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Apr 28

Baguio City and Benguet Declared as Peace Zones

 By: Glo Abaeo Tuazon

Fears of backlash from Kalinga Tribes averted-in light of a Tabuk bound bus tragedy. Sadanga elders, representatives initiate talks.

Baguio City. The peaceful relationship between Sadanga, Mountain Province and Kalinga residents here in Baguio City and Benguet was re-affirmed as the two groups got together and shared intelligent but candid thoughts and ideas to make better the relationship of the two.  The talk was first initiated by interim officers and members of the Sadanga Professionals Association and was in turn accepted and participated to by the Young Kalinga Professionals Association.

This was in view of the recent tragic accident of a Lovely May bus owned and driven by a Sadanga native plying the route from Bontoc to Tabuk. Earlier reports confirmed, 10 people died and a number of passengers were injured when the bus lost its brake and plunged into a ravine. Envoys of Sadanga were sent to the different municipalities where the families of the casualties were and made initial talks. These are efforts of the Municipality of Sadanga together with the families of the driver (who himself was badly injured) to help out sincerely in the best of their capacities the families of those who lost their loved ones. These are traditional and conscientious measures usually done as part of the “bodong” or peacepact agreements between people and places who have had histories of clashes in the days of old.

In Sadanga and Kalinga, with both sides stating their stand, preliminary talks were done and preliminary aid were extended to most of the families of the casualties. Some are still ongoing and so far both sides have remained calm to date.

In Baguio City and Benguet, the casual meetings between the two groups with the inclusion of the KALPRA and the Kalinga Bodong Holders (Baguio-Benguet based) were done more in the spirit of re-affirming the quiet relationship. Both sides stated the same facts that those who have been residing in the city area have been enjoying the peace away from the traditional ways. With the clamour for peace and the end of tribal wars and vengeance system, it was agreed again that Baguio-Benguet remain as peace zone and that everybody should in turn work for peaceful resolutions to the problem and to whatever issues there would be in the future.