CAMP DANGWA, Benguet – The leadership of Police Regional Office Cordillera (PROC) called for a ceasefire in armed hostilities between members of the Butbut and Betwagan tribes in Mt.Province, following a shooting incident last January 3.
PROC Director Brig. Gen. R’win Pagkalinawan said he made the appeal in a peace dialogue on January 8 he called with the leaders of the two tribes in the aftermatch of the shooting incident wherein a 68-year-old Betwagan farmer was shot in the left thumb in Sitio Bobong, Betwangan, Sadanga.
The farmer was on his way to bring food to tribesmen guarding their tribe’s boundary when he was fired upon by still unidentified assailants.
In a report from the Bauko Municipal Police Station, the victim subsequently sought medical assistance at the Luis Hora Memorial Regional Hospital in Abatan, Bauko,Mt.Province.
Pagkalinawan said that, during the dialogue, both tribes, represented by the chairpersons of Betwagan and Bugnay and tribal elders, shared their sentiments, particularly on issues regarding a boundary dispute.
As such, Pagkalinawan encouraged them to resolve their dispute through traditional means, like agreeing on a “Sipat”, or an exchange of tokens.
Sadanga Mayor Gabino Ganggangan, who attended as guest during the activity, underscored that both tribes need to agree to a ‘Sipat” to further advance the peace dialogues.
After more than three hours tribal representatives agreed to a stop of armed hostilities, and drafted the rules on the ceasefire.
The barangay chaipersons also agreed on Sipat after consulting their barangay constituents. These will be the key points for discussion on the succeeding dialogue.