BANGUED, Abra – Vice governor Ronald Balao-as suggested to concerned parties the use of the provincial board as a neutral ground to possibly settle the emerging tribal dispute between tribesmen from Tuba, Abra and Besao, Mountain Province as a result of the brutal murder of three eel gathers from Agawa, Besao who were killed by still unidentified suspects believed to be residents of Baclingayan, Tuba in a river in the said place last month.
Balao-as made the suggestion after tribesmeand local officials from Besao requested the provincial government for the needed assistance for the immediate resolution of the murder of the 3 youngsters in the jurisdiction of Tubo, Abra.
“We are suggesting to the tribal leaders and local officials of Besao the use of the provincial board as a neutral ground to seek for justice on the brutal murder of their colleagues because we want the matter to be peacefully settled. Besao people will be at a disadvantage if they insist in going to Tubo to locate the suspect because they will only get denials from the residents in the said municipality,” Vice governor Balao-as stressed.
The vice governor said that the provincial board will always be open to the tribesmen from both municipalities as a neutral venue for the settlement of the dispute that was created by the murder incident to prevent whatever untoward incidents that will arise because of the failure of both parties to settle the case.
Last month, 3 natives of Agawa, Besao, Mountain Province were brutally murdered by a still unidentified suspect at Baclingayan, Tubo, Abra.
The 3 Besao natives went to the area to gather eel from the river when they were allegedly shot and hacked to death by the still unidentified suspect.
Some eleven fully loaded vehicles from Besao with posters marked justice for the 3 ‘pagpag’ boys went to Tubo town last Wednesday to protest the brutal murder incident and to call on possible witnesses to come out in the open and identify the culprit.
Besao Mayor Johnson Bantog II welcomed the suggestion of Vice governor Balao-as for the use of the provincial board as a neutral ground to settle the emerging dispute between the people of the two municipalities, saying that he will consult the tribal elders of his town to get their stand on the said offer so that something could be achieved in the future.
Bantog said that resolutions passed by the municipal council condemning the brutal murder of the 3 Besao natives and requesting the Abra provincial government to extend whatever assistance for the immediate resolution of the conflict were already transmitted to the provincial officials of Abra for their appropriate action.
He expressed his gratitude to vice Governor Balao-as for offering the provincial board as a neutral ground for the settlement of the dispute, saying that he will relay to the Abra official whatever will be the outcome of his dialogue with the tribal elders so that appropriate moves could be done to eventually abate a brewing conflict between the people from the two remote towns in the Cordillera.
Bantog claimed that affidavits of possible witnesses to the brutal murder of the 3 Besao natives are in the possession of tribal leaders to support the filing of the case against the possible suspect if the same will not be settled. By HENT