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Tinglayan leaders censure Pagkalinawan

Map shows the boundaries of the two provinces: Tinglayan, Kalinga – Sadanga, Mountain Province boundary dispute.

The mayor and the municipal council of Tinglayan, Kalinga this week censured Police Regional Office – Cordillera director PBGen. R’win Pagkalinawan to stop his efforts in finding ways to solve the dispute between the Butbut tribe of Tinglayan, Kalinga and the Betwagan tribe of Sadanga, Mountain Province.

In Resolution 8 approved by the sangguniang bayan last March 9 and noted by mayor Sacrament Gumilab, Pagkalinawan was urged “to stop usurping and arrogating upon himself powers and functions exclusively within the sphere of the local government units,…”

The resolution likewise asked that the involved provinces should create special body “clothed with authority to continue to negotiate and settle amicably, taking into full consideration indigenous culture and tradition, the boundary dispute between the tribes of Betwagan and Butbut.”

The councilors in the resolution invoked the Local Government Code wherein boundary disputes should be settled amicably by the sangguniang panlalawigan of the involved local government units.

The resolution cited section 118 of the LGC that states: “Boundary disputes involving municipalities or component cities of different provinces shall be jointly referred for settlement to the Sanggunian of the provinces concerned;…”

The two tribes had a peace pact in February 20 last year, but exactly five months later, on July 20 the Betwagan staged an attack on the Butbut breaking the peace pact and one person dead.

Due to the intense exchange of gunfire, Gumilab called on the military and the police as peace keeping force.

Despite the severance of the peace pact, the provincial governments of the two provinces found ways to settle the boundary dispute, which, however, was “derailed by the meddling of Pagkalinawan.

The councilors argued that “while the concerned LGUs are executing their plans to amicably settle the boundary dispute, the Regional Director interfered hastily without fully understanding the real situation, the history of the conflict, and the idiosyncrasies of the culture and tradition of the tribes whose constituents are all indigenous people living in an ancestral domain;…”

They added that Pagkalinawan acted unilaterally and did not coordinate with the LGUs concerned “and his actions blatantly go against the culture and tradition of the tribes and the real situation of both tribes vis-à-vis the conflict;…”

His actions, the councilor said, aroused “indignation from the tribes and sowed mistrust against the government;…”

Copies of the resolution will be furnished to Pagkalinawan as well as the LGUs of Kalinga and Mountain Province.

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