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  • Writer's pictureTinglayan LGU

Mayor Gumilab hopeful that Betwagan-Butbut conflict will soon end

Tabuk City, Kalinga – With the exchange of peace tokens between the sub-tribes Butbut in Tinglayan and Betwagan in Sadanga, Tinglayan Mayor Sacrament Gumilab now foresees a harmonious relationship between the two, eventually leading to the resolution of their decade-long land conflict.


On Friday, January 27, the mayor reported that representatives of the two tribes met at the 5th Infantry Division Philippine Army in Gamu Isabela on January 19, where the exchange of tokens, known in the local dialect as ‘Sipat,’ was conducted.


The mayor had been urging an end to the conflict during his mayoral term, expressing hope that this would be achieved through the ‘Sipat.’


Sipat is a traditional Cordilleran method to prevent violent clashes between warring tribes through the exchange of tokens. Representatives from conflicting tribes must present their tokens during the Sipat ceremony.

If the token is accepted, it signifies an agreement to cease hostilities, allowing peace negotiations to proceed.


“We credit this significant development, of course, to our elders and all the agencies that helped in the mediation process,” said the lawyer-politician.


The mayor specifically acknowledged Kalinga Bodong Council members Albert Addamo and Cesar Oplay from the Sumadel tribe for leading continuous dialogues with the Betwagan sub-tribe. Soldiers Lucian Fasawil from the Betwagan sub-tribe and Benito Annaway from the Butbut tribe facilitated the ‘Sipat’ ceremony.


Following this event will be the commencement of peace talks between the two sub-tribes, although the schedule is still under discussion.


At the mayor’s request, elders also met with people from the Butbut sub-tribe to inform them of the development and request respect for the ‘Sipat’ process.


“Usually, they could meet together after the Sipat to discuss their disagreements and come up with workable solutions to the border problem,” the mayor said.


With the positive development in the case, Gumilab is hopeful that the two sub-tribes will agree on win-win solutions for their feud to end as soon as possible.


“All the members of the sub-tribes, irespeto da kuma lang amin nga protocols daytoy nga Sipat tapnu haan nga sayang manen daytuy nga narugiyan nu adda manen ma-violate,” he said.


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