By: Glo Abaeo Tuazon
Baguio City. The various Kalinga groups in Baguio City recently convened this week to address an issue threatening the peace of all Kalinga tribes residing in the city. The Kalinga Organization of Baguio and Benguet headed by Samuel Bumangil and other prominent leaders and the Lobo Organization here all have one goal in mind and that is peace. This came about after 2 deaths in Bulanao, Tabuk that prompted the spread of text messages warning at least 3 tribes to be careful as the incident may worsen and also with the rumours that some may even bring the scuffle to Baguio City. For reasons of peace keeping names are withheld but sometime last week of August 2010, a group of young adults from Lobo who were somehow biologically related went out to a bar in Bulanao, Tabuk for a drinking spree and when intoxicate had arguments. In the events that was to follow one was stabbed and died right after. Unprecedented was the taking of another life by the victim’s relatives as retaliation to the killing of their kin even if they were relatives at that. It should have been confined within the limits of the Lobo tribe but unfortunately, the second victim have other blood lines too, of Taloktok and Lubuagan lineage. All having histories of tribal wars in the past but held for now by a “bodong” or peacepact.
In the rules of “bodong” these killings signify the severance of the pact within tribes unless they are settled peacefully. No man, especially the innocent, is supposed to suffer the consequences of another’s act if it was taken in modern law and in these days of hardships, everybody craves for peace. Reason why the Kalinga settlers of Baguio-Benguet convened the earliest possible time to discuss the issue and protect their people outside of their home province. As they say, there are olden traditions that are supposed to be preserved and protected and the tribal war is not one of those. It has marred the people for decades that they wanted problems resolved peacefully and in a more professional manner. Their children suffer from the scars of war they are innocent of.
In like manner their leaders are pleading to all Kalinga residents in Baguio-Benguet to support this crusade for peace, to be very vigilant and report suspected tribesmate who have plans of breaking the peace and to inculcate to household members the value of lasting peace. Scuffles and problems, no matter how heavy can be resolved and managed without involving the loss of innocent lives and endangering everybody.