The Butbut-Sumadel Bodong (Press Release)

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Botbot-Sumadel Tribal War Ends

by AUGUSTUS ULAT SABOY

TABUK, Kalinga-Apayao – Th eleven-month old tribal hostilities between Sumadel and Botbot in the municipality of Tinglayan, this province, ended last July 14 with the formal exchange of Sipat between the two warring tribes.  (A Sipat is an exchange of weapons or any item of value to symbolize the existence of peace between tribal protagonists).

This was gathered in a report of Mayor Emilio Bagtang of Tinglayan to Governor Amado B. Almazan and the Provincial Constabulary Command of Kalinga-Apayao this week.

Immediately upon receipt of the “Ceasefire” report, Governor Almazan called on all Botbot and Sumadel tribesmen throughout the province to honor the Sipat concluded by tribal Pangats of the two Kalinga tribal groups.  He cautioned any tribesmen of Botbot and Sumadel against violation of the “Ceasefire” agreement, saying that the government will see to it that “the full force of the law will be dealt upon whoever will subvert and destroy the peace agreement.”

The ceasefire agreement formally declared last July 14 diffused a lingering tension between the two aggressive Kalinga tribal groups of Botbot and Sumadel set off on August 8, 1980 by the ambush-slay of Mayor Alexander Alngag, a member of the Sumadel tribe.

The 11-month old hostilities took a total toll of seven killed and one wounded, four dead on the Sumadel side and three dead and one seriously wounded on the Botbot side. Until July, 14, each tribal camp had their warriors entrenched in the Botbot-Sumadel borderlands, each prepared to spring an armed attack on the other.

Based on the report of the Office of the Mayor at Tinglayan, there were four previous attempts at restoring the severed peace pact between the two Kalinga tribes, all of which failed.

On June 30, 1981, the report further said, a two-man team volunteered to undertake the peace mission.  The team was composed of Provincial Administrator Augustus U. Saboy and Rev. Luis L. Ao-as, of the Kalinga Lutheran Mission. (Saboy is a member of the Banao Kalinga tribe, while Ao-as belongs to the intrepid Basao tribe).  The team met with Sumadel Pangats led by Ex-Mayor Urdaneta Puday.  After one day and two nights of negotiation, the Sumadel leaders agreed to an exchange of Sipat.

The Sipat, however, would coem from Botbot.  Both Saboy and Ao-as were accordingly deputized by the Sumadel people to handcarry the Sipat from the Botbot tribe to Sumadel.

On July 10, 1981, the Saboy-Ao-as peace mission left for Botbot and met the tribal leaders from the Botbot villages of Ngibat, Locong, Buscalan and Botbot Proper.

After serious deliberations, the Botbot tribal leaders agreed to give the Sipat.  It was in the form of bolo.  With the aid of Barangay Captain Anselmo Lopic of Bangad, the peace mission returned to Sumadel to present the Botbot Sipat.  Ex-Councilman Camilio Tangday gave the Sipat item.

From June 11 to 13, the Sumadel tribal leaders debated on the Sipat issue.  Finally in the afternoon of July 13, Sangguniang Bayan Member William Isican Din-as of Sumadel handed the Sipat and on the same day, Saboy and Ao-as hiked back to Botbot to present teh exchange Sipat.

At Botbot, the tribal leaders on July 13, 1981 led by Mayor Emilio Bagtang met and after a consensus, accepted hte Sipat of Sumadel to signal the formal cessation of tribal hostilities between the two fiercest Kalinga tribes.

The next tribal conference will be a confrontation dialogue between the two tribal groups, the vnue to be decided by leaders of the two tribes. – AUS

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