Tribal war feared in Kalinga town over land dispute
BAGUIO CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – Police in Kalinga province are trying to avert a war between the Tinglayan and Tulgao tribes after a botched border negotiation apparently led to the shooting of a Tinglayan farmer last Tuesday, August 29.
Police said Art Truth Ewad, a 27-year-old farmer belonging to the Tinglayan tribe and a resident of Poblacion, Tinglayan, was shot Tuesday afternoon by an unknown suspect.
Ewad was shot on the left side of his head and was brought to the Tinglayan Rural Health Unit and later to the Bontoc General Hospital, where he remains in stable condition. But the injury to the communities affected was more serious.
But because of the probable tribal feud caused by the shooting, two teams of the Tinglayan police and the Kalinga Peace and Order Council went to the area to defuse the situation.
The shooting of Ewad signifies the breaking of the bodong or peace pact between the Tinglayan and Tulgao tribes. Until the bodong holders of each tribe cannot mend the bodong, the conflict will continue.
The Kalinga people are very loyal to their tribes, and a community is identified with the tribe living in it. An injury to one, especially inflicted over land disputes, is an injury to all, and anyone who belongs to the same tribe as the one who inflicted the harm is guilty by association.
Two teams of the 50th Infantry Battalion were also stationed in the disputed area while one platoon proceeded to Tulgao village for security measures.
The police and the army advised the two tribes to refrain from leaving their homes.
The Kalinga provincial police also accompanied the students from the Tinglayan tribe studying in Tabuk City to be able to go home safely.
Zones of life identified
Kalinga leaders worked overtime to confine the tribal war between the Tulgao and Tinglayan or Tongrayan tribes within their area.
Acting Kalinga Governor James Edduba gathered the leaders of both tribes Wednesday to declare Tabuk City, the municipality of Rizal, and the provinces of Cagayan and Isabela as matagoan or the zones of life.
Within the matagoan zones, there would be no retaliation among the members of the Tulgao and Tongrayan tribes. “This will now allow the students and employees within the declared zones of life area to go back to their schools and offices and resume their studies and works,” Edduba said.
He added that the ongoing conflict between the Tulgao and Tongrayan tribes will be confined in the Surong area, or the border of the two villages where the tribal war erupted.
Prior to the covenant signing led by Edduba, the students, professionals and other migrants from the two tribes have to return to their villages to prepare for the tribal war.
In Baguio, for example, students from both tribes had to secure their people to avoid the escalation of the war there.
Police said that they are awaiting the bodong holders from Tinglayan and Tulgao to restore the severed pact. – Rappler.com