TANUDAN, Kalinga -- The Mangali-Pinukpuk tribes during their recent "Podon" (peace pact) celebration held at Anggacan committed to renounce revenge as a means to obtain justice.

In their "Pagta" (covenant), the two sub-tribes agreed to uphold the peace pact to remain as bridge in settling amicably their tribal conflicts. However, aggrieved parties of their choice are not barred to seek redress of their grievances in court.

In the past, peace pacts were automatically severed on cases of murder and other heinous crimes leading to tribal wars. The "eye-for-an-eye" practice allows killing and the fault of one is the fault of all exposes innocent member-tribes as targets of vengeance.

But the policy on non-aggression has long been adopted as a common "Pagta" that resulted to positive working dynamics between the government and tribal communities. Heinous cases are now solved between the affected tribes with neutral tribes helping in the mediation process.

The "Podon" becomes at present more effective in solving tribal conflicts complementing the peace efforts of government. While both institutions work together to protect life, property, dignity and human rights, the "Podon" employs the reformative justice system where both parties amicably settle disputes and exact payment upon the culprit sans imprisonment.

Unlike in courts that criminals are penalized and incarcerated for their crimes after spending and attending long years of litigation. "Podon" practicing tribes sit down to amicably settle criminal cases and misunderstanding resulting to restoration of harmony and camaraderie.

Dr. Silverio Tawatao, division supervisor of the Department of Education, is the peace pact holder of Mangali and Agustin Cawilan, a farmer, for Pinukpuk. They are the third generation heirs to this long time peace pact, which was never severed, meaning the two sub-tribes peacefully co-existed. (Peter Balocnit)