THIRTEENTH CONGRESS OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES 1 First Regular Session ) ) Introduced by Senator Flavier EXPLANATORY NOTE The Bodong is a territorially-based bilateral covenant of non-aggression between Kalinga villages, the centerpiece of which is an indigenous unwritten mechanism for processing its breach and regulating inter-village relations. Its objective is to maintain peace and stability within the village and create bonds of amity between villages. The duty and obligation of Bodong holders in the community is paramount. While it may be accurate to say that the Bodong holder cannot guarantee complete safety, there are many things that the Bodong holder actually guarantees, such as the following: 1) swift investigation of an injury or death allegedly caused by a co-villager against a kabodong; 2) final determination of the identity of the covenant violator and consequent punishment commensurate to the gravity of the violation or as provided by the covenant; 3) indemnity for loss, injury or death due to the violation; 4) assistance to a kabodong who gets sick within the village territory; 5) retui2 of a kabodong's body who died of illness within its territory; and 6 ) assurance of village hospitality. In the Pagta or law of the Bodong, the Bodong holder shall faithfdly enforce and execute the provisions of the Pagta; prosecute with dispatch cases brought to his attention until the same have been settled to the satisfaction of both parties; not allow the severance of the Bodong without complying with the provisions of Pagta; and arrest or cause the arrest of the violator of the Pagta. For most Kalinga, the Bodong is not only the result of the creation of a binding legal relationship but it is also an important social activity. The convergence of both is what they poignantly equate as the essence of life itself not only because peace insures the perpetuation of their lives but also because the very activity itself makes them feel alive. The Peace Pact Holders or the Bodong holders are revered members of the community, more than a barangay captain or a law enforcer. It is for this reason that they should be accorded recognition and legal status as recognition and legal status as persons in authority in their own tAbal barangay. Immediate passage of this bill is therefore earnestly requested. 7

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