January 30, 2023

Roads and bridges are made to connect towns, provinces, and people but this is not the case in Sadanga, Mountain Province.
Sadanga Mayor Gabino Ganggangan issued Executive Order 18 s. 2020 on July 28 prohibiting the use of the Sadanga municipal road as route for tourists visiting Tinglayan, Kalinga especially Barangay Buscalan where world-renowned tattoo artist Whang-od lives.
Instead of passing through Sadanga, Ganggangan said people who intend to go to Tinglayan will not be allowed entry beginning at the Ampiwelen checkpoint.
He said those who want to go to Tinglayan should pass through the longer route in Tabuk City, Kalinga.
Ganggangan said he does not want the Sadanga municipal road to be identified as a preferred route in the transportation of marijuana and illegal firearms sold to tribes, which he claims, are being used during a conflict among tribesmen.
Tinglayan is known for its marijuana plantations. More than P100 million worth of fully-grown marijuana plants were uprooted and burned by police and anti-narcotics operatives in Ting-layan town the past months.
Ganggangan said that in the past decade when tourists began frequenting Buscalan, there was also a steady increase of tourists who had come from said village and were caught with marijuana.
“There were several arrests of a few but growing numbers of tourists in possession of marijuana bought from Buscalan. Such threatening tourists’ activities are being carried out under the guise of tattoo experience, Ganggangan said, which prompted the national government to order military and police operations in Saclit and Betwagan in Sadanga and Butbut and Bugnay in Kalinga.
Netizens lauded the mayor’s latest issuance but some said EO 18 is presumptive for it inclined to conclude that every motorist who intends to pass through the road will transport arms or marijuana. Some also said that the EO violates the right of law-abiding motorists and communters to use a public road.
Ganggangan stood by his pronouncement and said that only a court order can make him lift the order. – Rimaliza A. Opiña