Dialogue pushed towards peaceful conflict resolution
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – As part of the efforts to end the boundary dispute between the ethnic communities of Betwagan, Sadanga, Mountain Province and Butbut, Tinglayan, Kalinga, Police Regional Office-Cordillera Director, B/Gen. R’win S. Pagkalinawan, facilitated another dialogue and conducted ocular inspection at the disputed boundary site.
The PRO-Cor peacekeeping party together with the representatives from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, Department of Public Works and Highways, Philippine Information Agency, and elders proceeded to Mount Ekar Dec. 16.
Elders and officials from both sides met with the government body at a patrol base of the 50th Infantry Battalion, 5th Infantry Division, Philippine Army near the disputed site for another dialogue to determine and set the supposed boundaries.
During the meeting, it was agreed that the body will be divided into two groups, one will be led by Pagkalinawan to proceed to the area of Barangay Betwagan while the other group, which will be led by Chief, Regional Staff, Col. Ramil L. Saculles, will go to Bugnay to inspect and mark the agreed boundaries.
Although only two out of the eight supposed markings were put in place as both ethnic groups failed agree on their boundary site, the peace efforts gained more footing with the development.
Another dialogue is set in January next year to put an end to the hostilities. With the result of the meeting and inspection of the boundary area, the peacekeeping body needs to re-assess and formulate new strategies to finally come up with a peaceful and definite resolution of the conflict.
Pagkalinawan enjoined the ethnic groups to maintain peace until their territorial misunderstanding is resolved through peaceful means. – Press release