February 22, 2024

Leaders and community members of three villages in Lagawe, Ifugao have recently settled their boundary dispute amicably.
A hejet or hidit peace pact ceremony presided over by indigenous priests called mumbakis was held to mark the agreement between barangays Dulao, Olilicon, and Tupaya.
The three barangays have long-standing claims about their respective boundaries. Specifically, barangays Dulao and Tupaya were supposedly “not properly delineated” in a cadastral survey dating back to the late 1980s. 
This was one of the issues during the free prior and informed consent consultation conducted in 2016 by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples-Ifugao for the proposed Alimit hydropower project of SN Aboitiz Power. 
The Alimit hydropower complex will be the first hydro facility in Ifugao. It covers areas in Aguinaldo, Lagawe, Lamut, and Mayoyao, including the jurisdiction of the three barangays whose people are mostly from the Ayangan tribe.
The concerned local government units and indigenous peoples’ organizations have since signed agreements in favor of the Alimit project.
The Sangguniang Bayan of Lagawe created a task force in 2019 to preside over an amicable resolution process.  
Aside from the task force, which was headed by Ancestral Domain Council of Ifugao legal counsel and Judge Frederic Cabiggat, the communities also agreed to form a multisectoral independent jury to decide on the matter.
The territory of Barangay Olilicon was first to be established, but the dispute between barangays Tupaya and Dulao moved into an adjudication process after failing to reach an amicable settlement.
Barangay Dulao eventually asked to reopen the amicable settlement process as it has a substantive proposal.
On Jan. 24, an agreement was reached delineating the boundaries of the two barangays.  
“This is the first time that a case was solved by the Sangguniang Bayan of Lagawe through the help of a task force and a jury. The amicable settlement of this case shows the solidarity of the tribe,” said Cabiggat.
Mayor Martin Habawel, Jr. said, “(This) historical event will serve as a model in settling boundary disputes with the other barangays in the municipality of Lagawe and in the entire Ifugao province.” – Press release