TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Regional and local peace advocates are nearing the possible resolution of the brewing tribal conflict between the Betwagan Tribe of Sadanga, Mountain Province and the Butbut Tribe of Tinglayan, Kalinga to achieve lasting law and order in the Cordillera.
Gov. James Edduba stated that over the past several weeks, the provincial peace and order council (PPOC) had been sending elders to meet with leaders of the Butbut Tribe and present to them the proposal of the Betwagan Tribe on how to gain headway on the ongoing peace talks.
Further, he added that these elders will also be visiting the leaders of the Betwagan Tribe to apprise them of the possible counter-proposal of the Butbut Tribe to allow them to find ways how to work out a possible solution to the conflict that is acceptable to the feuding tribes.
“We want to put an end to the ongoing tribal conflict because it is the only tribal war that has not yet been settled or had not achieved a settlement in the region. We want to preserve and protect the identity of the Cordillera as the most peaceful region in the country that is why we do not want such conflicts to exist,” Edduba stressed.
The governor stipulated that the provincial government will aggressively work on the attainment of a possible settlement of the tribal war to help in enhancing the province’s harmonious relationship with their counterparts in Mountain Province.
He admitted that while it will take some time for the conflict to be resolved because of certain pressing issues and concerns that might have an impact on the tribes, concerned stakeholders are willing to slowly discuss the sensitivity of issues with leaders of both tribes until they reach a clear understanding leading to the eventual settlement of the dispute.
Earlier, Edduba personally relayed his intention to find possible ways of solving the tribal conflict between Butbut and Betwagan tribes to Mountain Province Gov. Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr. during the kick off program of the 35th founding anniversary of the Cordillera Administrative Region held last July 1, 2022 at the St. Mary’s School, Inc. Gymnasium in Sagada, Mountain Province.
For his part, Lacwasan immediately conducted a series of consultations with the Betwagan Tribe to elicit their collective position on the matter where they proposed that all animals of the members of both tribes that are within the disputed area should be removed prior to the proposed exchange of peace tokens and succeeding rituals leading to the formulation of a peace agreement in the future.
The Mountain Province official already relayed the position of the Betwagan Tribe to his counterpart in Kalinga which is now the subject of presentation to the leaders of the Butbut Tribe to elicit their opinion and possible counter-proposal if there will be any, so that negotiators can push through with future actions for the realization of lasting peace in the remote villages of the region.
The Betwagan Tribe belongs to a barangay in Sadanga while the Butbut Tribe is located in 5 barangays of Tinglayan, Kalinga.