TABUK CITY, Kalinga – The timely intervention of veteran peacepact holders and provincial officials led to the diffusion of the brewing tension between tribesmen from the Tinglayan and Tulgao tribes following an unresolved boundary dispute.
Engr. Andres B. Ngao-I, president of the Cordillera Bodong Administration (CBA), said upon learning of the escalation of the unresolved boundary dispute into an armed conflict among members of the tribes, they immediately convened a meeting between the elders of both tribe and got them to agree for the stoppage of the full blown conflict and the declaration of peace zones to avoid the rift from being brought outside the conflict area.
“We are happy that elders from both tribes were made to agree for the suspension of the hostilities that erupted between the Tinglayan and Tulgao tribesmen to prevent the possible loss of lives and damage to properties on both sides. We hope that the elders will hold on to their commitment to maintain law and order in their respective tribes or else they will be the ones penalized if something wrong will happen in the future,” Ngao-I stressed.
The CBA official said tribal elders also agreed to make Tabuk City and Rizal towns as well as Cagayan and Isabela as peace zones to avoid members of both tribes from bringing their rift and conflict to the said areas that might affect the sources of livelihood and the studies of the members of both tribes who are in the said places.
He disclosed the bodong of both tribes was recently severed after the peace pact holder of the tribes failed in their negotiations to peacefully settle the boundary dispute between the two tribes.
Earlier, a 27-year old farmer belonging to the Tinglayan tribe was injured after he was allegedly shot on the head by still unidentified assailants believed to members of the Tulgao Tribe at Sitio Akafu, Poblacion, here, Tuesday afternoon.
Senior Superintendent Brent Majaco, provincial director of the Kalinga Provincial Police Office, identified the victim as Art Truth Ewad, 27, single, farmer, member of Tinglayan Tribe and resident of Ambato, Legleg, Poblacion, Tinglayan, Kalinga.
The alleged shooting incident was an offshoot of the reported unsettled boundary dispute between the Tinglayan and Tulgao tribes that prompted the police and military to deploy personnel in the disputed area to prevent the escalation of the incident into a full blown tribal war.
The victim was rushed to the Tinglayan Rural Health Unit for initial medical treatment but he was later referred to the Bontoc General Hospital for further observation.
The victim allegedly sustained a lone gunshot wound on his head as a result of the said shooting incident.
Initial skirmishes were reported in the disputed area prior to the interventions done by peace pact holders and provincial officials led by Acting Gov. James Edduba, who is a member of the Tulgao tribe. By HENT