THE boundary dispute notwithstanding, Barangay Calumpang (population: 1,282; registered voters: 1,187) remains within the territorial jurisdiction of the City of Mabalacat, although one establishment named Paradise Ranch, owned and operated by Eric Gomez, an American citizen reportedly manifests its allegiance to the town of Bamban where he pays the traditional taxes and permits.
On this note, I was invited by the Barangay Council of Calumpang to attend its session regarding, inter alia, the demand letter of the Sangguniang Tribong Ayta (STA) on Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) No. 25 dated January 17, 2018. In this demand letter addressed to Barangay Captain Jimmy Jimenez, the STA stated that the investors/locators occupying lots covered by the CADT requiring them to show Contracts allowing them to set up businesses or projects with the free and prior informed consent of the IPs.
In attendance during the session were: Kagawads Nancy Tuazon, Paul N. Mercado, Alberto Tongio, Richard D. Buenafe, Reynaldo B. Sicat, Enrique C. Sandig, Ruby A. Queddeng, Barangay Secretary Cassandra R. Gomez and Barangay Treasurer Rodolfo B. Tolentino. Kagawad (and city councilor, ex-oficio) Rivielane Margarito was absent.
Previously, a Demand Letter dated December 14, 2017 was read to the Council by the Secretary and alternately by Kagawad Nancy Tuazon. The said Demand Letter incorporated provisions of RA 8371, An Act to Recognize, Protect and Promote the Rights of Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples, Creating a National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, Establishing Implementing Mechanisms, Appropriating Funds Therefor and for Other Purposes.
The session was interrupted by the arrival of Oscar T. Dizon, President of STA CADT 25 and his group. Barangay Captain Jimenez entertained them. The Sangguniang Tribong Ayta is composed of Oscar Dizon, Robert L. Serrano, vice president, Roy D. Tanglao, business manager, Michael M. Lundang, auditor, Tarsis T. Pamintuan, media relations and Marcelo V.
It should be recalled that Calumpang has been at the center of some land controversies involving Aeta tribe and other residents of this upland village. The Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title was issued during the tenure of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and covers 10,323.3082 hectares, more or less.
Sadly, the total area of ancestral domain has been diluted through the years via various ruses of sale and other forms of conveyances.
The purpose of conserving the lands for the indigenous peoples is obviously defeated.
However, the spillover benefits of the Clark Green City located in Capas and parts of Bamban in Tarlac may seep into Calumpang and bordering Marcos Village. When that bonanza finally comes, Calumpang may experience its full development.