Freeman Region

Blood compact real site remains on ‘status quo’

Ric V. Obedencio - The Freeman

Amid Sandugo fest celebration

TAGBILARAN CITY, Philippines — The age-old controversy over the actual site where the blood compact (Sandugo) took place—Barangay Bo-ol in Tagbilaran City or Brgy. Hinawanan in Loay town — continues to hound Boholanos, while they are celebrating the Sandugo Festival this month.

Provincial Board Member Elpidio Jala, now a resident of Barangay Villalimpia, an adjacent village of Hinawanan, said the conflict appears to be in a deadlock at this time, thus the status quo, being Bo-ol as the site, remains.

Jala, in his text message to The Freeman, said: “Gi-pending man kay although according to NHI (National Historical Institute) ang Loay maoy location, naa nay Republic Act nga ga-declare sa Bo-ol. Wala sad ga-initiate ug amendment sa law mao nga status quo pa.”

Sometime in 2014, Jala raised this matter to the PB, which in turn tackled it but got stalled in the process until now.

Representative Rene Relampagos (1st district) told The Freeman he would try to look into the law that governs the Blood Compact declaration.

Republic Act 9093 has declared March 16, 1565 as “special working public holiday” for Bohol to commemorate Sandugo. It was signed by then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, but reportedly it did not mention where the historical event actually took place.

The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) recently declared the Sandugo took place in Hinawanan of Loay, and it subsequently asked Bohol officials to remove the Sandugo marker at Bo-ol in Tagbilaran.

“May we request that the marker, Blood Compact Between Sikatuna and Legaspi in Tagbilaran City be removed,” according to the NHCP letter addressed to Governor Edgar Chatto and signed by its chairman Dr. Rene Escalante. A copy of the letter, dated March 2017, was furnished to City Mayor John Geesnell Yap and Loay Mayor Rochelle Brigitte Lim Imboy.

If the marker is removed, “this will end the confusion among tourists and public in general as to where the blood compact truly occurred,” NHCP said, adding that the marker in Tagbilaran is “inconsistent with the Loay marker.”

Chatto was reportedly amenable to the requested of the marker but he suggested that another related shrine be installed at the Bo-ol site, so that tourists will be educated that the place was once the Sandugo marker stood before it was moved to Loay.

Bohol is now observing its month-long Sandugo Festival, in time for its 163rd Foundation Day celebration on July 22, 2017 when, together with Siquijor province, it separated from Cebu as another province.

Loay has celebrated the 452nd anniversary of the Blood Compact (Sandugo) last March 25, 2017, and acknowledged by NHCP as the actual place of the historical event. (FREEMAN)

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