TINGLAYAN, Kalinga –The tension between the Tulgao and Tongrayan tribes was defused after both tribes agreed to undergo the ‘bodong’ process through the ‘sipat’ and the exchange of tokens signalling the end of hostilities among the involved tribesmen.
Engr. Andres Ngao-I, president of the Cordillera Bodong Administration (CBA), said the elders of both tribes already accepted the tokens offered to each other during the initial bodong process last week, a welcome development among members of both tribes signalling the end of hostilities so members of both tribes can freely move even in the disputed area.
“We will no longer allow government process to take their course because of the involvement of the element of time which is already uncertain, thus, we will embrace age-old customary practices to solve the dispute as soon as the elders of the tribes are ready to agree on the possible solution to the conflict,” Ngao-i stressed.
The CBA official said from the time of the exchange of tokens by the involved tribes, the so-called ‘sipat holders’ will prepare for the ‘singlit’ wherein the tribal elders will discuss among themselves how to settle their boundary dispute which triggered the conflict and the same will be formalized in traditional ceremonies involving the tribal leaders and members of the municipal and provincial peace and order councils.
According to him, it has always been proven in the past that the customary practices of indigenous peoples in the Cordillera are far better in ending brewing conflicts compared to the tedious government process that eat up much time even up to decades without settling the problems.
Earlier, the members of the Tulgao and Tongrayan tribes were involved in several skirmishes after their long-standing boundary dispute over a ridge between their villages was not settled which prompted local elders to intervene until elders of broth tribes agreed to undergo the bodong process.
Ngao-i expressed his gratitude to elders of both tribes for their persistence in finding a lasting solution to end the tension and prevent possible loss of lives and damage to properties that will affect the prevailing peace and order situation in the villages and the municipality and prevent the tainting of the image of the province as one of the peaceful local governments not only in the region but also in the Northern Luzon area.
He called on members of both tribes to be sober in dealing with the situation because a likely solution over their disputed area could be reached once they will formalize the proposals on how to address their disputed area.
Ngao-i challenged other local governments in the region that are involved in similar conflicts or have similar problems internally and externally to emulate their successful practice of age-old customary laws that have significantly contributed in reducing conflicts in their areas of jurisdiction and the existence of unsettled conflicts recorded in police blotters or in government offices.