Warring Kalinga tribes forge ‘peace zone’

Sep 3, 2017

LA TRINIDAD, BENGUET – Warring fierce Kalinga tribes, Tongrayan and Tulgao, both in Tinglayan town, have forged a “matagoan zone” (zone of peace) from the hostilities prompted by their boundary dispute.
A covenant was signed between Tulgao and Tongrayan at the Kalinga provincial capitol declaring the provincial capital Tabuk City as peace zone.
Several years ago, the Kalinga Bodong Council composed of tribal leaders in Kalinga declared Tabuk City, Rizal and provinces of Cagayan and Isabela as “matagoan zones”.
The agreement accordingly stipulated that the conflict between the two tribes will be confined in the hinterland areas only.
On August 30 (Wedesday), tribe members from Tulgao and Tinglayan, Poblacion residing in Tabuk City together with the Philippine Army officials, police officials, Tabuk City local government, religious leaders, school administrators in Tabuk City and members of the neutral tribes acting as witnesses forged the covenant to thwart bloodshed even in the provincial capital.
With the peace zone agreement, students and employees can now go back to school and work without getting anxious of their safety.
Before that, students from Tinglayan and Tulgao tribes were sent home by policemen after a 27- year old Tingayan tribesman was shot in the head Tuesday afternoon right in his own hometown.
This is to avert further killings between the two fierce tribes entangled into a boundary dispute that can escalate into a full-blown “tribal war”.
Policemen assisted students from the Tinglayan tribe in sitio Maswa, Barangay Basao, Tinglayan in going home to Poblacion, Tinglayan.
On Tuesday night, two teams from the Tinglayan police and Kalinga provincial public safety company and two teams from the Philippine Army’s 50th Infantry Battalion were posted at the disputed area while another Army platoon proceeded to Tulgao proper.
Students as well as other tribesmen from both Tinglayan and Tulgao tribes were also advised to refrain from going out of their homes to avoid any provocation.
Farmer Art Truth Ewad from the Tinglayan tribe and a resident of Ambato, Legleg, Poblacion, Tinglayan was shot in the head by still unidentified assailant around 3:30pm, Tuesday, in sitio Akafu, barangay Poblacion.
Suffering a bullet wound on the left side of his head, Ewad was brought to the Tinglayan rural health unit then rushed to the Bontoc General Hospital in Mt. Province for further treatment. ACE ALEGRE / ABN

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