BAGUIO CITY: Police and military personnel have been deployed in Tinglayan town to mantain peace and order pending the result of negotiations under the practice of bodong between the tribes of Tulgao and Tongrayan in the wake of a ceasefire they called.
Kalinga acting Gov. James Edduba said the government and civil processes are in place pending the resolution of the talks between the elders of the tribes.
Elders and leaders of both tribes have signed peace covenants which were witnessed by the Philippine National Police and Philippine Army to simmer down the escalating tribal wars that are also affecting other tribe members outside Tinglayan and Kalinga province.
“We are using the civil government to address the cause of the boundary dispute so that the peace pact will be reinstated. But right now, the members of the tribe are free to resume their lives,” Edduba said.
He said a covenant was signed in Tabuk City, Kalinga that covers tribe members living in Tabuk, Rizal town, Cagayan and Isabela provinces. A separate peace agreement was also signed in Baguio that will cover those in the city and in Benguet, as well as in Bontoc, Mountain Province.
Edduba explained that another covenant will be signed in Metro Manila. The covenants declare that the areas are peace zones and that members of the tribe living in the said places can continue to pursue their daily routine without fear of retribution from each other or being a victim of revenge.
The tribal war, which commenced after peace pact holders set aside the over 100-year old bodong between the two tribes, led to the shooting of one member of the Tongrayan tribe.
Edduba said this was the first time that the peace pact was disregarded because of a boundary dispute.
In Kalinga and other parts of the Cordillera, the bodong system is a cultural practice that remains alive. It is the process by which tribal leaders representing specific tribes and sub-tribes in the region exchange peace tokens they all uphold. In cases of dispute between tribes, the bodong takes an active course, with tribal leaders talking among themselves to settle the problems to prevent the loss of lives.