1 hurt in Kalinga tribal dispute

Mae Cornes, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 30 2017 08:39 PM | Updated as of Sep 02 2017 06:52 AM

A firefight ensued between the Tulgao and Tinglayan tribes in Akafu, Poblacion, Tinglayan, Kalinga due to failed boundary dispute negotiations, Tuesday. Photo courtesy of acting Kalinga Gov. James Edduba

One person was injured in a firefight between the Tulgao and Tinglayan tribes in Akafu, Poblacion, Tinglayan town, Kalinga due to failed boundary dispute negotiations Tuesday afternoon.

Art Ewad, a 27-year-old member of the Tinglayan tribe, was shot on the left side of his head during the encounter.

“Nag-fail ang negotiation ng boundary dispute ng Tinglayan tribe at Tulgao tribe. As a result may nabaril, nilapatan ng initial na medical attention at dinala na sa Bontoc hospital,” Police Chief Insp. Carolina Lacuata said.

Two teams from the Tinglayan Police and Kalinga Police, and two teams from the 50th Infantry Battalion were deployed in the disputed area. One platoon of the 50th IB was meanwhile dispatched in Tulgao for security measures.

The Tabuk City Police has also visited areas in the city where members of concerned tribes are residing to inform them that the situation is under control.

Ronald Balao-as, an elder, said the tension brewed because some of the tribe members brought firearms.

“Hindi na-control ng mga mayors 'yung constituents nila na magdala ng armas sa disputed area. Kasi kapag nagkasalubong dun at may armas din 'yung kabila, dispute yun,” Balao-as said.

Boundary disputes between tribes in Cordillera started when the government released cadastral surveys.

“Kasi bawat tribo, meron silang ancestral domain, kaya sasabihin ng isang tribo na sa ‘amin ito’, sasabihin naman ng kabila, sakop ito ng cadastral survey namin, political boundary namin, so nagkakaroon ng tensyon,” Balao-as said.

Authorities said the local government of Kalinga has also joined the negotiations.