Special Kalinaw was awarded to Barangay Diatagon last May 27 during the Balay Mindanaw Awards 2016.
Barangay Diatagon of Lianga, Surigao del Sur received the Special Award for the community’s long standing standing struggle in addressing armed conflict in the province. This was a surprise to all finalists as originally, only four outstanding barangays should be awarded – one for each four different categories.
Last year in September, a number of Lumad Leaders in Barangay Diatagon were killed by alleged paramilitary groups from the Manobo tribes which triggered a massive evacuation by residents not only from Diatagon but also from other barangays. This urged Barangay Diatagon to search for alternative approaches by involving different stakeholders and conducting local peace processes to resolve the conflict.
Their presentation entitled “Local Peace Initiatives Address Armed Conflict in Barangay Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur” explained that the Barangay Local Government Unit together with the Provincial and Municipal Peace and Order Councils consistently took the lead in helping create safe and secure spaces for dialogue involving the conflicting parties and various stakeholders to understand the issue and defuse misunderstanding and clarify perceptions from different sides.
Since 2011, Barangay Diatagon has organized at least 4 local peace dialogues and produced some local peace agreements; the Battalion Commander signed one of these.
It has also consistently assisted the IDPs affected by the Armed Conflict despite their limited resources through their local funds.