HEARINGS for the Mankayan (Benguet)–Cervantes (Ilocos Sur) boundary dispute are set after a failure in settlements was declared.
Ilocos Sur Provincial Board Member Lawyer Pablito Sanidad Jr. said the disinterestedness of Mankayan town to participate in the settlement talks pushed formal hearing begin.
“Boundary disputes are political in nature where you cannot expect the Province of Benguet to side and favor with the Province of Ilocos Sur and vice-versa,” Sanidad said.
Benguet Board Member Johnny Waguis, Chairman of the Joint-Sessions, issued Certification of Non-Amicable Settlement during a meeting on October 6 at the province capitol with the Ilocos contingents.
Waguis said Ilocos contingents moved to declare a failure in settlements when Mankayan officials failed to appear during hearings.
“That is the prerogative of the parties involved and in accordance to the local government code,” Waguis said.
By law, the body is mandated to resolve the dispute within 60 days, comprised of a five member team from Ilocos and Benguet for the duration of the hearings.
Waguis said the Benguet team is composed of himself, Board Members
Fernando Balaodan, Ruben Pawad, Nestor Fongwan Jr. and James Guanzo.
The two provinces started to mediate in 2014.
It was also in 2015, when Sanidad, with then board members Nestor Itchon and Mario Subagan and Cervantes officials headed by Vice Mayor Rodolfo Gaburno, met with the then Vice Governor.
Nelson Dangwa with board members Leonardo Lawana, Jack Dulnuan, Blas Dalus, Concepcion Balao, and Florence Tingbaoen will discuss the boundary issues and agree on amicable settlement.
The dispute concerns a 147 hectare overlapping area between the two provinces.
Both provinces are also in the process of settling dispute between Sugpon, Ilocos Sur and the towns of Bakun and Kibungan in Benguet.