January 29, 2023

TABUK CITY, Kalinga – The Butbut and Betwagan tribes living in their respective ancestral homelands support the peace covenant forged between their tribe members residing in this city.
Through separate resolutions, both tribes expressed their approval to the peace agreement that prohibits bringing the conflict anywhere else or outside Betwagan in Sadanga, Mountain Province and Butbut in Tinglayan, this province.
The agreement signed on Aug. 7 at Davidson Hotel here provides for both tribes living in Tabuk City to uphold the principles of the Matagoan or “Zone of Life” and the provisions of the iTabuk pagta, most particularly not to take revenge against or harm any from their tribe living in this city, in all provinces or city within the Cordillera, in the provinces of Isabela and Cagayan, and Metro Manila.
In a joint resolution signed on August 10, punong barangays of Ngibat, Butbut Proper, Loccong, Buscalan and Bugnay, expressed their support to the peace covenant for the benefit of government employees, students and farmers living outside Butbut tribe territory including those in Sadanga municipality.
The punong barangays understand that the signing of the peace covenant is an indication of peace process between the two parties – Butbut and Betwagan. Ultimately, it is also to protect life of the individuals who are innocent, living outside the war zone.
Revenge or killing of a person outside the declared war zone area will not help solve the boundary dispute but to commit additional criminal offense against the innocent people who have no knowledge to engage in tribal conflict. “This is a perfect, gentlemen’s agreement pending the permanent peace resolution due to the same issue on boundary dispute,” the resolution states.
On the part of the Betwagan tribe, their resolution of support to the peace covenant signed on Aug. 14 was sealed with their prayer for the provisions to be respected and imposed in letter and spirit.
“Umili ti Betwagan ken Anabel babaen ti barangay opisyal ket umannugot da ditoy peace covenant basta ti Matagoan Bodong Consultative Council ket tungpalen da ti akem, takder ken responsibilidad da akas negosyador ti sensiredad wenno pateg na daytoy. No man mabug-oy daytoy, dakau nga negosyador nga pinmirma ti maysa nga masingir (The residents of Betwagan and Anabel through their barangays officials agree to this peace covenant provided the Matagoan Bodong Consultative Council do their role and responsibility as negotiator sincerely. Should this fail, the negotiators who signed in this agreement will be blamed).
It added that Betwagan students, workers and those living in Apayao, Cagayan and Isabela, and sub-tribe of Betwagan living in Tabuk City are not to be included in this conflict.
The respective provincial boards of Kalinga and Mountain Province are now brokering for a permanent resolution of the decades-long dispute. – Peter A. Balocnit