NCIP raises doubts over creation of Aeta task force-A A +A
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
CLARK FREEPORT – The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) expressed reservations over the proposed creation of a task force that would oversee and implement "peace and order" inside the ancestral domain at Clark’s Sacobia Valley.
NCIP Regional Director Ronaldo M. Daquioag said he is not aware of any existing law that would support the proposed creation of the "Task Force Mata" by the Mabalacat Aeta Tribal Association (Mata), led by its president Robert L. Serrano.
"Bilang katugunan, nais ko lang ipabatid ang aking reserbasyon sa pagtatag ninyo ng tinatawag ninyong Task Force. Hindi ko po alam kung saan po manggagaling sa mga umiiral na batas ang kanilang kapangyarihan para ipatupad ang ‘peace and order’ sa inyong Lupaing Ninuno," Daquioag said in a letter to Serrano and Mata official Marlon Mesina.
Daquioag's letter, dated August 29, 2013, was in response to a resolution filed by Serrano that calls for the creation of Task Force MATA after the Aeta association protested the development of a tourism-related venture along the area of Clark’s Gate 14.
But Daquioag was quick to say that the creation of the task force was a "noble intention." However, the NCIP regional director also emphasized that if in case Task Force MATA is created, it should only operate within the boundaries of their ancestral domain.
"Maganda ang intensiyon sa pagtatag nito (Task Force Mata). Pero nararapat lang na sa lugar lamang na pagmamay-ari ng Mata sila dapat manungkulan. Kung pag-aari ng iba, dapat lang magpaalam sa may-ari," the letter further stated.
It added: "Alam namang natin lahat na ang pag-aari ng katutubo ay ang hangganan lamang ng rehistradong ninuno sa simpleng kadahilanang ito ay rehistrado."
Daquioag also advised Serrano and his group to respect the court, which, the NCIP director emphasized, has the authority to create a task force if it is deemed necessary.
"Anumang bagay sa usaping ito, kagaya ng pagtatag ninyo ng task force at pagbibigay pahintulot sa mga namumuhunan ay pwede lamang gawin kung may basbas ang korte o di kaya’y sa magiging desisyon nito," Daquioag said.
Earlier this month, Clark Development Corporation president Arthur Tugade met with Serrano at the office of Mabalacat City Mayor Marino Morales to discuss issues involving the construction work at Gate 14.
Tugade and other CDC officials, later on, went to Gate 14 to inspect ongoing developments in the area.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on September 18, 2013.