In Ifugao, calls for calm amid ‘war’ dance

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya—Local and tribal leaders on Sunday appealed for calm amid calls for vengeance from family, friends and sympathizers for the deaths of three Ifugao Special Action Force (SAF) commandos at the hands of Moro rebels in Maguindanao province.

Ifugao Rep. Teodoro Baguilat Jr. dismissed speculation that the relatives and friends of the slain troopers were out to exact revenge, following the staging of a “him-ong”, a tribal ritual said to be equivalent to a war dance.

“We appeal to our people not to put extra meaning to rituals like [the him-ong] because this is not the way to honor our departed heroes,” he said in a telephone interview.

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