province that graced the 36th anniversary of the historic Mount Data ‘sipat’ or the exchange of peace tokens between the Philippine government under the leadership of the late President Corazon C. Aquino and the Cordillera Bodong Administration–Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army (CBA-CPLA) headed by late former rebel priest Conrado Balweg that was held at the Mount Data Hotel on September 13, 1986.
Mayor Ganggangan claimed that local officials are doing their best to find the right solution to the ongoing tribal conflict between the Betwagan Tribe of Sadanga and the Butbut Tribe of nearby Tinglayan, Kalinga that is why they are busy in the conduct of continuous dialogue with the concerned tribes to be able to work out the permanent solution to the conflict.
According to him, Sadanga municipal officials and tribal elders are fully supportive of the initiative of concerned sectors, especially Kalinga Gov. James Edduba, to work out the ‘win-win’ solution to the said conflict that started over 2 decades ago for both tribes to be able to move on and prioritize the growth and development of their communities instead of being fearful of their lives when going to tend their farms primarily due to the ongoing conflict.
The mayor stipulated that the peace covenant recently signed by Gov. Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr. and Gov. Edduba and the ongoing ceasefire agreed upon by elders of both tribes are clear indications of the achievement of lasting peace that will be beneficial to the members of both tribes as the same will be passed on to upcoming generations.
Some tribes of Mountain Province and Kalinga still adhere to the age-old and time-honored tradition of ‘bodong’ in settling inter-tribal disputes.
He emphasized that there are already ongoing initiatives on both sides on how to work out the appropriate solution to the conflict that is why the local government will leave the matter to the decision of the tribal elders on how to settle the conflict so that members of both tribes will be able to move on and start working towards the growth and progress of the remote villages.
The Betwagan Tribe belongs to barangay Betwagan in Sadanga while the Butbut Tribe compromises some 5 barangays in Tinglayan, Kalinga.