Aeta community assails gov’t trespassing in ancestral land

Aeta leader Edwin Danan fights for their right to ancestral domain as New Clark City is poised to displacing more Aetas. (Photo by Carlo Manalansan / Bulatlat)

BY JOHN AARON MARK MACARAEG
Bulatlat.com

MANILA– An Aeta community in Capas, Tarlac denounced the latest harassment as armed men, escorted by the local police, barged into their community to threaten their barricade, Mar. 3.

Local tribal leader Casamira Maniego, chair of their local organization Asosasyon ng Katutubong Mahawang, said 20 armed men were escorted by the local police arrived in their community earlier today, threatening the people’s barricade against the looming expansion of the New Clark City.

This was eyed as the expansion of New Clark City where the P90-billion worth Sea Games Stadium was built and around 500 Aeta families were displaced.

Contrary to government pronouncements, Maniego said there was neither an agreement nor settlement between her tribe and the BCDA regarding the expansion of the New Clark City, where a P90-billion stadium was built for the recent Sea Games, displacing at least 500 Aeta families.

“One of them was heard saying that we have no rights to stop the road project because this land was already paid,” said Maniego.

Yesterday, Pancho Construction, a company contracted by BCDA, came with bulldozers and backhoe. In their dialogue, they agreed to conduct further talks on this but no representative from the developer came.

No Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) was obtained by BCDA from the National Commission of Indigenous People (NCIP).

A dialogue between the legal counsel of Aetas and BCDA is set on Mar. 12.

As of the writing, armed men, which the community believes to be hired by the BCDA, are still deployed in the community to look after the private contractor’s bulldozers. The road construction, on the other hand, was temporarily halted.

Maniego said that their community remains vigilant to protect their ancestral land. ()

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