Let There be Peace: PROCOR taps neutral tribes on Betwagan-Bugnay Peace Negotiation
Camp Major Bado Dangwa, La Trinidad, Benguet – As part of the continuing peace efforts to resolve the Betwagan-Bugnay tribal conflict, PROCOR invited the elders and Barangay Officials of the Basao of Tinglayan, Kalinga and Saclit of Sadanga, Mountain Province on Friday, January 15, at the Masigasig Grandstand to give their unbiased account on the boundary dispute.
These two tribes share common borders and has existing “pagta” (constitution and by-laws of peace pact) with the conflicting tribes.
Also present during the peace dialogue were representatives from the DENR, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Agriculture-CAR, DILG and from the 503rd Brigade, 5ID, Philippine Army.
During the dialogue, Engr Benjamin Ventura of DENR presented the contested land area as plotted in the DENR map. Afterwards, the tribe representatives were asked to pinpoint their respective boundaries on the map.
Mr Vicente Warcha of Basao identified their boundary with Betwagan and likewise pointed their original boundary with Bugnay which is contained in their pagta. Punong Barangay Christopher Pallar of Saclit, likewise identified their boundary with Bugnay, which he said is also documented in the pagta. He stated that Mt Ekar is known in the Saclit tribe as Mt. Ofanan. The pinpointed boundaries were then plotted in the map by the DENR. Further, the two tribal leaders were requested to furnish copy of the said documents to PROCOR thru the NCIP for reference.
Hon Christopher Pallar thanked PROCOR and its partner agencies for their peace efforts and further appealed for their continuous efforts until the Betwagan-Bugnay boundary dispute is finally resolved. He said that Saclit people are affected when the two conflicting tribes are exchanging gunfires as residents are afraid to go to their fields to work.
The dialogue ended with the commitment from the different partner agencies of their support in PROCOR’s peace negotiations for the resolution of Betwagan and Bugnay conflict. (PROCOR RPIO)