By MARVIN CANYAS
SADANGA, Mountain Province — “Amin a parikut iti nagbaetan dagiti umili nu matungtong babaen iti nainkappiaan ken nainhustisyaan a wagas ket masolbar.” (All conflict between communities, if settled in a peaceful and just manner, can be resolved.) This was the message of Pangat Abraham Battawang of the Movement for the Advancement of Inter-Tribal Unity and Development (MAITUD) in the Kinnabsatan held on December 9 in Saclit, Sadanga.
Kinnabsatan (or inaakiyan in Saclit) refers to the binding of persons of different blood as brothers and sisters.
The December 9 event solemnized the Kinnabsatan achieved between the Tammocho clan of Saclit and the Perez, Lipas, and Pangcawey families of Tadian, following the peaceful resolution of a conflict that flared up three months earlier, after four Tadian youth mauled and nearly killed Jomar Tammocho, a Saclit youth studying in Tadian.
The conflict was resolved through the mediation of MAITUD and the support of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance’s Mountain Province chapter, the Episcopal Church of the Philippines, and the local governments of Sadanga and Tadian. But the most important factors in the resolution of the conflict were the willingness of the victim’s clan to seek justice peacefully and the readiness of the offenders’ families to make amends for their unjust deed. In the process of solemnization, kinnabsatan was extended to the communities of the families involved.
Some 80% of the households of Saclit and about 250 individuals from Tadian were present during the solemnization.
Alex Churping, barangay captain of Saclit, formally opened the program. Then Lakay Tubao of Saclit exhorted participants to unite and strive so that no further wrongdoing would mar their relationship with one another.
Mayor Wooden of Tadian spoke in response, acknowledging the efforts of all who had endeavored for a peaceful end to the conflict between his people and the people of Saclit. Then a representative of the Sadanga police spoke, saying he and his colleagues in the PNP were impressed with how indigenous processes worked to solve a criminal case and provided justice to the victim of the crime more quickly and satisfactorily than would have been possible in the prevailing judicial system.
MAITUD representative and chief mediator Abraham Battawang saluted the Tammocho clan for their exemplary attitude and behavior throughout the process of conflict resolution. Then he explained, “MAITUD rejects tribal war and believes that this institution should be abandoned. Conflicts between tribal communities and non-tribal communities alike should be resolved through peaceful and principled dialogue. After all, we are not one another’s real enemies. Those who come to take our lands and trample upon our dignity – they are the ones whom we should confront and fight fearlessly.”
Xavier Akien, CPA vice-chair for internal affairs, followed, congratulating the communities of Saclit and Tadian for their successful Kinnabsatan. “If all communities followed your example in resolving the contradictions that confronted them, they could root out the true causes of these contradictions,” he added.
Akien also said, “The CPA and its affiliate organizations have long been campaigning for an end to inter-tribal conflict and for unity in the defense of ancestral domain. Communities who are disunited and who war against each other will easily be defeated by the ruling powers who want their lands and the resources these hold.”
Speaking as a citizen of Tadian, Akien continued, “We, the people of the municipalities of Sadanga and Tadian, are currently confronted with a common threat: the application of CEXCI (Cordillera Exploration Company, Inc.) to take our lands and mine them. This threat underscores the importance of what we have done here today.”
Jorge Tammocho, father of Jomar, closed by expressing his gratitude, “Chaker na yaman ko isnan amin ay timmurong kan chakami. As Apodyos to nan mangsufalit isna amin ay kinakawis yo.” (I am very grateful to everyone who helped us. God will repay your goodness.) # nordis.net