NBI arrests suspect in murder that sparked tribal tensions in Kalinga
CITY OF ILAGAN, Isabela — One of two suspects in the June 30 murder that sparked tension between two Kalinga tribes was arrested on Thursday by the National Bureau of Investigation.
Lagasi Bocad, a leader of the Tulgao tribe, was implicated in the shooting of brothers Basingan and Belac Dallapas, members of the Lubo tribe, and was caught in Barangay Nambaran in Tabuk City in Kalinga province.
Their violent deaths in front of a Tabuk store violated a peace pact called “bodong” between the two tribes residing in the towns of Tanudan and Tinglayan, sparking fears of a tribal dispute.
“Students from both tribes have been leaving school, worried that the tribal dispute may escalate,” said lawyer Gelacio Bongngat, NBI Cagayan Valley director, during a news briefing on Thursday. The NBI regional office has jurisdiction over the Cordillera provinces of Kalinga and Apayao.
Students and workers in Kalinga and other provinces would automatically leave school and work “as a preventive measure to avoid the possibility of getting more people hurt in the event of conflict,” said Kalinga Vice Gov. James Edduba.
Bongngat said the arrest of Bocad would ease tensions. The NBI did not identify the second suspect who is still at large.
Baguio Mayor Mauricio Domogan had advised students enrolled in the mountain city to remain calm. Domogan chairs the Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC), which also counseled Kalinga leaders to mediate between the tribes.
Edduba, a Tulgao tribe member, had appealed for peace and advised fellow Tulgaos against confronting Lubo tribe members. “We hope our brothers from the Lubo tribe will not avenge the killings,” he said.
Kalinga Governor Jocel Baac said backdoor negotiations would take place among “bodong holders” to settle the dispute with the arrest of Bocad. /ee
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.