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  • Writer's pictureGuru Press Staff

Butbut-Betwagan eyes Sipat to settle conflict

Updated: Jan 12, 2021

Tabuk City, Kalinga – Tribal representatives from Butbut and Betwagan met at the Kalinga-Mt. Province boundary (Mamaga) on January 8 for the second round of peace talk brokered by PROCOR Dir. BG R’win Pagkalinawan resulting to a ceasefire commitment and agreeing in principle for a “Sipat” which will be the subject of their upcoming third dialogue.

Speakers centered on the primary goal of restoring peace to save lives, avoid destruction of properties, preservation of animals raised in the disputed area, continuing economic activities without fear, and harmonious co-existence.

Sadanga Mayor Gabino Ganggangan suggested for the enforcement of past agreements, seek mechanisms on how to enforce conditions of the ceasefire and agree on enforceable provisions. “There has to be a “Sipat” in order to account responsibility and to have confidence in the furtherance of peace dialogues,” he stressed.

“Sipat” is an exchange of peace tokens after naming interim peacepact holders. It will serve as a bridge mechanism to pursue peace initiatives and the holders as overseers of continuing dialogue.

Through the suggestion of William Abay of NCIP, both indigenous peoples mandatory representatives to their respective barangay council were named as “Sipat” holders with barangay IPMR of Bugnay readily accepting the position. However, Betwagan withhold its acceptance pending the presentation of the proposal before the tribe.

Kalinga provincial Administrator Atty. William Puday Jr. assured the support of the provincial local government unit to the efforts of the PNP and the AFP in brokering the peacetalks.

Pagkalinawan committed to continue building confidence between the warring tribes through cultural practices, pursuing on workable solutions to the dispute based on traditional boundary settlement and gathering of evidences from documents.

The dialogue was also attended by representatives from line agencies (NCIP, DENR, DA, DPWH, PIA), some neutral tribes and respective concern party’s local government units with full participation also of the provincial police offices, the 503rd brigade and 50th battalion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The 50th IB pulled out from Mt. Ikar, however, the 1st KMFC and 1503 “Civets” MC-RMFB joint peacekeeping force stationed above Bugnay is maintained.



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