Soldiers, IP Leaders Resolve Conflict Between Warring IP Clans in Malaybalay City

IMPASUGONG, BUKIDNON – After decades of relentless fighting, two Indigenous Peoples clans with a long history of bloody conflict and dispute have formally reconciled and decided to end their feud following a customary settlement or “Panastas” initiated by government soldiers and Indigenous Peoples leaders.

The two opposing prominent clans in Bukidnon, the Dela Mance and Daluniag clans, have chosen to set aside their differences and agreed to sit down and talk during the “Panastas” on Wednesday, March 16, 2022, held at the Old City Hall, Malaybalay.

For their young generation, who are set to inherit either peace or conflict from their predecessors, both clans agreed to choose peace as their legacy for their younger successors by taking steps to ensure harmony between the two clans.

The Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative (IPMR) of Malaybalay City, Hon. Renato “Datu Makayuba” Sumbungan, together with the 403rd Infantry Brigade (403 Bde), 8th Infantry Battalion (8IB), and other members of the City Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (CTF-ELCAC), facilitated customary “Panastas” which bid to achieve just and lasting peace in the Indigenous People’s community.

For decades, the two clans have fought each other, which sometimes resulted in fatalities on both sides. And for the two warring clans, the historic settlement provided a respite to both sides and signaled a new hope for a better future.

Symbolizing a pact for peace, both clans signed the peace concord in accordance with Republic Act No. 8371, otherwise known as “The Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act of 1997”.
Both families expressed their gratitude to the government for its efforts to end the feud through the “Panastas,” the IP tradition and custom used as a medium for peace-building.
The term “Panastas” was derived from two Lumad words: “Panas” which means to erase and “Tas” which means to cut off.

The historic event was attended by Cong. Jonathan Keith T. Flores; City Councilor Louel M. Tortola, Malaybalay; 4th Infantry Division Training School Commandant Lieutenant Colonel Edgardo V Talaroc Jr.; Commanding Officer of 8th Infantry Battalion Lieutenant Colonel Anthony A Bacus, who represented the Commander of the 403 Bde Brigadier General Ferdinand T Barandon; and the Intel Officer of Malaybalay City Police Station Police Lieutenant Ernie P Cabrera.

Also present were the Datus of Malaybalay City and Cabanglasan, along with their Balyans who performed the rituals during the Panastas.

For the Philippine Army, resolving the feud between IP clans is a priority as conflicts among them can be exploited by the Communist-Terrorist Communist Party of the Philippines -New People’s Army- National Democratic Front. He said feuds inside the IP communities are being exploited by the CPP-NPA Terrorists to their advantage, making IP clans a fertile ground for their lies and recruitment.

Lieutenant Colonel Bacus, in his message, underlined the importance of resolving feuds and solidifying the ties between IP clans as this will ensure the survival of the IP community.

“The IP leaders play a significant role in their communities. They serve as the first responders against natural calamities and, more importantly, against the deception and exploitation of CPP-NPA-NDF. So it is important to strengthen and build conflict-resilient IP communities,” Lieutenant Colonel Bacus concluded.

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